Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Meljean Brook 'Demon Night'

I really don't like anthology books. This is based on limited experience but enough to decide that the short story form is a particular one that requires it's own expertise. I don't think you can be a novelist and just assume you can write a decent short story. That said, I read Wild Thing and was very impressed with Meljean Brook's Selah and vampire story. I would almost make the argument that she is better at a short story character arch than the novel length character arch, but I won't.

Demon Night tells Charlotte and Ethan's story. Charlotte's sister is working with vampire, demon and human blood to try to synthesize a food source for vampires that doesn't involve blood lust. Because of her proximity Charlotte comes under Ethan (the guardian)'s protection.

Ethan died (became a guardian) in the American Wild West and he has retained the drawl and the mannerisms of that time. Charlotte was an opera singer before a tragic accident took away her voice forever. It took me a little bit to warm up to this book, not the attraction between them, or to the two characters, they are terrific, but the plot was a little sticky in the first hundred pages. Looking back, however, you could say the book unfolds a bit like Ethan, slow steady and hot.

How could you not enjoy Ethan, but I also really liked Charlie. I didn't always love the idealization of Charlie that Ethan and other characters indulge in nearer to the end of the book, but Charlie herself is terrific. I had a hard time buying the barrier to their love as it's a TSTL moment for Ethan, which didn't fit with his "acts stupid but keeps a step ahead of Lilith" character.

Overall, slow start, very enjoyable meaty middle and then unravels for me a bit in the last few chapters. And I have to note that the nephilim seemed like a very convenient plot device.

Paranormal Romance 2008: 4 of 5 seraphim, nephilim, excramin.

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