Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: The Vampire Voss

 The Vampire Voss - Colleen Gleason
Mira/ April 2011

The Dracule are Lucifer's own, enticed into an immortal life, not knowing exactly the price they'll pay to live forever until it's too late.  Society is full of rakes and reprobates, but the Dracule are the ones that should be feared...

Viscount Dewhurst, known to his enemies and friends alike as Voss Arden, doesn't find being a Dracule member a bad thing.  I mean, if you count drinking blood and living forever as two things on your "must do" list, then you wouldn't either.  But lately even he's become disenchanted with the intricacies of being a vampire:  living forever (really, it's not all that fabulous), not being able to walk in the sun, and being the very monster that many fear.  Over the centuries of his life, Voss has made it his personal hobby to find out the weaknesses of those in his circle.  That has hardly made him a popular person, but he's fine with that.  While he can count on one hand the number of men that he considers friends, people aren't exactly knocking down the doors begging him for invitations to house parties.

Until now, Voss has remained his own man -- er, vampire -- and not taken sides in the ongoing battle between the "good" vampires and the ones who will not cease until they take over the world... in particular Cezar Moldavi.  Cesar is on a rampage after the vampire hunter, Chas Woodmore, kidnapped Cesar's sister, Narcise.  He won't stop until he's caused as much damage, and that begins with Angelica Woodmore, Chas's sister.  Moldavi believes in that age-old motto, "an eye for an eye"...

After meeting Angelica one night at a ball, Voss cannot get her off of his mind no matter how hard he tries.  Is he that destitute for something fresh and exciting that a young, innocent miss can turn his head?  Angelica isn't the typical British society debutante, however, though her blood calls to him like the sweetest aphrodisiac.  Having the Sight, a talent that was passed to her from her grandmother, she is able to envision a person's death by simply touching an article of their possession.  Visions like this could make a person very cynical, but Angelica still remains hopeful and optimistic, enjoying her life, all the while remembering her grandmother's stories of vampyrs and hunters.  After Chas's disappearance, even as her sister Maia frets that the worst has happened, Angelica remains positive that no harm has come to her older brother -- for she'd already envisioned his death much earlier, and it wouldn't be for years to come.  Knowing that, it's easy for Angelica to not worry, despite not knowing what kind of life her brother leads.  If she'd known that he was a vampire hunter, or even that vampyrs do exist and are closer than she expects, then she might worry a bit more...

Voss and Angelica start out together with their own agendas.  Angelica has something that Voss wants -- her abilities with the Sight could net him information that would make him very powerful indeed.  Voss entices Angelica like no one has before.  Oh, men have tried to woo and court her before, but none of them have been like Voss...dangerous, dark, and entirely too daring.  As the pair meet several times at Societal routes and get-togethers, the attraction grows quickly.  When it becomes apparent to him that Moldavi intends to use Angelica for his own personal revenge, Voss must learn to become a hero and protect her from the minions Moldavi made into vampires.  It certainly won't do if she finds out that Voss is the very same type of creature as the monsters that tried to kidnap and hurt her one night at a ball.   

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

The Vampire Voss starts off Colleen Gleason's Regency Draculia series with a bang.  This was my first book by the talented Ms. Gleason, and now I can see why her fans clamor for more 'new and shiny!' to read from their favorite author.  The Vampire Voss Gothic tone is the perfect feel for a series that features vampires created by Lucifer.  For me it shows that even the hardest person can redeem themselves.  Voss, the hero if you will, is not like any other I've read.  In fact, it's hard to use Voss and hero in the same sentence because he's that much of a rake and cad in the first quarter of the book.  Really, there's not much to like about him at all.  But it becomes obvious that much of his rakish reputation hides a soul that wants to become something more, even if he doesn't realize it yet.  Angelica brings out the better in him, and while she cringes when she realizes what Voss is...her heart yearns for him.

As mentioned earlier, The Vampire Voss is a first book in a new series, the Regency Draculia.  And it's a good thing that the next two books come out in quick succession:  The Vampire Dimitri hits shelves later this month, and The Vampire Narcise will be out in June.  I can easily see me doing some back-reading of Ms. Gleason's other popular series, the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, this summer.

(While I'll be buying a copy of The Vampire Voss for my own collection, I did request and receive an e-ARC version from NetGalley.)         


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