Friday, July 27, 2012

Vampires Are People, Too

Vampires Are People, Too

Imprisoned for three hundred years by the Tellis vampire coven, Marinette (Nessy) is a half- vampire, half-human who survives by drinking the blood of rats or bags of infected human blood. She has sworn to never take a human life herself, so she has never been completely transformed into a vampire. She still has the feelings of a warm-blooded human, and can be more easily killed than other vampires, but she is stronger than them in some ways, having never succumbed to the blood lust that drives all other vampires to kill humans. She is unique in the history of vampires, and this makes her much sought after, because whatever coven she might add her power to would likely become the most powerful and unstoppable one of them all. But, Nessy is not interested in power, though she is highly skilled at fighting, nor is she interested in blood- letting. She really only wants what most of us want: to be loved. Can she find this love by becoming a member of the coven Charles Eaves runs, or is she doomed to an eternity of a solitary existence, pursued throughout eternity by Hervidor, and his Tellis coven?

Hervidor, who is Nessy's maker, the vampire who had been her lover, her husband, and the one who caused her transformation by biting her neck hundreds of years ago, will always be searching for Nessy and trying to get her back and force her to become a full vampire and rule alongside him. This is especially his goal, after the death of his vampire mate, Scarlet. At one time, before her wedding night, Hervidor had seemed to Nessy to be very romantic and handsome, and she couldn't help but to fall in love with him, and she felt he also fell in love with her. That may have been the case, but Hervidor failed to mention he already had a vampire mate, Scarlet, and that he, himself, was a vampire. Scarlet had been extremely jealous of Nessy, and, during Nessy's long captivity, had been one of her cruelest tormentors.

With the aid of Charles and his coven, and that of the large, cat-like Gulons, lead by Heracio (or Hera, as he's also known as in the novel), Nessy dares to hope that Hervidor won't succeed in tracking her down and forcing her to rule alongside him, as Scarlet did. Hera, and unbeknownst at the time to Charles, his niece, Melody, had been the only ones who had been able to visit Nessy in her locked room during her lengthy imprisonment. Though the Gulons are traditionally enemies of vampires, because vampires kill the very humans that the Gulons try to protect, Hera realizes that Nessy is different from all other vampires, and he befriends her. He and the other Gulons also have an arrangement with Charles Eaves and his coven to leave them alone as long as they sustain themselves with bagged human blood, and don't kill any of them.

I am not, in general, a fan of overly gooey romance novels, often categorized as "Chick Lit." However, Moon Rising is one I found I could-er-sink my teeth into (please forgive me for that lame attempt at humor). This is because the tale of Nessy and her attempts to not give in to her blood-lust by killing a human, and her not wanting to have happen to anyone else, due to her own actions, what happened to her, seemed to me to be an interesting take on the vampire novel. Also, reading about Nessy's attempts to find true love, despite the cursed situation she is in, is a reminder that there is always a glimmer of hope in even the darkest situation. Just as she about resigns herself to a loveless existence, Charles Eaves enters her life.

Charles has a lot to catch Nessy up on, also. This was another part of the novel I liked, Charles teaching Nessy about how much things have changed in the world during her imprisonment. For instance, before Hervidor had bitten her and she was imprisoned, people traveled by horse and carriage. Nessy had never seen of heard of what cars are until Charles shows her. He also teaches Nessy about how music has changed over the years, and that it is now on CDs that are played on stereos. He teaches her new dances, and what started as just his wanting to protect Nessy and get her to become a member of his coven leads into them falling in love with each other.

Jealousy exists even within his own coven, though. Alejandra, one of the members, doesn't think that someone who is half-human, and half-vampire, and who has never taken a human life, should be allowed to be a member. She wants Charles' love for herself, and feels that Nessy is an unwelcome intruder. Can Nessy experience love and happiness for once since her transformation, or will Hervidor and his coven track her down and end her chances at finding these things forever, even with Charles and his coven and Hera and the other Gulons trying to protect her? If you're a fan of supernatural romance novels, or just fine supernatural, page- turning stories in general, you're sure to be bitten by the desire to read Moon Rising by Laurie Bowler.

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb for

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