Rises the Night: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
Finished on 9/6/08
Rating: 3/5 (So-so)
R.I.P. III Challenge #1
The Gardella Vampire Chronicles continue as the glorious nineteenth-century city of Rome gives rise to a new threat from the immortal undead....
Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy 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. She has learned brutal and heartbreaking lessons about the sacrifices that must be made in order to save humanity from the evil that secretly preys upon it, but she has not wavered in her vow to fight on.
Now, in Italy, a powerful vampire is amassing the power to control the souls of the dead. As Victoria races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced, her unlikely companion is 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....
Vampire novels are quite the rage these days. Teens (as well as adults) who devoured Stephenie Meyers' Twilight series are looking for more of this genre to satisfying their bloodthirsty cravings. At work, the science fiction and romance shelves are brimming with all sorts of paranormal series, making it easy for this bookseller to handsell books such as Colleen Gleason's Gardella series to those who have finished the Twilight Saga (and, perhaps, who are looking for something a bit more sophisticated and less permeated with teenage angst).
I thoroughly enjoyed Gleason's The Rest Falls Away and was eager to pick up the second in the series (a signed copy, nonetheless!) to kick-off the start of Carl's R.I.P. III Challenge. Unfortunately, I find myself in the minority when it comes to adoring praise for this sophomore entry into the series. It took me quite a long time to get interested in the storyline. It wasn't until the last 100 pages or so that I became completely engrossed in Victoria's dilemma and began to enjoy the swashbuckling feel of the battle between Venators and Vampires. Until that point, I felt the narrative focused more on the romance (read: steamy lust) between the characters and less on the slaying of vampires.
Having said that, the historical setting, strong character development, absence of predictability, and simple curiosity have convinced me to continue on and see how the series progresses with The Bleeding Dusk and When Twilight Burns. And, yes, this is a series that most definitely should be read in order. The opening pages of Rises the Night reveal a significant spoiler--something that should only be discovered for the first time in the final pages of The Rest Falls Away.
Read what others have to say about this book:
(Click on their blog for their full review)
A Reader's Journal (Rises the Night is a gripping, page-turning, nail-biting read.)
Stainless Steel Droppings (I experienced an honest-to-goodness Wow! moment in chapter one of Rises the Night and was engrossed in the story from that time on.)
Bookfoolery and Babble (Colleen has a tremendous skill for blending adventure with subtle romance, fun dialogue and historical detail. The book is absolutely gripping and I have to admit that I particularly love the way Sebastian's character continues to come into question.)
In Spring it is the Dawn (The fact that I’m getting hooked on a vampire romance series when I’d previously avoided all things relating to vampires or books labelled romance [I have read my share of chicklit but I never usually even visit the romance section of the bookstore] is not lost on me!)
Dolce Bellezza (You are looking at the first book I ever bought from the Romance section of Borders. Normally, I go for the New York Times Bestsellers, or mystery, or anything but a cover with an airbrushed man's chest on it.)