M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Good Vampires Save Doomed Boy from Evil Vampires

Please, Don't Run Away
from the Cliche

   Maybe I should have said: former hell-raiser must save her little brother from evil vampires...and not add 'with the help of the good vampires'. Whatever.  Add in a few Gullahs plus a spooky Savannah, a goth underground--and Elle Jaspar delivers a fascinating story in Afterlight.

   Picked up Afterlight in a used book store so the book has been around for a while. In fact it's the start of a series. Still, it's a rousing story with lots of novel twists on the vampire motif that makes its so-so plot interesting. In fact, Jaspar provides enough twists throughout her story line to shatter the cliche of Savannah dripping in Spanish moss and Southern gentility.

   Most of the fun comes from the Jaspar's reformed hell-raiser main character, Riley Poe. Her first person viewpoint limits the depth of the story, but the Goth ink-master [like tattoo parlor operator] makes up for it. Her snappy narrative adds sparkle to the dark story line.

   Want colorful characters with clear motivations? Jaspar delivers.  First, she gives us Riley, a kick-ass female who dumped her dark past to care for her little brother after her mother's death. Ho-Hum? Not quite. Jaspar knows the goth lingo and scene enough to make it breathe [at least enough to fool me].

   Her vampires jump way beyond the usual hunkie, blood-sucking motif. Like, did you know that vampires have pissing contests when they drink too much beer? Well, her vampires do all sorts of unexpected things...including the hot one that Riley lusts for but refuses to tumble for for most of the book.

   Yeah, there is romantic sizzling with semi-hot sex scenes that fall far short of erotica. The book falls squarely in the paranormal romance thriller genre. But, to tell the truth, I'm somewhat saddened by flamboyant sex scenes with hot hunks. Can't dumpy guys have enough imagination to give creative sex? At least, most authors I've read haven't had the imagination to create that twist.

   Afterlight's fast paced, good vs evil plot will keep its images galloping across your mind. Jaspar has a knack for giving just enough detail to create a comprehensive picture without belaboring its elements. The book is tightly written in the sense that the plot doesn't wander or tread water either. The plot felt a little simplistic to me, but it's speed more than made up for it. This is a thriller, not a who-dun-it.

Afterlight turned out to be the first in a series called The Dark Ink Chronicles, detailing inker extraordinaire Riley Poe's adventures with vampire-kind and other preternaturals. I'll recommend the series for vampire fans. But this book stands alone. I think most paranormal readers of many genres will like the elegance of the world Jaspar created. You can read excerpts and more reviews on
Amazon      and     Barnes & Noble.

~~#~~
My Writing Rut

Hallelujah.

   The beginning of my novel is finally taking shape. Pillar has made On the Run her own with a different, more complete take on my Andor world. Only one problem. It's a novel. While I've some 35,000 words drafted, I've still a long ways to go. About half of the draft needs a strong revisions which include added chapters, from different viewpoints...including the viewpoint of the demons who lusts for Pillar.

   We'll see what happens. I'm going back and rewriting all the beginning chapters to lay the new platform now that I know what I think I need to do. Next on the docket, writing a new chapter from the viewpoint of Thelma, Pillar's kin who drove Pillar's mother away from the Bittermount mages. Gotta get back my Southern twang.

   No. I'm not from the south. I grew up in northern California in a blue collar neighborhood with a lot of transplanted "Arkies".

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