This second installment of a new-adult series complicates matters in the dangerous world of California surfing and vampire sharks.
Despite difficult beginnings, Jake Ryder and Leilani Waters grew accustomed to the Nomads, a group of vampire sharks and protectors of the natural world of beach and waves, especially Skylar and Tristan, their friends and lovers. But while Jake is now a vampire shark himself and Leilani has largely left her old life as an FBI agent behind, the rest of the group has scattered after a bloody war with the Rogues, a cabal with a bloodier agenda. In addition to the lingering threat of Dean, the murderous, still at-large leader of the Rogues, the two have to contend with real loss and an unfolding mystery, as Skylar and Tristan have both disappeared in the aftermath, the latter presumed dead. Still, the two friends are committed to hunting down Dean, and they follow him to Hawaii. But while Leilani purely misses Tristan, her fiance, both she and Jake have doubts about what Skylar’s been up to. And there’s still more going on behind the scenes. After all, Jake got into this world in the first place to solve his best friend Cody’s murder at the hands of a former Nomad. So what will he do when he finds out that his cohort isn’t dead at all but undead? As in Zmak’s (Dark Surf, 2014) previous romantic thriller, the prose is sharp and pithy here, with plenty of surfer dialect to add personality to the writing. And with high stakes already well established, the narrative doesn’t have to make detours to establish the characters’ identities and histories in the way that the first book did. This leaves the speedy, page-turning rhythm of the chapters room to shine and the relationships space to mix and evolve. As before, there’s romance mingled into the blood and chills. In addition, the book does an excellent job of developing the players’ connections beyond those initial sparks and through further and further trials, making this sequel a real treat to read, maybe even more than the original.
Delivering the salt- and blood-kissed depths readers expect, this vampire tale is everything a sequel should be.