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Sex, Lies and Vampires - Katie MacAlister

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Genre: Horror / Erotic / Author: Katie MacAlister / ISBN: 9780340951996 / Publication Date: 2011 / Reprint / Publisher: Avon Books

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      15.01.2012 10:10
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      Another vampire world!!

      ==Background:==


      A couple of years ago I started reading novels by Charlaine Harris. These deal with the character Sookie Stackhouse in a world full of Vampires and other Super Human beings. I found I really enjoyed all these stories, so when I noticed this novel in the charity shop I thought I should give it a try and see how it compared, because it deals with Vampires again.


      ==About the author:==


      Katie MacAlister was born in America in 1964. She specialises in writing mystery and supernatural books. Having previously tried such jobs as a Sales Assistant, a bird skeleton cleaner and a Fortram Programmer. Thus far she was written 27 books since her first back in 2002. The book I am about to review is part of the Dark Series which has nine separate stories of which 'Sex, Lies and Vampires' is the third and was written in 2005.


      ==Synopsis of the book:==


      Ms Nell Harris arrives in Prague to meet a Melissande Banacek in the belief she will be working for this lady studying a Medieval piece of armour this lady has in her possession. This is because Nell is an expert in this field and works as a researcher for an American University. However, Melissande has mislead her slightly and is willing to let her have this priceless item in return for her help with a problem she has.


      Her nephew Damian a 10 year old boy has been kidnapped by an evil Vampire called 'The Betrayer' and Nell's help is required in this process. This is because Mellissande has been advised Nell is 'A Charmer' and has the ability to draw Charms and destroy other Charms set so that a boundary may be crossed. Nell is astonished by this ladies information as she has not used this skill she inherited for 10 years when during a Charm it went horribly wrong and she ended up killing her best friend and having a stroke herself which weakened the left side of her body.


      Now she is being asked to use this skill again that she has tried to forget she ever possessed to save the boy. However no sooner as she reluctantly agreed to help then she bumps into this Betrayer, a man who has as the name suggests betrayed his own people and killed them in his search for power and dominance. The problem that Nell has is as soon as she meets this evil Vampire she is drawn to him and starts to fall in love with this handsome creature. How can she now try and save Damian when she is also in the clutches of this man she is attracted too?


      ==My thoughts on this book:==


      Well it was certainly different would be my first thought out this unusual supernatural mystery. I think I would have to say I am undecided about whether I liked it for not as there where some really good positives for the book but at the same time there where also negatives that made me struggle to enjoy what I was reading.


      This could be explained to some degree by that fact this was my first experience of Katie MacAlister's work. As for me it usually takes at least a couple of stories before I grow to like an authors work and really get to know and understand their characters personalities. But having said that I did not find this the case with Charlaine Harris when I first read her, I was immediate drawn into her characters world, so for me anyway on first examination the books are not as good, despite holding a lot of similarities in concepts.


      I think the second reason I struggled to enjoy this story was because it was also a love story. It not that I don't appreciate a love story but I found this one very unusual and highly unlikely. Because the books lead character and in theory the hero is very early on in the story captured and held by the evil Betrayer Adrian and rather than despise this man for his evil doings, she is not afraid of him and mocks him and very soon starts to feel an attraction to him. And while I can except you opposites attract and you cannot help who you fall in love with her mocking, sarcasm and bravery in a life threatening position just seemed unbelievable and lacked credibility for me.


      It seemed so unbelievable that this horrible vampire who had tormented his people for centuries should let this previously unknown woman take the mickey out of him and that she should trust this man. Even when she knew all about his past and he would do nothing to defend his actions, she continued to taunt and laugh at him, which he in return did nothing about.


      The story began in an unusual way that I found confusing. As Nell immediately found herself in an office with Supernatural beings Imps that where not advised how these came about or what there role would be in the story. I think in hindsight it was the author introducing the unexpected and unknown to the story immediately. However, it was not this that confused me it was the fact that Nell had been brought over from America to use her Charming skills. And I found the description about what this was inadequate and only after reading another 100 pages did I start to understand exactly what these skills where.


      I did find the story despite this easy to like and find interesting. The concept was always fascinating and for Nell to be attracted to the Betrayer the most weirdest idea I had ever heard and in a lot of ways completely unrealistic. But to give the author her credit she opened up a different side of this man. It helped that Nell had watched and quoted television programmes such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer in trying to understand this Vampire world as this let Adrian explain exactly what his world was like and about.


      It was always a fast paced story with lots of action and excitement. Although I must say I did not particularly enjoy the intimate scenes, I thought they could have been more left to the imagination, but I suppose it was an expression of the main characters love and an important theme of the story. With an action packed conclusion that in the concept of the story made sense and rounded the story of well.


      What for me made this story was the humour and wit of Nell the books leading character. I found her ridiculing of The Betrayer highly unlikely but also highly amusing. I loved the fact he also could not believe the way she treated him and this was written so well and so consistently. As a result I always found myself chuckling at their interplay and it made a story that I found unbelievable pallet-able. I will not give too much away but the situation involving Nell and the Mummies was just brilliant and just so funny I had to keep re-reading it.


      I found in Nell quite an unusual and likeable character. As well as her humour I found I really liked her lack of belief in what she was called in to do and the fact there was a real reason why she did not want to get drawn again into the Charmers world. Although I did find it bizarre that she found the truth about the Betrayer when no one else had ever questioned it in the previous 400 plus years. She had a happy outgoing nature that made her very endearing with a wit that was priceless.

      She was well supported by a small cast that seemed to keep popping up in the story. These were in the main good characters, but I would have liked greater detailed of them and their attributes as I felt I didn't always understand their motivation for acting as they did. There seemed a lot of history about what had happened previously that was obscured from the reader, probably to increase the mystery aspect of them.


      The story was always written from Nell's perspective which was always the best idea for the story. Because this gave her the opportunity to ask all the other characters in the story questions that the reader needed to know and understand. And while it would have been good to understand more of The Betrayer's thought he did share a lot of these telepathically with Nell during their dialogue that helped you understand him a lot better.


      I found the length of the story to be just right at 342 pages. And while this story took me a little while to understand exactly what was happening and why I did not feel I was particularly disadvantaged by reading the third in this series first rather than the first one. I did feel in this series a prologue and an epilogue would be useful as there is a lot to learn and understand about this unusual world.


      ==Conclusion:==

      As far as Vampire stories go I think this is quite an average offering. A lot of what I read I found hard to believe and Nell's lack of fear and mickey tacking of The Betrayer while very funny was also very hard to believe. It was this undercurrent throughout the book of wit, sarcasm and humour that for me made the book readable. I don't think in all honesty I can recommend this book, I think I need to try another story from this author even to make up my own mind about her writing and story telling abilities.


      ==Other Information:==

      Pages: 342
      Price: 6.39
      Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
      ISBN-10: 0340951990
      ISBN-13: 978-0340951996
      More about the author: www.katiemacalister.com
      Year first published: 2005

      Thanks for reading my review.

      This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.


      © CPT Daniels January 2012

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