This was a very atmospheric, moody, somewhat dark tale of a vampire’s life after being turned and his struggle against the darkness trying to overtake him.
One of the things I loved most was the writing itself. It was beautiful and lyrical, and it worked really well with the feel of the book.
I also liked that somewhat dark aspect that I mentioned. I say somewhat because it didn’t feel emotionally dark, and the parts that took place in the present weren’t that dark, but Henry did have a dark past. He was very much a brooding, tortured hero, but for good reason. Not only did he slaughter his whole family, he became so desperate to get his humanity back that, ironically, it caused him to lose his humanity when his search for a cure became a true obsession and led to him becoming Jack the Ripper.
But that, the whole Jack the Ripper thing, was another thing I liked. It was really fun and a nice touch. At first it seemed it was only going to be a one-sentence mention, but then further into the book it was explained a lot more and we got to see bits from when he was living in London and actually committing the murders (there were kind of dual storylines, one in the present, one in the past). So the author did include things from the real murders, like the prostitutes, the organ removal, and the letters.
The present wasn’t quite as interesting to me in the beginning and middle since it felt very slow-paced and was hard for me to really stay focused on (one of my only complaints), but the pacing did match the atmospheric feel, and the story picked up and surprised me in a great way near the end.
Then there were the characters. I did like Henry because I like brooding, tortured heroes, but Dougal really stole the show for me. The descriptions of him, the little mentions here and there of the things he did, the ways he acted—all filtered through Henry’s mind since it was from his POV—were just perfect. It was brilliant writing, and he was just an entertaining, endearing, and really well fleshed out and described character.
Even better though was the friendship in this. Dougal had seen Henry at his absolute lowest, lower than you can even imagine, yet he was always there for him, always wanting to help, and not willing to leave him.
There were only a few things I didn’t like about the book. I mentioned already that it was a little too slow-paced for me. I was also bothered by the instalove at first, but that became a little more bearable by the end. Last but not least, I also didn’t like Ari throughout most of the book. I grew to like her more by the end, but it aggravated me that she was keeping secrets when lives were at stake and Henry and Dougal were trying to help. And she was kind of a jerk sometimes, especially to Henry.
Overall though, despite the slow pace and few things I disliked, the beautiful writing did a wonderful job of setting the mood, the Jack the Ripper aspect was fun, Dougal was an amazingly well-written character, and I enjoyed reading Henry’s story.
Infected by the vampire virus on the streets of Dublin in 1886, the search for a cure brought Henry Clayton to London and to the brink of madness. Salvation and friendship arrived in the form of Dougal, an immortal Highlander with a devilish sense of humor and a love of life.
Amidst turmoil in vampire society, Henry returns to modern day Dublin. The Circle, a cult determined to awaken their Celtic blood god, the first vampire, is once again active.
When Henry meets a young American woman who sees past his human pretense, he fears exposure. However, his fear is overshadowed by curiosity. What is the source of the strange energy between them? Why are vampires stalking her? Determined to find answers, Henry takes Ari into his home and under his protection.
As their connection grows, Henry begins to suspect Ari isn’t what she claims to be. Their shared history may hold the answers to his uncontrollable bouts of rage and thirst. Perhaps, even a cure for his wicked blood.
Book Author: Carol Oates
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Book Rating: 4
Setting Location: Dublin, England, Ireland, London
Disability: Mental Illness, Obsession
Non-Human Type: Other Supernatural, Vampires
Romance Type: M-F
Romance Aspects: Insta-Love
Other: Jack the Ripper, Paranormal/Supernatural
Extra Love: Adorable Friendship, Beautiful Writing, Favorite Male Character, Favorite Side Character