In the fall of 1832, London, England, Ariana Dallenhauf begins an unlikely journey into the dark reaches of the unknown. Her guide and mentor, Dimitri Rochester, takes the young woman and attempts to transform her into what he deems more worthy, an immortal; for Dimitri Rochester is the shadow that consumes light; he is an artful killer, a vampire. Although Ariana is reluctant, she has no choice but to follow Dimitri into her new existence.
While adapting to her new life, Ariana discovers that her assumptions about Dimitri are wrong and her feelings for him have changed into something more passionate. In gaining a better understanding of what it means to be a vampire, Ariana discovers her history with vampires goes back further than she ever imagined, for she is in the middle of a legend and has become part of its unfolding story.
I am one of those people who loves the idea of using history as part of a book. The problem for me is that while I like history as a backdrop for some reason it almost never completely works for me. Either the historical elements don’t seem that necessary (either the book could take place at any time and it wouldn’t matter, or the author just didn’t do enough specific research in their time period to really draw me into the setting). Even so I am sucker for historical books, so even though a lot of them never completely satisfy my reading appetite, I keep trying them out and I probably always will.
I think the first thing I should mention is that the reader should continue through even though the beginning starts off bumpy. I am one of those readers who once I start a book I can’t put it down even if I hate (don’t ask me how many books I have read that I absolutely hated, trust me you don’t want to know the number). But for those of you who need to be sucked into a book rather quickly, this one does not exactly accomplish that. I felt like the beginning was a bit disjointed and it took a while to not only pick up on the action side of things, but also for me to feel a real connection to the characters.
That being said, one the book got started and the action started to pick up I found it easy to identify with a lot of the characters. Seeing as how most of the characters are vampires, there actions are not exactly, how should I put it, moral? Which hey, is part of the appeal of vampires, and part of the reason we as readers enjoy vampire novels. Following along with Ariana is really what made the book for me. She starts off as a human and then becomes a vampire and is introduced into a world she could have never imagined existed. This makes it easy to identify with her as well as bring you to a pretty good understanding of the world building from her point of view.
While Ariana made the book for me, there was one other element in the book that peaked my interest and made me want to find out what was on the next page. Even though a lot of the book is focused on Ariana and her learning not just about the world she now lives within and her powers, but there is also an element of mystery going on. I love a book where I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where the book is going to go, who did what, what the mystery is, is there some kind of conspiracy going on. This book did a good job of hooking me into the mystery.
Overall this was a pretty okay book. It was a short read and it was an enjoyable read, even though the beginning started on the slow side. Other than that I would recommend it to people who like fantasy with vampires, or for those of you who like books that carry a historical element within them.