Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

Beneath the glitter of dazzling nineteenth-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil...

Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long ago taken over the world.

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardlla Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But, as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her duty. And when she comes face-to-face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make a choice between obligation and love.....
Kailana Read The Rest Falls Away in January, these were her thoughts at the time:

What a wonderful way to begin the New Year. This book was very captivating! I bought it online, but then my order did not arrive yesterday, so I am giving that copy to a friend and I bought another copy yesterday. I am glad I did. The last few days have been stressful, as I think I have made clear, so I needed a nice distraction. I have been pointing out on other blogs that I do not normally visit the romance section. Even my breakthrough read last year, J.D. Robb is housed in the mystery section at the bookstore I buy her from, so this would likely be the first time I have ever bought a book from the romance section. If it wasn't for the publicity that other bloggers have been showing, I likely would never have read it because I do not generally browse the romance section.

Anyways, I read the majority of this book last night in one sitting. I read a lot of historical fiction, so the time period was appealing. Adding in the vampires made for an interesting read. We have these prim and proper ladies of society, and this girl in a ball gown kicking vampire butt. I know a lot of people are reading this book, so I am going to be careful and not give anything away. The main character, Victoria, can be a bit naive, but she living in two worlds. She goes to fancy parties and dances with young men, and then she feels a cold draft on her neck and totally switches roles to nineteenth-century vampire slayer. It is an interesting contrast. Venators can be male or female, but females are rare. Victoria has to prove herself to be worthy of the role, and not just another society girl.

The characters in this book are interesting, though. We have Victoria, who if she lived in the twenty-first century would annoy me, but looking at her from a nineteenth-century perspective she is quite exceptional for her times. Then there is her aunt, Eustacia, who used to be a Venator, but arthritis caused her to stop. Her family thinks she is crazy, but she is a compelling character. As to the men, there are three main ones: Max, the skeptical Venator whose past makes him hard put to accept the future; Phillip, a man straight out of Victoria's past; and Sebastian, the man that keeps things interesting.

I started this review this morning, but then my net decided that it was going to stop working. It was all fresh in my head when I started, now, I am trying to find my place. I could say a lot more about this book, but I do not want to give too much away. I will just tell everyone that it was worth a visit to the romance section. Gleason has written a first book that has the potential to be a very interesting series. I cannot wait until the next book comes out in June! In the meantime, everyone should check out this book. It might not be everyones cup of tea, but it is very well-written.

Highly Recommended!

Then, a little while later, Marg read it. These were her thoughts:

You may remember a few weeks ago I was off work with my sick son. This book was one that I tried to read while I was off work. What I don't understand is why can't I read when I am not working. When other people go on holidays they say things like "I am going to get through so many books" or "I am just going to read and read", but I just can't seem to get through many books at all when I am not going to work. Very strange.

Colleen did such a great job of raising the profile of this book, and in making sure that it was out there, with even non romance readers reading it and enjoying it. I was so excited about getting this book but maybe because I was feeling sick and tired it wasn't really grabbing my attention. I did enjoy many aspects of the story - the colour coordinating stakes that doubled as stakes were particularly ingenious and a lot of fun! I did like the two mysterious men that are part of the storyline. I am sure that we will get to see a lot more of Max and Sebastian.

Interesting that there were multiple hero possibilities but it wasn't really a romance in my opinion, and I think that that was something that the author was very clear about when talking about this book. There were romantic elements but not exactly a HEA, I think partially because this is planned to be a true series and there is therefore a longer story arc...not just books that are connected by recurring characters.

I'm not sure that I can verbalise what exactly it was that didn't work for me during this read. In a way it felt like I was reading the surface of a really good story, but didn't really get the depth that I would like to read normally. Having said that, I will definitely be getting the next book in the series, Rises the Night, when it comes out in June, so I was sufficiently hooked to want to go on with the series!

I guess this is definitely a case of where my mood has definitely put a dampener on a book that I probably would have enjoyed more had I been feeling better.

Rating: 3.5/5

The books in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles in order are:

The Rest Falls Away

Rises the Night

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