September 7, 2008

Rises the Night

Rises the Night: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
2007 Signet
352 pages
Finished on 9/6/08
Rating: 3/5 (So-so)
R.I.P. III Challenge #1

Publisher's Blurb:

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.)


  1. I am reading this at the moment!

  2. I agree with your comparison to the Twilight series and the Gardella Chronicles: "something a bit more sophisticated and less permeated with teenage angst."

  3. Les! ~ Did you get a haircut?! New glasses?! Maybe it's the outfit. Is that new?! Tee Hee Love your new image. :) *grin*

  4. If you're in the minority for not loving this one, I'm *really* in the minority because I found the first one to be only so-so. I've got Rises the Night but I'm not sure when I'll pick it up.


  5. Thanks for the link. Funny how Bellezza and I said similar things. :) Maybe I'm having such fun with these books because they are so different from what I would normally pick up.

  6. Tammy, I was a bit underwhelmed by the first one, but I thought I would give the second one a go.

  7. I think the thing that caused me to read them is all the furor in the blogosphere. I never read anything from the genre of Romance, as you so kiindly posted about me; I admire Colleen for writing a book (four!) and getting it published, but like you, I was more interested in the steamy plot than the vampire slayings themselves.

  8. I think book three does a better job with being more adventure laden and book four does a nice job with balancing romance and adventure without being really steamy. All the stuff is present but I felt book three and four moved more towards being historical horror fantasy books and less 'romance-y', if that makes any sense. But I suspect that it is the reader who brings as much to these books as anything else and that determines what one focuses on in the story.

  9. I actually just finished Book 3, and in my opinion, it was the best one so far. I've like all of them so far, though. And I don't go for all that "romance-y" stuff, as Carl just put it!! So I hope you continue on with the series.

  10. Marg - I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts!

    Booklogged - The teenage angst was just too much for me (in the Twilight series). I read the first two, but know I won't continue on. In spite of not falling in love with Rises the Night, I'll definitely continue.

    Joy - Thanks! Since I still use Classic Blogger, I can't change my header (without a lot of frustration), so I decided to make a minor change and try out a new image. Glad you like it. :)

    Tammy - Well, maybe you'll enjoy it better than I did. I'll let you know what I think of the remaining two in the series, as I plan to read them in the coming months.

    Nat - You're welcome! I probably should've checked with everyone first, but I ran out of time that night and wanted to get the post up. Yeah, that is funny how you and Bellezza said similar things. :)

    Bellezza - And that's what got me reading them. Everyone seems to love 'em and I didn't want to miss out on all the fun. I think you misunderstood my comment though -- I was actually more interested in the vampire slayings and thought the steamy plot was getting a little carried away.

    Carl - I'm glad to hear this. I love the adventurous aspect of the books (I was reminded of The Three Musketeers in that final action scene!) and look forward to more in the remaining books. Having said that, a few steamy scenes won't be frowned upon. ;)

  11. Hi Lesley--
    I have given you an award--stop on over and pick it up. I love your blog and have picked quite a few to-be-reads off of your sidebar!
    (page after page)

  12. Stephanie - Oh, this is good to hear! Now I'm more anxious to get a copy. Thanks for the positive recommendation.

  13. Kim - Thank you, thank you! I'll head over to your blog and see what I've won. :)

  14. Oooh, I'll have to add these to the TBR list. I've just finished book two of the Twilight series & although I'm enjoying them, the teenage angst is starting to wear thin.

  15. Tammy - I think you'll enjoy this series, especially if you like the paranormal genre with a bit of sophistication.

    Thanks for stopping. I've got your blog marked to peruse later this weekend. I love your header!


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