These days books, digital and otherwise, and bowing under the weight from all the vampire books out there. Given this sheer preponderance, finding a new approach to a well-worn formula can be daunting. To her credit, Kristen Painter focuses instead on well-written characters and a compelling plot.
The time is about fifty years in the future, in a world that is distinctly more Bladerunner-ish than today. Chrysabelle (wince-worthy name in truth…) is a Comarre, a unique subspoeci3s of human whose blood is more delicious than the usual pint of B Pos. For various expected reasons she flees too Florida, where she crosses path with a cursed vampire outcast named Malkom (the usual fanged beefcake number…)
So far, as expected. The world building is not too detailed, but at this point it;s hardly necessary, people know what to expect. The real strength of the story are the characters – Chrysabelle is a surprisingly appealing heroine. Malkom’s sense of doomed fate self-loathing can be grating after a while, but fits fully within the expectations of a romantic hero. The supporting characters (shapeshifters, ghosts, etc…) really give the story an extra zing, being well shaped and distinctive in their own right.
All in all, a nice breezy potboiler, perfect for a beach read or a long ride on a train. I winced at some of the more cliched parts, but went through a hundred pages before coming up for air. Not bad indeed.