Today’s First Line Friday is one I have heard about that sounds intriguing. I have heard good things about it, despite it’s 640+ page length in my hardback copy I own. and apparently vampires are involved somehow. Sign me up for this long roller coaster of a novel! This First Line comes from “A Note to the Reader“:
The story that follows is one I never intended to commit to paper.
To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history….
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive.
What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad’s ancient powers-one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova’s debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.
Author: Dan Klefstad
Published: February 1, 2017 in issue 209 of Crack the Spine Literary Magazine
Date Read: January 9, 2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
Short Story Summary:
Daniel is about to retire after decades of working for a vampire. He’s writing a letter to the applicant who wishes to succeed him; a letter that’s part memoir and part advice. We never hear regret in Daniel’s words, but we get a sense of the sacrifices he made to be able to spend his remaining years in peace and luxury.
The Caretaker is a short story and is written as a letter from Daniel to the applicant chosen to replace him, as a message and warning about the job. We are the applicant in this instance and we are warned if we continue reading the letter and don’t take the job it could prove very dangerous. Dan Klefstad pulls you in to this short story from the beginning. You can’t help but read on, despite Daniel’s warning… Do we read on fellow applicant? Yes, we do!
Daniel gives lots of advice on what to do and not to do with our new employer with great care otherwise we will meet disastrous results. Then he goes into part of his story as a caretaker giving us an idea what we are in for by taking this job. It is not an easy job or life that Daniel had working as a caretaker. He earned his money. But at what cost? We must continue reading The Caretaker to know everything…
I highly enjoyed The Caretaker. It is a short story that Dan Klefstad is working to expand into a full length novel. I find myself anticipating that future novel. Do yourself a favor and get this issue of Crack the Spine and read Dan Klefstad’s short story!
The Caretaker is recommend. Issue 209 of Crack the Spine will be out TOMORROW![Top]
Author: Aislin Keeley
346 Pages in Kindle
Published: September 06, 2014
Dates Read: September 14-29, 2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
Book Summary from Amazon:
Baptized in battle and bathed in blood, the Emain Macha have lived among humans in silence for the past six thousand years as they pledge their lives to protect them from enslavement at the hands of a maniacal vampire known as The Host. None are more dedicated than Jaden Payne. He has a personal vendetta against his enemy and has vowed to avenge his family’s deaths at all costs. But Jaden faces a new challenge with the emergence of the Firebrand. An ultimate tool of destruction, the Firebrand has the power to eliminate any obstacle in her path, vampires and humans alike.
Alice Roarke knows she’s different than everyone around her. All she wants is a normal life and to fade into the background, but her blackout episodes make it harder for her to fit in. She is unwillingly thrown into the vampire world when Jaden and her paths collide because of a demon who has come back from her past to haunt her again. There’s an undeniable attraction as Jaden keeps her under his care even though they are both damaged souls.
Jaden is in a race against time to keep The Host from harnessing Alice’s powers as well as losing the woman who has found her way into his heart. As passions run high and time runs out, Alice and Jaden will fight the most dangerous battle of all: trusting each other.
My review in 2014:
Full disclosure: I have known Aislin Keeley since high school and she is still a good friend. I was a lucky one of her “Sanguine Sirens” that had the opportunity to read this book in an early draft and give my thoughts as she was writing it! I am a huge supporter of hers. Here is my review of Indestructible I wrote in 2014:
Alice is your average woman trying to move on from her past. Jaden is a vampire warrior. Their two lives intersect.
There is a different take on the vampire mythology in Indestructible. And that was a nice change. I like it when authors take vampires and change it around in some way for their story purposes.
Indestructible is for paranormal romance readers, so it isn’t my “typical genre”. It pulls you in from the first page and it hard to put down! I didn’t know how it was going it end. And there was a twist I didn’t see coming. The sex scenes were hot too! There is also some action in the book. Knowing what Alice went through in her past, it’s hard to imagine how much that changes a person. She’s a tough lady! I liked both Alice and Jaden. I look forward to more books in the series.[Top]