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It's become something of a habit of mine to buy books from the works on their 3 for £5 offer . I quite enjoy taking pot luck on what I might find there, and it's introduced me to a lot of authors and titles I might never otherwise have picked up. One of the books I recently picked up in this offer is 'The Rest Falls Away' by Colleen Gleason .
Victoria is a beautiful young lady, who, after two years in mourning for her late father, is about to make her debut into society in the hopes of snaring a handsome (and hopefully rich) husband. However, on the night before she comes out into society, she has the latest in a series of dreams about vampires - a dream that leaves her in no doubt that she has another, more important destiny to fulfill.
You see, Victoria is the latest of the Gardellas to become a Venator , or vampire hunter. As well as preparing to be a young society lady, she must now undertake vigorous training to hone her innate vampire hunting skills, and must recieve the Vis Bulla , a piercing that marks her out as a Venator, and enhances her strength. She must also kill her first vampire - something she must do at her own coming out ball.
As she dances with the handsome Marquess of Rockley (the most eligible batchelor around) Victoria feels the tell tale trickle of cold on her neck that tells her there is a vampire around. Can Victoria successfully make her first kill, and how will she juggle her role as a strong, independant vampire hunter with that of a well to do society lady.
Well, perhaps by using sex as a coping mechanism! I had initially assumed, from the content (vampires) and the cover design that this was teen fiction, but quite early on in the book it becomes clear that there are quite a few exciting scenes - most of them involving Victoria smooching one man or another, and getting kissed on the bosom quite a lot. Surely not behaviour fitting for a young lady of the Regency era, but I have to admit, quite a titillating read.
If only the vampire killing scenes were as titillating as all the sex - vampires are generallly dispatched pretty easily with a stake into the heart, before vanishing in a poof. Seriously, poof is all you get to end most of the vampire fights. I would have thought that an author that could put so much skill into writing a deliciously exciting and well described flirtation could have done better than 'Poof!' but it seems not .
The characters are pretty interesting for the most part, although I do find the mother and who two biscuit nibbling lady friends rather irritating and just a little bit dim . Phillip, the Marquess, is a thoroughly likeable character throughout the book, although he does seem a little bit stupid, prone to saying and doing the wrong thing - imagine Boris Johnson in tight breeches and a tailcoat .
Sebastian Vioget is by far the most interesting character - kept interesting perhaps because we can never quite trust his motivations, and we really don't know any more about him than we need to know to keep the story ticking along . I have some suspicions about him, and my interest in him is what is going to keep me reading the series (this book being the first) to find out what happens . That and all the bosom kissing of course!
Overall, this was a pretty interesting book . I would say it was more of a regency romance novel with a few vampires thrown in, rather than mainly being about the vampires, at least so far, but who knows how the story will develop.
To summarise - think Buffy, but upper class, dressed in taffetta, and a bit more slutty. A very fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously, with some excellent detailing, but lacking something in the fight scenes . 4 stars .
Being a fan of vampire fiction means I'm often to be found combing Amazon for something new in my favourite genre, though I have much wider tastes in general, but this is how I found Rest Falls Away, a curious sounding book by title and a little different from my most recent reading by synopsis.
So, armed with DooYoo points I purchased the book and began devouring it... I mean reading.
Victoria is a debutante, about to come out to the social scene in a bygone era. She is also the most recent Venator, a vampire hunter by destiny and at the very beginning of her new and secret career. After all, how can one attend masked balls and attend ones social callings when staking vampires and having to wear mens clothing in order to allow appropriate versatility. It goes right against the expectations of society, therefore all of Victorias actions are secreted and reasonably so by her Aunt and predecessor Eustacia.
Immediately there are parallels to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It's unmissable. You would have had to be on another planet for the last 10 years to bypass the obvious. That didn't bode well. I didn't fancy Regency Buffy.
We have the high school equivalent and the Giles/Librarian equivalent. Where is the assistant to the slayer and the love interest?
Enter Verbena the maid who knows more about vampires than is suitable and the Marquess of Rockley, the dark and slightly brooding alpha male who struggles between Mr Darcy of Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice and, of course, Buffy's love, Angel.
With the full accompaniment of associates and a generous smattering of vampires we read about how difficult it is for Victoria to fit such an unladylike activity into a busy social calendar and falling in love with her mothers betrothal ideal.
Of course, there are to be problems abound, vampires with extra power, a story arc, which is somewhat weak at this stage but may show greater promise later and further characters who case problems with skewed affiliation and vast disapproval. Victoria is perpetually torn from pillar to post by society and responsibility.
There never appears to be any grave danger for Victoria really, we know she'll be fine in the end, by stake or sunlight, she, like Buffy always is. But somehow it fits with the austerity of the era, some things are meant to be.
There are more books promised in the series and despite it being a little predictable I do want to read the next one. Maybe I just needed Buffy in a time machine!
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