Saturday, December 15, 2012

Of Light and Darkness

The Vampire's Daughter (Of Light and Darkness, #1)

When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in
Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she's realizes she wants more...

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered...

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek's race, but
Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she's ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love...before the sun comes up and light takes over.

This book is gritty, edgy and twisted—filled with likeable, engaging characters and some pretty nasty ones.

This book was full of actual blood-sucking Vampires, meaning, they actually do what Vampires are supposed to as well as that, the main Vamp ends up seducing his *for all intensive purposes* daughter *they aren’t actually related which dials down the creep factor a little…* .

Shayne Leighton’s take on Vampires was interesting, even after reading through half the book the gruesome deaths they die each night. The interesting thing about this book is that the Vampire *Valek* does what he is suppose to: he occasionally looses control, he kills, drinks blood and dies horribly each night.  And yet, Charlotte, no matter what I think of her as a character and a human *ahem ahem*, still falls in love with him! Now that is honesty Edward and Bella just didn’t have.

Charlotte was just abandoned as a baby, dying in the cold when Valek finds her and is brought up into a bad world and does things that are just wrong. But then as Shayne Leighton introduces us to a group of Elves that at first seem good end up having an even worse idea of their world, we, as the readers, are faced with the question, which wrong is right?

That is one thing I find fascinating about this book, I thought that the vampires world was twisted and wrong but then we are shown the elves world.  Which is still as twisted and control hungry as the vampires, but at least some of the vamps care enough to know they’re twisted and bad, the elves mask themselves in sun and pretend to be good.

This book definitely has more than one question buzzing around in the background, and for the most part I enjoyed this book though to find the meaning within it, I felt that you have to dig really deep.  

I felt the writing was really done well, though she used to word very, lots.

Something interesting about this book is the eventual romance of Charlotte and Valek (the vampire who unofficially ‘adopted’ her and for all purposes is her father figure). At first *and even now a little bit* thoroughly disgusted me, to be honest. I thought it was just wrong, but I got to thinking about the Twilight books, though I’m not a huge Twilight fan I know the general story of it and this made me think about how Edward and Bella would have been if Edward had raised Bella, really not much different.

Though I don’t feel that this is a coming of age fantasy novel I enjoyed it—I really enjoyed the characters.

The biggest question in this book is: can a heroine be a murderer?
 Well apparently she can be.

I was a little disappointed when it came to Charlotte not dealing with what she was doing to humans, I mean she would hunt humans for Valek. She also didn’t have to deal with the consequences of her actions—and I felt the love between Charlotte and Valek was confusing and all over the place and kind gross—I mean at first it was obvious that their relationship was father/daughter and I liked it, I liked that they stuck to their roles as father and daughter even though it was kind of obvious that they cared way too much about each other in an unfather/daughter way.

I liked that through the flashbacks we got to see Charlotte and her perception of Valek and her world. She knew that Valek was a monster—little Charlotte had more of a moral compass than big Charlotte did when it came to feeding Valek. I was so disappointed to realize how Charlotte’s moral compass went ignored—but at the same time I’m hoping in the next installment of this series Charlotte will recognize her past and take responsibility for it.
I honestly expected more from this book as far as morality, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, ect.. goes—I hoped that Charlotte would decide to do what is right despite the fact it’s hard, or at least struggle more with doing what was wrong, but I am hoping that there will be more of that in the second book.

Over all—taken at face value, it was a good read. Enjoyable, something I would want to read at Halloween again.

I found that there were strong characters within this book, such a variety of characters too, each of them made you laugh or grit your teeth,  I also really loved the authors writing style, she has a very rich writing style, as you may or may not know.

Among my favorite characters:

Edwin—basically the talking scarecrow
OMG so adorable! <3 I feel so bad for him though, he died three times!

Mr. Trinozoka—basically a talking spider
I know what you are thinking. Ew. And yes, at first he is just ew, but he is such a funny spider-man and I loved that he wore goggles, I don’t know why but somehow that just made him such a likable character. But I still shiver every time I think of Charlotte riding him like a horse.

Sarah—the browned haired witch, funny enough out of all the characters I liked her most.
She was so cool, with such a cute personality, very non-judgmental about the whole twisted romance between Valek and Charlotte.

This book was good—I loved the author’s style of writing and I loved her descriptions. This book is definitely for mature audiences, I wouldn’t suggest anyone 15 due to content but honestly, it was good. I would read it again just to be able to spend more time with Edwin, Sarah or Mr. Tinozoka. I would actually love a novella of those characters as well. That is how much I loved them.

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