A Seattle college student learns that the girl he’s quickly falling for is a 100-year-old vampire in this romantic horror novel.
Late one night on campus, Eric runs into Anna, a young woman from his art class. The two hit it off and go on a date; Anna is surprised that Eric is so drawn to her, as her vampire aura is “tamped down.” She’s been a vamp for more than a century, along with her mom, Alix, and little brother, Lexei, all three living together. They’ve been lying low since the family’s patriarch was killed a month ago by nefarious vampire Grigori. As Anna’s feelings for Eric deepen, she contemplates telling him the truth about herself. This may turn out to be crucial information when the two are attacked by creatures known as shetani, which Anna surmises have crossed through a time portal. Believing something has been shadowing her, Anna is not only worried about Eric, but Alix and Lexei as well. She’s unaware that a mysterious “pale creature” is in the area, intermittently killing and slowly gaining strength. Whether it’s this entity or Grigori tracking them down, a confrontation between Anna’s family and something evil seems inevitable. Though the romance is accelerated, the relationship between Anna and Eric is enthralling; he, for one, is not appalled when seeing her vampiric form, including her wings. For the most part, Provost (Mad World: Desperation, 2013, etc.) goes the traditional route; her vampires can turn into mist and mesmerize humans. But the story intriguingly centers on rich magical elements, like what’s on the other side of the portal and mythical creatures such as dragons and sprites. The minimal plot leaves room for vibrant character development, which ultimately entails historical figures. But the engrossing back story is occasionally muddled, especially regarding Anna and her family. The origin of their vampirism, for example, has at least two explanations, which seem to contradict each other.
An alluring otherworldly tale with well-established characters and series potential.