Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: The Fire of Dawn by V.V. Aku

Title: The Fire of Dawn
Author: V.V. Aku
Series: (?)
Pages: 414
Publisher: Veerle Valerie Ackerstaff
Date Published: March 9, 2012
Format: ebook
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Provided by Reading Addiction Blog Tours

It’s the last day of the summer holiday in The Hague when Leah Koopmans’s carefree life as a teen is brutally flipped upside down. Her pale skin turns a dazzling gold, her senses heighten, and her muscles possess an uncanny strength. But with these exhilarating new powers comes a thirst that can only be quenched by one thing: human blood.While her body craves for fresh victims and her heart drowns in guilt, she meets inhumanly handsome Max Machiavelli, who claims that Leah is an immortal like him. Infatuation ignites into blistering passion when Leah joins his coven in Amsterdam. But as the mysteries shrouding her sudden change to immortality unravel, she quickly learns that her aversion to taking life isn’t the only thing that sets her apart from this group of herculean strangers.From the picturesque canals of Amsterdam to Corsica’s limestone cliffs and the untamed Siberian wilderness; from first loves to fierce battles, The Fire of Dawn is an extraordinary tale packed with romance, betrayal, and bloodsucking suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very last page.

Initial Reaction:
Well the prologue certainly has that air of mystery and darkness. These guys wearing the robes of either a holy order or a cult talking about prophecy being fulfilled then planning to kill a child...freaky! I was drawn into the story right away and got really excited to keep reading :)

The Rest of the Book:
So Leah wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday covered in blood and dirt with only a few vague memories of the night before, most of them terrifying. Like the image of her best friend's face blistering in the heat of a fire. Looking around, all of her senses are more powerful than before and she has the uncontrollable urge to drink the blood of strangers.

Like anyone in that kind of situation, poor Leah starts freaking out and does what any normal teenager does when they freak out, head home to see mom and dad. But something stops her from going inside when she gets home. She can see her parents crying but is distracted by discovering that there are others like her and she finds she needs to leave her old world behind in favor of a mysterious and dangerous one she'd never known existed.

By this time I was dying to know what was going on and it was then that we start to get some clues as to what's been happening to Leah. We meet an amazingly gorgeous man and a girl with terrifying powers all of them claiming to be immortals. After all that she's been through, it's no surprise that Leah has a hard time knowing if she should trust them or not but they eventually become her family and clue her in to a past that she never knew about herself. Turns out she's smack in the middle of a war between The Immortals and The Brotherhood and has no idea what to do next.

Leah was a very enjoyable character. Even though I was really confused about her initially, she grew on me in the long run. I liked that she was so stubborn when it came to her beliefs in what's right and what she should do with her life. Typically that kind of thing bugs me but in this case I liked how she stood up for herself. I did think that she let herself be swept away by Max (the beautiful man mentioned above) and that was very "instant soul mates" so I didn't really get into it. To be honest I felt like there wasn't a lot of character development in the beginning...just lots of Max and Leah hanging out and making doe-eyes at each other. But it wasn't BAD...I just wished there was a little more to both of their characters at that point so that I could fall in love with them as they are falling in love with each other.

I was a little lost when it came to the whole notion of Immortals. They say outright that they aren't vampires but they had basically all of the qualities that you see in vamp literature with only minor differences. The main one being that they seemed to die REALLY easily. We see, in Leah's case, that they are driven by their blood lust like vampires, and they sometimes can't control themselves if they are too hungry and are near humans. Like most of today's vampires, they have consciouses and don't want to be monsters...just have to exist with the cards they've been dealt. But at the same time these Immortals can be criminals and bad guys. I loved that they were just like people in that they could be good or bad.

The writing was a tad jumpy and disjointed for my liking. We would be in one place for just a few paragraphs before jumping to a new place and time a few hours later. I felt a bit discombobulated every time that happened and it kept me from immersing myself fully in the plot and characters. Still, as I kept reading and got more and more caught up in the story, I found myself unable to put the book down. I went downstairs to make some coffee and couldn't even wait for it to finish. This is a fabulous paranormal read and those of you who like mystery, adventure, and European settings will love this book.

To give you guys just a taste of what's to come in this book I've got the tiniest, slip of a teaser for you...hopefully it whets your appetite enough to stop by for the tour later today! :) You're welcome :P
‘Something’s wrong!’ Max gasped, sitting up in bed so quickly that the unexpected movement sent me over the bed’s edge. I caught my balance before I smashed onto the walnut parquet. We had dozed off about an hour ago. Outside, the sun had risen.
Max was panting, his face filled with fear. ‘We’ve got to get out of here!’
‘What’s going on?’ I yawned, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
‘They’re near! Pietro can hear them.’
He had said ‘they’ with such abhorrence that it could only have meant one thing. He got to his feet, scrambling for his clothes that were scattered over the floor together with mine. I had never seen him this alarmed. The bedroom door flung open and Pietro and Sam barged into the room, both in the same frantic state as Max was.
‘How did they find us?’ Max shrieked.
‘I don’t know, but we must leave immediately!’ Pietro yelled.
We left the house and darted toward the city center. The streets were deserted. Livorno was still asleep. In the morning sunlight, our legs were heavy, moving tediously slow while Pietro broadcast the thoughts of the advancing Brotherhood as they tracked where we ran-his voice without emotion. ‘There are four: two males, two females… They have entered the boulevard. Stand by for confirmation... They have turned right on Via Grande.’ Then Pietro’s face twisted in horror. ‘Stop,’ he whispered, his voice shaking. ‘They’re here.’

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