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Rises the Night is the second in the Gardella Vampire series by Colleen Gleason (The Rest Falls Away being the first in the series.)
The books picks up the tale a year after the first book ends . Victoria, overwhelmed by grief and unable to control her anger, nearly ends up killing a man in an alleyway, and decides to take a break from her work as a Venator (vampire hunter) whilst she comes to terms with the death of her beloved husband Phillip. She removes her strength amulet, and spends the time learning to discipline herself and control her emotions . Thankfully, London is calm, with Lilith and her vampire clan having retreated.
However, the calm cannot last forever - it soon becomes clear that there is a new threat - this time in Italy, as the Vampire Nedas seeks to activiate Akvans Obelisk, a device that will enable him to call forth the souls of the dead to act as his army. It seems to be up to Victoria and her elderly aunt to stop this from happening - Max, the Venator who has always fought beside Victoria before, is missing, possibly dead.
I have to say, I found the beginning of the book a little slow and draggy. It seemed to be assuming that people had forgotten the events of the first book, and spent a fair amount of time subtly recapping things that had happened before. In most series, and indeed this one, some gentle memory jogs are a good thing, but I just felt they impeded the action a little too far.
Some parts of the book just didn't gel for me . For someone who, at the start of the book, is still grieving deeply for her husband, Victoria seems to spend an awful lot of time flirting with other men - at least six different men during the course of the book. Whilst this led to a couple of interesting erotic scenes, which Gleason does write very well and make incredibly stimulating, it just seemed the girl was putting herself about a bit too much, sometimes needlessly.
The storyline of the book has grown up a lot though - and this book feels a lot more exciting, and once you get over the dragging pace of the first couple of chapters, really does keep you gripped, wondering what is going to happen next, and who the bad guys are going to turn out to be. There is also some growing up for our heroine, who learns to see the world not just in black and white, but in shades of grey too .
Overall, this is an excellent sequel to the original - in fact, I would go so far as to say that, depsite taking a time to get started, this is the better book by far - much more interesting, m uch more grown up, and much deeper than the first.
4 stars - one off for the slightly slow start.