Tuesday 24 May 2011

CBR3 Book 42: "The Vampire Voss" by Colleen Gleason

Publisher: Mira
Page count: 384 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars
Date begun: May 8th, 2011
Date finished: May 14th, 2011

Voss, Viscount Dewhurst is one of the Dracule, a vampire who became such after selling his soul to Lucifer in return for an eternal life of wealth, decadence and pleasure. He makes his living selling information, and as such, is not super popular among the other Dracule of the London set. He's recently returned from the Colonies, and is trying to find useful information about Napoleon Boneparte and the war between France and England. He knows that one of the Woodmore sisters (wards to another Dracule, Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale) has psychic powers, and his plan is to seduce useful information out of her.

His job is hampered by the fact that the Woodmore sisters are being hunted by Cesare Moldavi, an evil vampire who's furious that Chas Woodmore, their brother (and a famous vampire hunter) has absconded with his precious sister Narcise. So Dimitri is keeping careful watch over the Woodmore sisters, and once Voss finally gets close to Angelica (the one with the Sight), it turns out that she is immune to his vampire thrall, if not to his looks and charm. A notorious womanizer, Voss is taken aback when he finds Angelica so irresistable, and for the first time in over a century of debauchery, he feels compelled to change. Will the love of a good woman save him from his bargain with the Devil?

I very much enjoyed Colleen Gleason's previous paranormal series, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, which combined adventure, romance and vampire slaying in a Regency setting. In those books, all the vampires were evil, in this new series (which seems to be set in the same universe, due to cameo appearances by familiar characters), it seems that there are different kinds of vampires, and some are less bad than others. The Dracule are men (or women) who bargain their soul to the devil, and in return get eternal youth. They do have to drink blood and avoid sunlight, and apparently all have a unique weakness that can incapacitate them (the first thing they lay eyes on after becoming Dracule).

The vampire mythos is quite interesting, and the book was not bad after the first hundred pages or so. But to begin with, it was dreadfully slow going, and the reason it took me over a week to finish it, is that I kept putting it down to read something else. Once the action actually gets going, the book is quite enjoyable, although neither Voss nor Angelica are great characters, and I found myself a little bit indifferent to whether they would get their happy ending or not. Still, I feel that I may as well commit to the rest of the series now too, in the hopes that the following books in the trilogy get better.

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