Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One With The Night by Susan Squires

Far from the glittering lights and shallow bustle of 1822 London lies another world – a realm of shadows and secrets, where desire holds dominion and passion knows no limits…

One Desire
Jane Blundell’s keen intellect and wit have always set her apart from her marriage-minded peers. But such differences are nothing compared to the change that comes upon her when she is infected by a blood sample in her father’s laboratory. Suddenly, her veins resonate with a terrifying, exhilarating power. Dr Blundell takes Jane to the Scottish highlands where she collides with the only man who can understand her hunger – and slake her unending desire…

One Destiny
Callan Kilkenny has returned to England from Marrakech, still filled with self-loathing at the deeds he committed in the name of a beautiful, depraved vampire. Now that he has tracked down Dr Blundell in hopes of a cure, he has also found a kindred spirit in Jane. Her passion and her blood call to Callan, fueling a carnal need that shocks them both with its intensity. But others have come in search of the cure too … for reasons that are sinister and deadly. And to save Jane and the rest of their kind, Callan must risk everything – even his last chance at redemption

If I’m not mistaken, this is the 4th book of the series. Although I hadn’t read the others first, I didn’t feel lost as this story stands on its own.

This is a dark, disturbing and gritty story of one man-turned-vampire who is saved by the love and goodness of a woman-turned-vampire. That’s what it is in a nutshell.

Callan, a care-free and idealistic fourth son of an impoverished earl, was enslaved by the ancient, powerful and depraved vampire Asharti, who not only tormented and tortured him, but also turned him into a vampire so that he could serve her better. When Callan manages to free himself from her clutches, his one purpose is to find Dr Blundell and the cure that can turn him back into a human … so that he can end all his miseries by killing himself.

Poor Jane was infected by the tainted parasitic blood of a vampire and was thrown into a whole-new world that she knew nothing about, with no one to guide her. Her father somehow figured out how to sustain her through blood “donated” by the people around them … blood that she takes regularly from a teacup. One must preserve what humanity one has, and a vampire can still be civil, she says. When Callan comes into her life, he shows her the power a vampire has, and the endless possibilities that power can achieve. More than that, he awakens the woman that she has kept hidden from everyone, including herself.

Each of them has a “Companion”, somewhat an inner living force, which they can call upon to boost up their supernatural powers. The Companion is also incredibly keen on self-preservation, in that it will not let its host (the vampire) hurt or destroy himself. Any wounds sustained by its host will be cured almost immediately.

Now onto what I think.

Point 1 --- I couldn’t quite like Callan and Jane.

Callan is tiresome in his defeatist and self-deprecating attitude. Granted, the horrifying tortures inflicted by Asharti would have messed up anyone’s head, but Callan just goes on and on about how bad and unworthy he is because of the inhuman deeds that he had done for her … never mind that he was “compelled” by Asharti or he had to choose the lesser of two evils. I wanted to yell at that guy “oh, give yourself a break already!”

Jane … sometimes incredibly smart and intuitive, at times incredibly erratic. Like the first time they have sex. She wants him, he wants her, so on with the act. But right after the deed, she starts to hate him. Her faith in him does improve, so she is bearable as the story moves along.

Point 2 --- I didn’t quite like the writing-style. Oh, it was adequate and all … just not very evocative. I think it was because of the writing-style that I didn’t like the lead characters more.

Point 3 --- Callan is portrayed as a sex object for most of the story. In the past, he was Asharti’s unwilling sex slave. In the present, he is unwillingly compelled into the sexual act by Elyta, another ancient and powerful she-devil of a vampire. After he turns back into a human, he willingly submits to Elyta in order to save Jane. And he also has sex with Jane intermittently throughout the story. Yeah … poor guy. I don’t like this kind of plot.

Point 4 --- The vampires in this story (with the exception of Callan, Jane and two others) are the blood-thirsty, depraved sort. They are simply too repulsive for me.

Point 5 --- As vile as some parts of this story were for me, I did finish the book. I guess I was fascinated in spite of all its gritty and gruesome elements. Having said that, I will not be reading any more of this series.

My rating3
Sensuality ratingHot


Jill D. said...

I read this book last year and it was just a meh read for me as well. I agree with you completely on your review. I wanted to smack the hero, give him a shake and tell him to, "Snap out of it!" Great minds think alike :)

Jace said...

Hi Jill,

I think the most disturbing thing for me was Callan being made into a sex object, and he had accepted it as his lot. I felt sorry for the poor guy, to be honest. This is the first time I read of such a plot, and I don't enjoy it.

Have you read the whole series or just this one book?

Jill D. said...

Jace, This is the only book that I have read by Squires so far. Like you I don't intend on reading any more from this series.

Phyl said...

The first book in this series is The Companion. I highly recommend it. The next book is The Hunger. It was good. The third book, The Burning, I DNF. Like the rest of you, OWTN was just OK. I think Squires came up with a very interesting and different paranormal twist, but just hasn't achieved the promise that was in the first book. I won't read further either unless I hear some positive buzz about it first.

Jace said...

Phyl, interestingly enough, The Companion was also highly recommended by my reading buddy Kat. I couldn't find it locally, so I bought OWTN instead. Hmmm...looks like I should have started with that, eh?

Shyan said...

Sounds intriguing! I'm going to look for The Companion. :)