Veronica is determined to find her long missing mother – even if it means returning to Minneapolis which her family – and the Brotherhood – long abandoned.
Alone, she must find what support and contacts she can among the Deamhan and vampires of the city – none of them particularly friendly at the best of times; but the city is overpopulated and the Deamhan have abandoned their old rules. They, and the vampires, hunt and prey on whatever they can. A researcher looking for answers is just looking for trouble.
This world is definitely one I’m interested in – the concept of the different kinds of Deamhan, the idea that there were more kinds before, that these Deamhan rest on a world filled with dark magic and vampires and werewolves and who knows what else – with added complexity with how the Deamhan and the vampires actually interact even when someone of them seem to share a lot of similarities considering their similar feeding habits. The Deamhan have a society and rules that I really want to delve into – a history, a hierarchy, laws and rebellions all that just begs to be explored.
Which is why I’m kind of frustrated that it wasn’t. On the one hand, I’m glad some wasn’t since they were irrelevant to the plot – like werewolves, for example. But there was a lot more about Deamhan and vampire society that would definitely have been relevant but wasn’t explored.
Especially since we have the Brotherhood, an organisation of mystical researchers who have spent generations investigating Deamhan – and just Deamhan. I’d like an explanation – they know so little about vampires or the dark magic Deamhan use – why the indifference? Why the research in the first place? What do they hope to achieve? And if they’re generally non-threatening to the Deamhan, why do the Deamhan hate them? And if the Deamhan hate them, why do they do so little about it?
This applies a lot to the plot and character motivations as well – like, I understand Veronica wanting to find her mother. But why did she go to the Dark Sepulchre, what did she hope to learn? Why is she going around the various Deamhan Sanctuaries that have been burned down – what clues does she hope to gain? She seems to do a lot of things and I don’t know why. This whole book could use a lot of why and how – why do people do things, how are things organised, how are things connected, what is the history. It means the world and characters are intriguing enough for me to ask questions about them but I’m not getting answers which I think would really hold this book together more.