Sunday, June 7, 2009

Book Review -- Watchers in the Night

Jenna Black was another author I received in the Book o' Box. Watchers in the Night (The Guardians of the Night, Book 1) is the first in her Guardians of the Night series. (Published October 2006 by Tor Classics - Paperback Edition - 304 pages) Genre is Romance (man-woman) with a sub-genre of paranormal.

They hunt in every major city, hidden by the crowds, shielded by disbelief. They are Killers, and their prey is human.

But not all vampires are Killers. The Guardians of the Night sacrifice the superior physical and psychic strength that comes with feeding on humans to protect them. But the Guardians walk a thin line, for even a single kill could leave them helplessly addicted to murder.

When detective-turned-PI Carolyn Mathers was left at the altar, she never once thought her fiance had been turned into a vampire. Years later, Gray reappears, bringing murder, mystery, and an unbelievable take of Guardians, blood-thirsty Killers, and his own transformation with him.

And he's been accused of murder.

A first-rate PI, Carolyn is determined to help. Gray won't allow what he is now to taint her -- but Carolyn vows to never let him go again.

But will helping Gray mean becoming a creature of the night?

This is the first book I've read by Jenna Black. While it was another quick read, it was a slow start and I didn't really get into the story until Hannah showed up. I enjoyed the premise of Killers, vampires who have succumbed to the beast and kill humans indiscriminately, vs. Guardians, vampires who hold on to their humanity by not feeding on humans or, if they do, feed only off the criminal population.

Gray was just a so-so hero, however. He was weak in comparison to the other vampires, which wasn't necessarily a problem, but he needed a backbone. Carolyn definitely wore the pants in that relationship where I prefer my heroes a bit more alpha. The secondary vampire characters of Jules, an older vampire who still keeps in touch with his mortal descendants, and Drake, a Killer who helps the Guardians were better received. I loved the relationship between Carolyn and Hannah -- some of the dialogue could have been between me and my best friend -- for me these two characters were fully developed and, while the other characters were also well done, stole the story.

I think my biggest problem with this book was that I had a hard time with the love story of Gray and Carolyn. Carolyn says throughout the story how Gray is/was the love of her life yet there are references to bitter fights in the weeks leading up to their wedding. I just couldn't believe in the "I forgive you everything" premise. The plot had all the usual romance pieces but was nothing extraordinary.

I'll give the next book in this series a try from the library and hope for better results.

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