Alexia is a dhampire – half human and half vampire, born in the savage times when the vampires first rose from their long hiding places and made war on the world
It’s now a very different world. The treaty has established human Enclaves and vampire Citadels – with clear Zones between them in a desperate attempt to prevent another war breaking out between them. But there are factions in both governments waiting for a chance to march again and desperate to do what they can to bring about the complex.
Both sides hear of an illegal vampire colony in the zone – both sides have to investigate to see who is responsible and how badly the treaty has been breached.
Alexia works for Aegis, the human defence agency as a spy and agent, her job is to enter the Zone and combat covert actions from Erebus, the Vampire Citadel. Damon is a Daysider, a rare daywalking vampire hybrid who works as an agent for the vampires. Forced to work together, they investigate just who is behind this colony and try to find a way to stop a seeming inevitable war.
The main thing I liked about this book was the world setting – a post war dystopian vampire setting? Two hostile powers, humanity and the vampires, both controlling their own nations and glaring at each other? A delicate balance of politics and agents to try and prevent another mutually destructive war while extremist factions on both sides are just dying to bring on round 2? Different varieties and mutations of vampire and dhampire acting as agents for both sides, trying to prove their worth and loyalty in societies that barely trust them and will never fully accept them? Both factions have also had to make major compromises that, on some level, makes their societies thoroughly unsatisfactory as well – creating even more pressure for change, even if change could bring everything down in ruins.
Yes, sign me up. This is designed to intrigue me
The plot isn’t entirely original per se – though it’s not overdone either. It combines with the world and a series of twists and plots to really really work. The plotting of both sides is complicated and nuanced, there are some excellently placed red herrings, lots of confusions and distractions and a constant pressure on who to trust and why. This couples with the really unique and fascinating world setting, drastically different view points and societies that have, at best, made some very severe concessions which neither are happy about and certainly are questionably moral or suitable for their people to make for a very compelling story. Except for the romance (which I will get to) the pacing is good – well run with a nice
I think I would have been happier with Alexia being conscious a little longer at the beginning of the book – she was rendered helpless and defenceless, in need of aid and protection far too quickly for her to develop as competent in her own right.
I did find the ending… too neat and a little forced. It ended nicely with everything where it should be and a set up for new stories with the same characters in the same world; but it also had a major doozey of a coincidence with Damon’s old love interest and the intervention of a Deux Ex Machinae to make the story work. I’m hoping that they will be developed into a greater role in later books and not just be a convenient super power dropped in to make this story actually work.