Death Wish: Book I (The Vamp Saga) by Danielle Blanchard Benson

I’ve been a bit behind in getting through my TBR list and writing reviews, but here is the first for this year with the hope of many more to follow soon!  For those of you who are vampire fans this latest one, Death Wish, may be one you want to check out.  It is the first in a darker kind of paranormal romance series.  Not for the light and fluffy crowd, but certainly for those who prefer vamps with a real bite!  I am told that the next novel for the series, Better Off Dead, should be out in the next month or so. Here is my overall review of book one:

Manon Mourey hasn’t led the easiest of lives after being orphaned at an early age and separated from her twin brother, but she thought she had her path all figured out. That comes to a crashing halt when she discovers she is a half-vampire at the ripe age of twenty-eight. Something she never suspected before, despite a severe anemia problem. Not only this, but an elder vampire, Mikkel, wants to turn her fully and marry her. How does one react to going from poor and unwanted to rich and envied? Manon is about to find out, but it isn’t going to be all fun and games.

The upper echelons of the vampire hierarchy are not amused by the idea of a half-breed being turned, and certainly don’t want to see her married to one of the most powerful vamps in the world. While Mikkel might appear to be supportive of her, he has his own hidden agenda and secrets to hide. There is a past she doesn’t know about, and it affects her a lot more than she could ever imagine. She has her work cut out for her if she wants to survive and make it in the undead world. It will take all her street smarts and cunning gained over the years, plus newly developed powers, but she is willing to fight for her right to live and take her place among the vampire elite. Whether they like it or not.

Death Wish is not like any other vampire book I’ve ever read. It is set in a world where the supernatural have come out of the closet and taken over the planet. Humans still have some control, but it is mostly by the vampire’s good graces. There is quite a lot of backstory to cover all the changes that came about after the undead came into the light (figuratively, of course). This makes for a slow start to the book and I found it didn’t really pick up speed until about a quarter of the way through. Once it does, though, the reader is in for a thrilling ride. You’ll be left wanting to know what happens next and how it will all turn out.

The author clearly went through a lot of trouble to develop her characters. They have intricate details of their lives and backgrounds revealed as the story progresses. Often, it will seem like too much information at once, but for those who love genealogy and fully fleshed out characters, it will probably be a treat. The world building is just as richly detailed and will give you an excellent picture of how different things are compared to our own reality. My only complaint here is I would have liked to see the main character out in it more so I could see everything through her eyes, rather than just being told about it. Manon spends much of her time in vampire establishments so you don’t really get the full idea of how humans are reacting to their changed circumstances.

Her relationship with Mikkel is one that will leave you both intrigued and frustrated. He is an old vampire and can often act according to his age, but sometimes he can also be very sweet and romantic. Manon has her own mood shifts, so it is difficult to tell how the couple will behave toward each other at any given time. They both tend to run hot and cold, depending on what is going on in their heads. This makes for a roller-coaster ride of a relationship, and passion flares all the more for the explosive reactions the two have with each other, but it also means they can be rather unpredictable.

Vampires, in general, are not the nice and likeable kind you may find in some paranormal series. The men and women that make up the race in this one are cold, ruthless, and savage. Very few of their own self-imposed rules hold them back. Readers should expect a good deal of violence, foul language, and dark scenes that are morally questionable. For me, this was a nice change of pace from the usual stuff, but may not be for everyone.

I had my doubts on whether I would like this novel in the beginning, due to the slow start, but it was well worth pushing through to the good stuff. Once Death Wish captured my full attention, it didn’t let go until the end. It has a few areas where the author could improve the story, but I would still recommend it to others who enjoy the darker side of paranormal romance. You’ll find this book does not hold back, and gives a realistic take on what the world would look like if vampires ever took over. I’ll be looking forward to the next novel in the series when it is released later this year. The author has definitely got me hooked!


~ by Suzie on February 9, 2012.

One Response to “Death Wish: Book I (The Vamp Saga) by Danielle Blanchard Benson”

  1. Thanks for reviewing my novel, Suzie. It was a treat and I really appreciate you taking the time to share it on your blog. I hope some of your readers decide to go out and buy it. I have nothing but respect for Suzie and her opinions. Thank you. 😉

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