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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Rest Falls Away

****½ The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason. Fantasy.

see the book trailer!

In every generation, a slayer Venator is born... This generation happens to be in Regency England. In fact, the cover is impressively descriptive (except for that misleading "romance" on the spine). It's Regency Buffy. Or, as the book trailer says, "Buffy meets Pride and Prejudice."

The vampire slayers in this universe are called "Venators," and it's a hereditary trait that can be accepted or passed on to the next generation. Most Venators are male, but Victoria Gardella Grantworth's great aunt Eustacia is one, and her mother was called, but turned it down. Now it's Victoria's turn.

Unlike Eustacia, who sacrificed having a husband and children of her own for her duty, Victoria is determined to have it all, and accepts her childhood sweetheart's suit. Phillip, now a marquess, loves Victoria, but becomes increasingly concerned about her odd disappearances.

And those disappearances are becoming more frequent, as the vampire Lilith moves into town with her minions, looking for a mysterious book that will give her even greater powers.

In addition to Aunt Eustacia, Victoria is aided by the enigmatic Max, who's also a Venator, though not a hereditary one; and the even more mysterious Sebastian, who owns a vampire bar.

I love Buffy, I enjoy Regencies--it's a fabulous combination. It was so much fun watching Victoria try to merge her two lives, and grow in confidence even as her life becomes more complicated. The action is exciting and suspenseful, and there's just enough worldbuilding to keep me grounded and make things logical, but not so much that it gets overwhelming. The three men in her life: Phillip, Max, and Sebastian, are all interesting and hero-worthy in different ways, and there's plenty of sensuality between them.

But I wouldn't call it a romance, regardless of what's on the spine. The romantic scenes are not the focus of the book at all--the focus is on the paranormal action/adventure and on Victoria dealing with a dual life. Which is just fine, because otherwise, the ending would have been infuriating rather than painful and emotional. Er. Hope that wasn't too spoilery, but I think it's precisely because I wasn't expecting a romance that I enjoyed this book so much. As it turns out, the balance between the subplots worked perfectly--the lack of focus on the romance subplot kept me from expecting (and from being disappointed in the lack of) a romantic resolution, or HEA.

I bought this book after reading descriptions of it on Colleen Gleason's blog, and I'm really glad I did. The second book is in my TBR pile, and the third is on my must-buy calendar for next February.


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Sounds interesting and a perfect fit for Halloween night! Loved your "Buffy Meets Pride and Prejudice" line! Great!
This sounds heavenly. I'm exactly in the mood for it.
the second one was even better than the first!
Great! I'd hoped so--it's already in my TBR pile. :)
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