Last week I went on a Jeaniene Frost binge. I’ve been avoiding reading her series mostly because I’m not a huge fan of book series with a recurring main couple -I’m always concerned about them breaking up- and because judging by the reviews Cat wasn’t my type of heroine. Since Marie has been telling me to read them for over a year now I decided to give them a try, and I’ve got to admit that I liked them. I can’t exactly pinpoint why I liked them because I did find Cat annoying as hell, but the books kind of grew on me and now I’m addicted. I’ll probably do a review of the whole series, but meanwhile you can find Marie’s take on This Side of the Grave here.
Not only did I read all of the Night Huntress books, but I also read the spinoff series as well, and of those two my favorite was Eternal Kiss of Darkness. Both this book and the first one First Drop of Crimson are stand-alone from each other but not from the Night Huntress series, this means that even though you can read one without having read the other, you can’t read either one without having read the Night Huntress series first -at least until the fourth book- because they are full of spoilers. So my suggestion is that you treat these two books as part of the original series and just read every book in order.
In Eternal Kiss of Darkness we meet Kira Graceling, she is a private investigator who one nigh happens to come across a man being tortured by a band of nasty looking bad guys. What she doesn’t know is that there is nothing ordinary about the man nor about the bad guys, you see, that man is a vampire and the guys torturing him are ghouls. It also turns out that the vampire is not even an ordinary vampire; he is Mencheres, a millenary master vampire and one of the most powerful vampires in the world. In the end is Mencheres who ends up saving Kira from the Ghouls and not the other way around. He takes her to his home to erase her mind of everything that happened (mind control is a common ability among vampires) but when he can’t do it things get a little complicated, especially because he can’t stop thinking about her and there is a powerful danger looming over him.
When I discovered that Mencheres was this book’s hero I wasn’t that trilled, I didn’t care for him until I read book four on the Night Huntress series. He is an intriguing character because he is really old and wise. I was curious about such character being a hero, but a little apprehensive as well because he almost seemed too old and too wise. I’m happy to say I was wrong. All those traits that made me doubt his hero potential ended up being what made him a great hero. He has many layers and I think he is the most complex character in this word that Jeanine has created.
The other reason this book worked was because the heroine is also an amazing character and had great chemistry with Mencheres. She is strong and independent, and she loves deeply. What I liked the most about this book was that Mencheres and Kira loved each other and you could feel it. It was almost sweet how this “old as dirt” vampire, who has a dark and troubled past, who doesn’t see himself as worthy of someone’s love and who is very powerful, finds himself falling helplessly in love with a human.
Frost's vampires have long teeth’s, green glowing eyes, drink blood, get sunburned but aren’t otherwise affected by the sun, might develop superpowers in time, and in general are quite similar to what we are used to in a vampire. But even if there is nothing particularly new about those vampires, the world that she has created is rich and complex and you really need to read the whole series to grasp that. I don’t think you will enjoy this book if you haven’t read the Night Huntress series, is a good book, but it won’t be the same for you without the added background.
If you have read the Night Huntress series, be warned that even though this is the same universe, and there even is a cameo of Cat and Bones, the style is completely different. The narration is third person multiple POV, that might throw you a bit if you are used to the first person Cat’s POV of the other books.
What happens in this book doesn’t affect the Night Huntress universe, so you don’t really need to read this one to keep up with the series.
This was my favorite of all of Frost's books, and I much rather read this series than the original. I am more into this type of book and I think Jeaniene does it better, but that is a matter of opinion. I can really see fans of the series not liking this one, and none fans of the series linking it.
Overall Jeaniene is a recommended author for urban fantasy fans who like their books heavy on the romance and rich on the world-building.
Review by Brie
An immortal war has been brewing in the darkness... and now one woman has stumbled into the shadows.
Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.
At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears - this fearless, beautiful....human who braved death to rescue him. Though her burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.
But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.
Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World, Book 2) by Jeaniene Frost
Avon. July 27, 2010.
Avon. July 27, 2010.