07 September 2008

Review: Shannon Drake - When Darkness Falls

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Zebra (October 1, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0821766929
ISBN-13: 978-0821766927

In a windswept Scottish cemetary, Jade MacGregor's carefree vacation abroad is marred by a seemingly random tragedy. A year later, back home on a shadowy French Quarter street, she glimpses an oddly familiar face. Coincidence - or something more disturbing?

Surrounded by her friends and engrossed in her work, Jade should feel secure. But somebody is dogging her every move. Somebody who knows what she saw on that long ago afternoon. Somebody who will try to rescue her from the evil that is waiting to destroy her.

I’ve been drawn back into the vampire world of Shannon Drake with her second vampire novel – When darkness falls. It’s been an exciting and exhilarating trip as new characters are threatened by Darian, a cruel, power-tripping vampire, who teamed up with his female equivalent of him. They’re wreaking havoc in Scotland, leaving a trail of blood and finding their way to New Orleans as they seek to finish what they started a year earlier.

The battle continues in this story and from the first chapter I was mesmerized again with the plot. How I admire the talent of Shannon Drake to conjure up vivid settings of Scotland and New Orleans. Her imaginations seeps into me and soon I was a part of this tale with every bit of passion, terror and romance.

We’ve met Lucien in the first book, Beneath a bloodred moon, as a somewhat ominous and arrogant King vampire but as the hero in his story we get to see a different side of him. The interesting past of Lucien is intriguingly mixed with the present, enhancing his character with a bite and mystery. This vibrates from him and Jade response to it results in some incredible dialogue.

Every character, main,-secondary,-good or bad is well developed and each has a voice and purpose in this story giving me a quality read I’m always searching for and Shannon Drake is one that always delivers. Jade is a heroine with courage and matches up to Lucien, they create an environment where the fear, action, mystery and passion simmers from the pages in a well paced plot. Although the suspense is impeccable, the story holds you in its grip, it felt a bit out of balance as the romantic aspect was subjugated to the plot, it was just not as developed as I would have liked and there for I couldn’t truly feel their love as this progresses in the story. There’s no real romantic closure between Jade and Lucien, leaving it a bit open and to the imagination of the reader.

Having said this I think that Shannon Drake has given me a marvelous novel, rich in its conspiracy for power among the vampires, characters and dialogue, making, When darkness falls, a joy to read and one that is a must for all vampire readers!

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