After three hundred years of unlife, vampire Zara Lain has seemingly done it all, and she's now making a living as a successful thief-turned-assassin. Her newest assignment seems simple enough--kill the aging leader of the O'Connor Coven and his only heir, and she'll have another ten million in the bank.But in the dangerous world of the supernatural, few things are ever "simple."
When a massive assault decimates the continent's population of powerful witches and warlocks, and its orchestrator has vampires being hunted down and captured, Zara realizes the tables have turned and now she'll be playing the hero. Forced to join with a smart-mouthed fellow vampire, a demonologist who's also a fan of hers, a recently widowed--and frequently brooding--warlock, and her best friend's mom, Zara's grudgingly willing to do what she can to save the day.If only people would stop ruining all her outfits...
Zara is a kickass vampire who is making a living as a thief and assassin. Her best friend hires her to kill a warlock and his son during a party at their house but when it goes pear shaped, Zara realises she is in the middle of something bigger where magical people are being killed and vampires kidnapped.
I really enjoyed this book. Zara is arrogant, vain, kickass, snarky, witty and you can't help loving her attitude. She expects men to lust after her and it is a big shock when one in particular doesn't. To Zara, humans are a lesser life form and she has a lot of funny thoughts about them. From the moment she has to deal with the would be rapist in the first chapter, I loved Zara. She is never without a snarky comment or amusing observation. I also liked the way the author had her as a vampire who is not invincible. Zara makes mistakes, she gets hurt, she makes bad decisions sometimes, which makes the character more real. The side characters werte interesting too. Peter the geeky Zara fan was sweet, Jamie was a slimy arrogant git(a bit like Ian from the Jeaniene Frost Night Huntress series)and Nate who struggles to deal with Zara's attentions and his own magic was the brooding one.
The book is a great mixture of humour, action and emotions which I thought the author got just right. The story flows along at a nice pace without a ton of world building and info dumps. This story is about the characters and they are nicely developed through their interactions with each other and the situations they find themselves in. The action scenes are exciting, well written and easy to follow and there are plenty of them to enjoy. We have fights with demons and vampires and warlocks to enjoy. I also liked that Zara's back story was gradually introduced in snippets as we progressed through the story instead of just one big info dump. Each revelation about her helped you to understand why she is like this and like her more.
Zara develops a lot as a character, becoming more human as she hangs out with them to solve the case. I like the fact that she starts as a bitch and then develops human emotions as the story unfolds. There is a romance in the book but it is slow building, enjoyable and does not slow the story down. I'm not a huge fan of romance in my urban fantasy but I did enjoy this one because it's not that damn instalove crap. The story was put together in a way that keeps you guessing what is going to happen next and I have to admit that I didn't see the twist coming in the attack on the witch house. That took me by surprise and I was kicking myself for not seeing it coming! And the ending was a shocker as well! I do like to be surprised by a book!
My only disappointment was to find that Zara doesn't narrate the next two books in the series which is a bummer! I imagine I will read them anyway as she does feature in them-if I can find paperback versions of the books which appears to be pretty difficult. If you like tough female characters and enjoy urban fantasy, give this book a try.
NB Since I wrote this review, the books have been re-released. Yea!
Read April 2014.