Ｔｉｔｌｅ：The Fallen Vampire
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ： ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
In a world ruled over by Cloud Lords (the Drakonin and Vampirii) who have outlawed nearly all reminders of the old world, Chloe struggles to make her life have meaning. She finds refuge in her best friend, Wayne for more than one reason. 1) he’s the only one who can make her laugh, 2) getting married means escaping selection as a sacrifice to the Drakonin. But any hopes of leading a peaceful, happy life disappear when she reveals her powers at a birthday party and is branded a witch by the town. With Wayne’s help, they flee the town in the hopes of finding refuge in another town/territory days away. But during their journey, Chloe witnesses the fall of a Cloud Lord, Aethan, who is a Vampirii. She feels an unexplainable connection to him and protects him from the Drakonin without understanding the repercussions of her choices.
I liked Lillian (for the few moments she was there) because of how she wasn’t cruel to Chloe even after she was branded a witch, and how she understood that they were rivals in their love for Wayne but she didn’t necessarily rub it in her face when she explained that she and Wayne were a logical match. Plus, she was mysterious about something (won’t spoil) which made me think she identified with Chloe a little too much.
Morgriss. I can’t really explain because he’s only there for one scene, but I really like him. He’s cocky, isn’t afraid to take what he wants, and is also charming. I really want to see more of him and get to know him beyond the very bold kiss he gives Chloe.
► One thing that made me like Chloe right off the bat (even though she was still pretty hung up on Wayne throughout the book despite his lack of romantic interest in her) was that she seemed determined enough not to be chasing after someone who was in love with someone else.
“If Wayne is stupid enough to fall for Lillian, then she can have him.”
► While her writing wasn’t always strong (it was hard to get to know the characters) there were moments like these that were short but really told me something about them.
She hadn’t even bothered to get fully dressed–proof she’d known all along that she wouldn’t have the courage to sneak out.
► I think this was something that could’ve been explored a whole lot more but was just kinda glazed over so it wasn’t as impactful as it could’ve been.
“Do you still love me, Daddy?” Chloe asked.
“I do not dare to,” her whispered to himself […]
► One of the big themes of the book is how the people who remember the old ways are afraid that their children will grow up and accept this new way of life, and forever be subservient to the Cloud Lords. There’s a really big push for some characters to remember the past and change things.
It seemed that if you could get people to follow something long enough, they would start to believe in it.
► I couldn’t like Wayne too much because he seemed obsessed with taking charge and making changes. Even though he risks his social status/life in the town to help Chloe escape, he’s still hoping to go back. He seems unable to make up his mind about what matters most.
“I’ve already thought of that,” he reassured her, “I’ll tell them you used your powers to get my gun and forced me to accompany you.”
This book has some potential. The story is definitely interesting, a little bit odd (dragon shifters vs. vampires) in a good way, and I think it could be a more enjoyable read if not for some issues I had.
One: I have to admit I was pretty confused for most of the book regarding the Cloud Lords. It just didn’t come across very clearly that both Vampirii and Drakonin were “Cloud Lords”. I kept thinking only Drakonin were Cloud Lords for the longest time before some very definite explanations were given (like 60-70% through the book). It didn’t help me any that Vampirii also had a secondary name (Night Flyers).
Two: I know this is a prequel/e-novella type thing so it’s understandably pretty short. Still, I felt like I couldn’t really see why Chloe was so obsessed with Wayne. She kept saying he was the only one who could make her smile/laugh, but I don’t think he ever really did that in the book. I’m hoping that in a full-length novel we can really see relationships between the characters develop.
Three: Some of the language interrupted the flow of the story and didn’t quite fit in with Chloe’s voice considering her age. She mentioned some really technical things like rigor mortis, thought in ways that made her seem too old/mature–and just throughout the story there were some really overused words. The worst of which was “enormous”–I’m pretty sure it was easily mentioned dozens of times.
I think she’s a growing writer so there were some common mistakes. Too much much explaining, not enough showing (as evidence with Wayne; I never saw him do anything to light up Chloe’s world enough that would explain her devotion to him). Often times things were over-explained; there would be sentences that gave evidence of important motivations to characters… but unfortunately the author went ahead and explained it anyways to the reader (as if we wouldn’t be able to figure it out). And other times things were not explained well (the whole “Cloud Lords” scenario). Sometimes things were really beaten into you (like repeating over and over how using her powers made Chloe dizzy/nauseous, Wayne was the only one who could make her smile, or how “enormous” things were). And like I said before, sometimes there were some really higher level words used in the book that just didn’t fit at all; it felt like she was trying to elevate her language just for the sake of sounding more sophisticated, but the story didn’t need it.
Still, I think these things don’t necessarily ruin the overall story. It’s still fairly interesting. I really wanted Chloe to make her mind up about things, about whether she liked or disliked Cloud Lords. I wanted to know more about her powers, what the Program was about, and what was going to happen with the prince. I especially wanna know what’s going on with Morgriss because he seems to flirty and cocky but not in a bad way (my favorite guy in this book really, I need more of him). Although, I’m a tad worried that she might end up having too many “love interests” (Wayne, Morgriss, Aethan). I’m really hoping it doesn’t go that way.
There was a lot of backstory crammed into this book, but I’m taking it as a good thing because it’ll free up the next book to let the author focus on the actual meat of the story. Bottom line: it’s pretty good for a first work and there’s room for improvement, but it’s worth a shot.