REVIEW: Tall, Dark and Dead by Tate Hallaway
Dear Ms. Hallaway,
The cartoon cover, the back blurb and lots of the reviews/descriptions at Amazon would lead people to think this is a comedic Vamp Lit. Let me tell readers that it’s not. There are a few humorous jokes and situations but for the most part, you’ve made this book pretty serious.
Garnet Lacey is a witch on the run. The Vatican has a new witch hunting group and they murdered all the other members of Garnet’s Minneapolis coven. Now, she’s relocated to Madison, WI and is the manager of an occult store. When Sebastian Von Traum enters her store looking for mandrake (preferably harvested under a full moon by naked witches, oh and could you get some that was grown under a gallows?) she knows she’s in trouble because he’s gorgeous, he’s available and he’s dead. No aura, you see.
She’s also having to deal with Lilith, the original badass Goddess. Garnet channeled Lilith after walking in on the witch hunters standing over the corpses of her dead coven. Now she’s having trouble keeping Lilith from taking over her body and turning Madison into a slaughterhouse.
Soon Garnet is fighting for her life. The Vatican witch hunters want her dead but more than that, they want the secret formula Sebastian used to turn himself into a vampire 1000 years ago since it allows him to live in daylight and survive on less blood than most vampires. Can Garnet and Sebastian escape the hunters, control Lilith and hope for any kind of life together?
The vampires in this story aren’t cutesy or tortured by their need for blood. They aren’t angst ridden and haven’t discovered a way to totally avoid feeding off of humans. I like that you make them both good and bad. They are what they are and accept it. You also have them display the character traits they had as humans which I thought made them more well rounded characters.
Garnet is a witch and you’ve invested a lot of time to really make her one. She automatically says, “Oh, Goddess,” knows how to cast spells, has her alter set up and truly believes what she practices. Garnet does grow as a person as the story progresses but she has an annoying habit of being wishy-washy about vampires and I think trusts Sebastian very quickly for someone who’s gone through the horrors that she has.
I appreciate the time you’ve taken to make the story feel authentic. I don’t hang around occult stores or know much about astrology so I’m not sure how much of this is made up and how much is accurate. I also like that you don’t force an all around HEA. There are some plot lines that aren’t resolved in a group hug and the story is more open ended. I’m not sure if this means there’s a sequel in the works.
It took me a little while to mentally switch gears and stop looking for humor in this book. I think the descriptions and cover may lead some people to buy the book and end up disappointed while others who might want a more serious story could overlook it. B for you.