July 4, 2011

Review: The Vampire Narcise by Colleen Gleason

The Vampire Narcise
Author: Colleen Gleason
Publisher: Mira
Series: The Regency Draculia, Book 3
ISBN: 077832995X
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depsitory

*Novel provided by the publisher via NetGalley

For more information please visit Colleen Gleason's website.
Skilled in the seduction of men, both mortal and immortal, Narcise Moldavi is the greatest weapon in her twisted brother's war among the Dracule. Until she falls for Giordan Cale.

Her first searing encounter with Giordan seals their fierce connection for their eternal lives. But Giordan's vow to help Narcise escape her brother's rule is followed by a betrayal more agonizing than sunlight.

Wounded but determined, Narcise ensnares vampire hunter Chas Woodmore in her quest for revenge and to reclaim her life. He wants her, worships her, will kill for her. And the Dracule never forget a wrong— nor do they forgive.

The Vampire Narcise  is the third installment in the Regency Draculia series by Colleen Gleason, a series that has had some very notable up and downs for me. While this left me hesitant to actually read this novel, I felt that after coming so far with the characters and the author I needed to see how this final chapter ended. Thankfully, I was glad that I did as this novel steps away slightly from the lives of the familiar Voss and Dimitri from the previous novels. Once again, Gleason created a novel that was fresh with interesting characters and great insight into the lives of vampires we had seen but gotten to know very little about in the past. A great novel that once more made me love this interesting world of the Draculia.

To begin with, I especially loved the fact that this novel focused on characters that we hadn't gotten to know before. In past novels we were inundated with information, often the same information, over and over again, as well as being revisited time and again by the same story lines. This novel, however, was once more fresh and interesting making Narcise more three dimensional. In truth, in the past I honestly thought that I would rather detest Narcise. She seemed, well, I don't know how to describe it other then by saying I didn't think that I would be interested in her or her life in the slightest. And yet, I decided to persist simply because once I start a series, it seems like such a waste to not continue. In the end, I rather liked Narcise coming to sympathize with her captivity by her vile and often creepy brother, Cezar Moldavi. Honestly, if you didn't think he was icky in the previous novels, you will in this one. But, I was most surprised that this novel picked up with Narcise and Giordian, a character that I had loved in previous novels, and not Chas Woodmore. I was actually expecting it to begin there, but I have to say I'm thrilled that it didn't because frankly, I am so not a fan. While there is a bit of rehashing, it was in no way as detailed as previous novels and I found myself loving the relationship between these two. It was more dramatic with a darker atmosphere that I rather enjoyed. Of course, it is in this aspect that I found myself wanting to hate Narcise again as Giordian goes to extraordinary lengths for her offering up unexpected sacrifices and she...well, lets just say there was a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions.

The romance is intense and often times surprising, far surpassing the other novels. This aspect was instantly alluring as the connection between Narcise and Giordian is set up from the start. It was interesting seeing this relationship develop, however, I feel that I must warn readers that this is one of those novels that is best not to get too involved with or else it will definitely be a bit of a sucker punch. That's not to say that the ride isn't a complete roller coaster that is fun as hell. But, there is definitely a sting that needs to be recognized to readers easily engrossed in the relationships that characters develop. Of course this leads to something of a triangle as Chas comes in to the picture utterly enamored of Narcise creating some even more deadly intensity to the plot line.

The story itself was well written and interesting bringing to life a new facet of the historical world of the Draculia. The lore is once again wonderful, I completely adore this take on vampirism, and was nicely explored with a story that takes place before and after The Vampire Dimitri. There was plenty of gripping action and suspense throughout to keep you on your toes which is paired nicely with the romantic aspect of the novel often leading to some great and some not so great surprises. Without a doubt, this novel will keep you on your toes eagerly turning pages to know what happens next.

In the end, this novel provided a lot wider range of emotions for me, mostly of the darker variety. And while the characterization was wonderful, I often found myself torn between liking and hating the characters, something you would expect to be annoying, but in truth I rather enjoyed the ambiguity of my feelings toward them. It was, different. In truth, this novel really surpassed my expectations and once again showcased what it was that I loved about the first installment. A great read that will have you gritting your teeth in both frustration and anticipation!

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Sexual Content

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