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Sunday, August 10, 2008:
"Rises the Night" by Colleen Gleason
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Signet (June 5, 2007)
ISBN-10: 045122146X
ISBN-13: 978-0451221469
The glorious nineteenth-century city of Rome gives rise to a new threat from the Immortal Undead...
Victoria Gardella has been a vampire slayer for just over a year, balancing her life as a peer of Society with the dangerous role that takes her out on moonlit streets, stake in hand.
As Victoria races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced, she is accompanied by the unlikely Sebastian Vioget, a man as tempting as he is untrustworthy. But when Victoria discovers that she has been betrayed by one of her most trusted allies, the truth will challenge all her powers as a Venator – and as a woman.
It took me awhile to pick up this book after reading "The Rest Falls Away", which had quite the emotional ending. Yet I chose this one for my flight to San Fran, and I was glad I did. This series is addicting.
After a difficult year, Victoria is back on the streets, eagerly seeking out vampires to stake. While she'd been away, she'd spent the time in mourning, and in training, honing her Venator skills. She is more than ready to get back to fighting, and finds a new danger than what she's used to. She also has not seen Sebastian since the night of the fire, and she can't forget the untrustworthy Frenchman and his seductive charm. But as usual, he manages to show up when she least expects it, only this time she's not the only one surprised. There is unfinished business between them that Victoria is not completely sure she wants to deal with, yet it's difficult to resist him.
Max is another story. The brooding Venator has returned to Italy, and Victoria is glad of it. She doesn't need his disapproving looks or comments interfering with her slaying. But her Aunt Eustasia is worried; she hasn't heard from him in months, and has no idea where he actually is.
After a series of events, and with the uncertainty of Max's whereabouts, Victoria decides to go to Italy, where she talks vampires with Lord Byron and tries to navigate the sophisication of Italian society. She also discovers more about the world of the Tutela, humans who are vampire sympathizers and obsessed with immortal life. And while in Rome, she also finds Max, who is not happy to see her. Not one bit.
While in Italy, Victoria discovers a great threat: Akvan's Obelisk, an object that has the power to control the undead for anyone who gets their hands on it. Now her problem is wondering who she can trust while trying to prevent the obelisk from falling into the wrong hands....
My thoughts:
  • Victoria is wiser now, more tragic, yet also more realistic about her expectations of her role as a Venator, and the responsibilities and limitations that go along with it. Having lost someone she loves, she knows she cannot walk away from her calling, and will do whatever she must to protect the world from demons, vampires, and unscrupulous humans. I really began to respect her more here, and sometimes I forget how young she is to have so many burdens and suffer such tragedy. Sometimes she's impulsive, and headstrong, but I believe her heart is always in the right place.
  • Okay, I admit it: I'm totally drawn in by Sebastian, and despite the fact that Victoria doesn't fully trust him, there is an attraction, and an affection there between them that cannot be denied. I can't help it, it's the whole "luscious French accent, let me see your vis bulla, I'm-too-sssexy to fight vampires" attitude Sebastian had going on right from the start. I'm into it, though I have a feeling that Ms. Gleason is going to throw me a curveball with Max. Well, I'm willing to be convinced. Bring it on.
  • Much like how I enjoyed that Dracula appeared on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", I thought it was cool to see Dr. John Polidori and Lord Byron in Victoria's world. I dig it when legend and/or actual history is exhibited into a work of fiction. Just makes the story that much more interesting, especially after reading up on Polidori and how he died at a young age. Does make you wonder, no?
  • NOOOOO!!!! I know there was a reason for it and it sometimes sacrifices have to be made, especially the most difficult kind, but, but, how could you???? And if you've read the book, you know exactly what I'm talking about - a betrayal of the worst kind. This is why I can't let myself consider Max, at least not at this point. That HURT. I hated Max, absolutely completely felt such rage that reason didn't come into it. Didn't matter if he was devastated by what he had to do, I wanted Victoria to stake him. No, I wanted to stake him myself.
Just like at the end of book #1, my heart was heavy and very sad, yet also hopeful (since I had book #3 already in my possession). To me, this is a sign of a clever and adept writer because I am conpletely drawn in and cannot wait for more. My emotions are engaged, and I don't feel that I'm being strung along just for the hell of it.
I give Ms. Gleason credit because I was all vampired out, but my extreme love of BtVS tempted me to pick up this series and actually read it, and I've had absolutely no regrets, and I'm nowhere feeling burned out or bored by yet another vampire storyline. This series is strongly compelling, interesting, jolly fun, and grabs your attention right from the start. I don't find myself flipping through pages waiting to get to the good stuff because it's all good stuff. And I want more of it. Much, much more.
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

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  1. i have the first one and i am very torn ,like you said i am quite Vampired out but the review are really glowing.....

  2. I liked the first one, but have had this second one sitting on my nightstand for ages and ages. I really should read it by the sounds of it.

  3. I've been meaning to pick up the first one. So I'm behind. The fact that this last one was an emotional experience for you shows the series is pretty powerful!

  4. Pidute, I am a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which Gleason's series has traces of, plus the infamous bookpimp MaryKate gushed over these books, and she was so totally right. I am completely hooked.

    Marg, it took me awhile to grab the 2nd one after reading the ending of "The Rest Falls Away". Her books are very emotional, which I love, but it still makes it hard to read sometimes.

    Carolyn Jean, Colleen definitely evokes strong feelings in her books, and I love that. I warn you though, some of those moments are very difficult to go through. Be prepared for that.

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