Dear Ms. Forrest,
I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that there are a lot of vampire series to be found in the paranormal subgenre. While there seems to be growing weariness about their prevalence, vampires have many loyal readers and as long as that continues, vampire books will continue getting published. But I also think that makes it more difficult for a new writer to stand out.
Fia Kahill is an FBI agent who happens to be a vampire. Fia comes from a vampire clan that fled Ireland a few centuries ago and founded the small American coastal town of Clare Point. When one of her relatives is killed, she’s called back to her hometown to find the murderer and learn if it’s a random act of violence or if vampire slayers have found them again. Fia’s task is further complicated by the arrival of another FBI agent, Glen Duncan, who’s also been assigned to the case. Because not only does Fia have to keep the existence of the Kahill vampires a secret from Glen, he’s the spitting image of her long-dead lover, Ian–the man who betrayed her, led a group of vampire slayers to slaughter the Kahills, and caused her clan to flee Ireland.
One thing I found different about your vampire mythos was that you introduced the cycle of death and rebirth. The Kahills age, grow old, and die. But their deaths are brief; after three days they are reborn and the cycle continues again, only broken by beheading or burning. It must be a reality check to relive childhood and puberty again and again, when the vampires neither have their memories or their powers. What wasn’t so clear to me was how the entire Kahills ended up vampires in the first place. Was it really just because God damned them for turning their backs on Him? I get the feeling there’s more to this story, because the Kahills can’t possibly have been the only clan who rejected God.
I feel conflicted about Fia. I think she’s an interesting character between her guilt over Ian and the way she tries to make amends for her mistake but always comes up short in the eyes of her relatives, but I also found it annoying the way she said she would stop hunting humans one minute and then go barhopping for prey the next. Her desire to hunt humans is likened to an addiction, but frankly she didn’t seem like she was trying very hard to break it. The book does best when it shows Fia interacting with her relatives in her hometown. I think anyone who’s ever moved to the city and then gone home again can empathize with Fia’s struggle to move into the future when your family remembers your past.
I will also be the first person to admit I am not a dedicated romance reader. I come at books from the fantasy and paranormal angle, so I might not be the best judge of whether a romantic storyline is believable or not. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the romance between Fia and Glen was underdeveloped and rushed. When they meet, there’s an obvious attraction but because for much of the book, Glen is engaged to another woman and Fia barhops for prey, has a shapechanging friend with benefits, and deals with an ex-boyfriend, we see very little development between them as a couple until the last third.
And speaking of Fia’s ex-boyfriend Joseph, I felt that storyline was extraneous. In the beginning I thought his character brought good conflict to the story, but the resolution to that subplot was a letdown and felt like a cheat. Now I can’t help but think Joseph was just introduced here so that we, as readers, would be familiar with his backstory when he’d get his own book somewhere down the line.
In addition to a unresolved storyline regarding the murdered woman found in the alleyway at the beginning, this feels very much like a first book in a series. While there is no cliffhanger ending to disappoint readers expecting an HEA, I’m not sure the rest of it will be enough to keep them coming back for more. C+
This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.