Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Color me shallow. I must be to like this book.
Let's start with what is wrong.
And then this:
Notice any similarities? No? Then look at this:
I'd like to compliment the editor for the original choice of the cover.
Unfortunately the similarities with the Chicagoland Vampires series do not end with the cover. Miranda and Merit (from here on M&M's) are both humans who get attacked in the first chapters of the book. While Merit dies immediately and gets Turned, Miranda "only" gets raped but both are saved by their future love interest. David and Ethan are both heads of this "CSI Vampire" show. While David is a PRIME, Ethan is a LIEGE, where one is blond, the other is dark. Both fight off some vampire integralists. So yeah, I'm not going to point out all the similarities in this book but there are a tad too many.
Second. This must be the most predictable book ever written in history. So predictable that you know how it's going to end just by looking at the cover (you see Miranda wearing the Signet that signifies she is the Queen) and reading the title (if the Signet hanging on her neck was not a sufficient explanation, a caption is added to enlighten readers: "Queen of Shadows"). So, apparently, no need to read this book - more kudos for the cover choice.
There's a plot inconsistency about halfway through the book where Miranda falls into a creek, badly sprains an ankle and after a few minutes packs up her stuff - when there is no talk whatsoever of her leaving - and trots outside by herself carrying her suitcase. I think there must be half a scene missing there or there is something I didn't get.
I'd also like to ask Ms. Sylvan why vampires do not have central heating in the huge mansion where they live, where the supreme vampire head is also a technology geek. They live with fireplaces, how romantic is that? (and they love ICE CREAM!)
So why, WHY did I read this book till the last page and even cheered at the end?
I think it was because of David and Miranda. I loved them. Both.
Miranda starts off like a total weak, passive character but she seriously grows some balls during the book. Also, there's never the "loves me, loves me not" gut-wrenching bit we find in so many other books to keep up the suspense. She lives a truly terrible situation at the beginning, grieves and then moves on, taking everything that she is left with and making the best out of it. She gets a bit too much superwoman at the end but at that point I was already cheering too much and loving her too much to notice.
David is my favorite. Finally, finally a non-macho hunk. Rest assured, he is hot and powerful. But, for once, we also see him cry, grieve, give in to his desperation and be fragile. I liked him being a computer geek.
I also liked the fact that they don't exactly fall in love with each other at first sight, he even fucks around a little bit - and to this, I would have totally objected to because she DOES NOT, and it would have only been fair if not for the fact that she had just been raped.
There are some seriously interesting secondary characters, Kat the human friend (cool), Faith the second in command (cooler) and Sophie the fighting mentor (kick-ass cool). Action packed, decent dialogues, this book was worth my money and kept me highly entertained for a couple of nights. I think it completely fulfilled its function.
So yes, I will definitely read the second installment when it comes out (I'm already preordering) and I also recommend it. If you're looking for a light read with heart, action and your usual suspects the vampires, this is a good book.
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