Jan. 24th, 2017

chez_jae: (Books)
Tonight, I finished slogging through Beyond the Pale by Savannah Russe. It's the first book in her "Darkwing Chronicles" series.

The story is told in first person pov by Daphne Urban, a 500 year-old vampire who is languishing in ennui. On the way to meet a contact, Daphne is nabbed by humans who know who and what she is. They make her an offer, go to work for the US government as a spy, or be staked. Daphne reluctantly agrees, and she soon meets her contact/boss, a man known to her only as J. She also meets another vampire, Benjamina (Benny) Polycarp, and she reconnects with an old vampire acquaintance, the flamboyant Cormac O'Reilly. All three of them have been shanghaied to work for a new task force, Darkwing.

Daphne's first assignment is to meet with an arms dealer under the guise of representing an art collector who has pieces the arms dealer wishes to purchase. While at Bonaventure's apartment, it's Daphne's job to plant listening devices. The government isn't as interested in Bonaventure as they are in the terrorists who will be obtaining weapons from him.

Before she meets with Bonaventure, Daphne is confronted by Darius della Chiesa. He's an agent with a rival faction, as well as a vampire hunter. He's fit and handsome, and Daphne, who's in the midst of a two hundred year dry spell (seriously, lady?!) can't resist him, and they tumble into bed not long after they meet. J warns her away from Darius, but Daphne is so smitten that she doesn't heed the warning, which compromises herself, her mission, and millions of people who are in danger from the nuclear weapon that's about to change hands.


First of all, for being 500 years old, Daphne acted like an adolescent most of the time. She's supposed to be a bad ass vampire, but humans keep getting the drop on her, leaving me shaking my head. Also, she instructs her new friends to call her "Daphy". Seriously, lady?! Of all the characters introduced, my favorite was Benny. She had her shit together, and made a much better undercover operative than Daphy did. At least the sex scenes were frequent and titillating.

Favorite line: Women, filled with nervous energy and faced with waiting, do not stand around looking out of windows or staring blankly into space, as do men. We must be in motion.

I rolled my eyes through most of this. Good ol' Daphy knew she should stay away from Darius, but she was incapable of it, and she spent a lot of the narrative bemoaning her own stupidity, even as she continued down the same, stupid path.

Mediocre, two stars:



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