Title: Darkness Dawns
Author: Dianne Duvall
Copyright (Author): 2008
Copyright (Kensington): 2011; 345 pgs.
Series: Immortal Guardians #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
From the back: Once, Sarah Bingham’s biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she’s landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control. In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible — when it means forfeiting the world she’s always known, and the life he would do anything to protect…
1. Reason for choosing this book:
I picked this book to fulfill a shelf requirement for the bookshelf bingo I’m participating in over at Good Reads (link is to the team’s official thread). One of the rules is to post a rating and tell the rest of the team what you liked/disliked about the book (it is required to post something or the the team won’t get credit for the “stamp”). Since that’s the case, I thought it would save time to re-post what I wrote there, here on my blog. I might not do this with every book. It will depend on what I wrote at the time. I chose this one to start with because I wasn’t going to add anything to what was already said. Other than some formatting difference, this write-up is the same as this one here in the official thread. I also thought what I’d already written fit the Three Reason Review format.
2. Reasons for liking/disliking this book:
I liked this book a lot. What I liked:
The world building. Immortal Guardians and vampire have a lot in common. The fangs, sensitivity to sunlight, increased strength and speed, and a need for blood. What makes them different is their “gifts”. Immortal Guardians were born with certain gifts (telepathy, empathy, healing, teleportation, etc.). Once turned by a vampire, their uniqueness transforms the virus. They are less sensitive to sunlight and they don’t have the same level of dependency on blood. Vampires go crazy from the blood lust, have shorter life spans, and rarely work together as an organized group. The Guardians are led by Seth, the oldest (Roland is 937 years old and Seth is still older than that). They protect humans and destroy vampires. They also have a network of human support staff.
The romance. The author took the time to allow Sarah and Roland to get to know each other. Though he initially conceals the truth about himself out of necessity, once Sarah learns Roland’s not human , he answers her questions. They talk about themselves, sharing things about their pasts, and they even discuss the reality of sustaining a long term relationship. There’s no big misunderstanding, no trying to push away from her on his part due to some well-intentioned, but misguided sense of nobility.
Roland. Besides the above, he was likable. A warrior, but not overly alpha. He’s been betrayed, more than once, by people he cared about, people he thought cared for him in return. A couple of them had been women, but that didn’t turn him into a woman-hater. It made him standoffish and hard for him to trust others. He avoids social interactions with humans, so there’s a couple of times throughout the book where he’s at a loss at how to handle things, especially in the beginning. Even his interactions with other Immortal Guardians over time were kept to a bare minimum. He’s a loner. I think his gift made him a naturally compassionate, caring person.
Sarah. Though she wouldn’t last long going up against a vampire alone, she’s no helpless damsel-in-distress either. She save Roland’s life. She strong enough not to fall to pieces at the first sign of danger. She’s pretty good with a gun, having learned to use one while she was living in Texas, and she can definitely fight back — she stabs someone in the butt.
I thought the pacing was pretty good, considering all the talking that goes on in the book. There are two story lines: who has been targeting Roland and how did he manage to amass a small vampire army, and the search for the mysterious person Seth can hear psychically calling out in pain. Maddeningly, the author allows Seth to find out what so special about the person he finds but leaves it as a cliffhanger for the reader. The other story gets a resolution.
I did have one niggling problem: you can see it coming a mile away — because it is a romance novel after all — but I think I would have preferred the Guardian’s scientists doing the “Eureka!” moment than having Seth basically saying “Hey, remember those cockroaches and tornadoes?” Those who’ve read the book will know what I’m talking about.
3. Reasons for recommending this book:
A different take on vampires. Some interesting secondary characters that I hope the author gets the chance to write more about.
Started: 16 April 2011
Finished: 17 April 2011