by Cat Adams
Review by Gayle Surrette
Tor Books Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765324948
Date: 08 June 2010 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Celia Graves is a human in a dangerous profession. She’s a bodyguard. This is a world of vampires and magic among other myths come to life. When she’s offered a job guarding a rich son of a country’s ruler, she takes it. However, once she arrives she finds that all the parameters of the job have been changed and it is too late to back out once someone makes a grab for the client. She’d always know that someday she might end up losing her life protecting a client but this time she doesn’t die – she becomes an abomination neither fully vampire but no longer human either.
No longer trusting her instincts, Celia needs to learn to cope with her new powers. She also begins to realize that maybe the entire security job that changed her life may not have been as it appeared. Determined to find out the truth behind what happened to her, she needs to reach out for help – something Celia is not used to doing.
Adams has created an intriguing multifaceted character in Celia Graves. She’s not the cookie-cutter urban fantasy crime fighter. Sure, Celia is strong, professional, and tough but she’s got a past, a vulnerable side, and like most of females in a male profession, she has had to be better than average to be considered merely competent. Her backstory is doled out as needed throughout the book so that we understand more about the character interactions that give the story texture.
Vampires are out, but not totally accepted. Celia is something new and therefore even more terrifying to those humans around her. Parts of her problems come from not understanding what she needs in order to keep herself from fully changing, and how to control her emotional responses to keep her predator instincts at bay. Trained as a bodyguard who reacts quickly to danger or threat, she’s even more likely to react now that she’s bitten, but not turned.
The book focuses on Celia trying to track down the truth behind the job that got her bitten and a close friend killed. This isn’t just a simple case of a double-cross but one that has political and economic ramifications for many people. Nothing is simple and there are enough twists and surprises to keep you turning the pages even if the characters weren’t ones that you cared about and wanted to succeed. At some point you realize that even though there’s a Book Two waiting to be read, that just maybe Celia isn’t going to make it – on the other hand you hope against hope as you continue reading that the author won’t play that card.