A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer (Vamp City #1)
May 29, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
A Blood Seduction kicks off Pamela Palmer’s urban fantasy Vamp City series. For whatever reason, I assumed this was a standard paranormal romance with a HEA at the end. I feel the blurb is very misleading. It makes it sound romantic and this is not a romantic book. So with about 10% left in this book, as I was continuously frustrated with the romance, I realized, ah! This is an urban fantasy, where there is much to be resolved in future books. If I had known this was UF, I wouldn’t have been quite as frustrated with the romance, although I still had some issues. But first let me set up this world because it is pretty cool.
Quinn Lennox has always known she might be a little different, but tries to put it out of her mind. Recently though, very strange things have started to happen. First, she sees Shimmers, like a rainbow in a water mist. When she goes through them, her clothes change colors. This makes it difficult to hang out with friends, as how can she explain this if she walks through one while out? Worse, she has started seeing visions, sometimes outside of her apartment window of a dark, grey world. Sometimes she sees a horse and carriage, other times a yellow jeep zooming by the horse. It resembles Washington, DC but yet it is not quite the same.
Meanwhile, missing persons in DC have skyrocketed and no one knows why. The most important person in Quinn’s life is her brother Zack. When his best friend Lily goes missing, Quinn starts to think this is more than a coincidence. Running out with Zack to try to find her, Quinn spots a sunbeam where she can see part of her vision within the beam. Before she knows it, her and Zack accidentally fall into the beam, and they are no longer in Washington, DC. They are actually inside her vision. A crumbling, dark, old version of DC and they soon learn this alternate reality place is called – Washington, VC or Vamp City.
In 1870, a sorcerer created Vamp City, a six-mile wide place where vampires can live without worrying about hiding from the sun, because the sun never shines here. It still resembles the 1800’s. It used to be that the vampires could walk in and out of Vamp City at their will, sometimes choosing to live in the real, present day. But the magic is failing, and Vamp City is threatened to no longer exist. The vampires that live there need a sorcerer to fix this problem, and they think Quinn is just the person to do it. Problem is, Quinn has no idea she has any magic inside of her.
I could go on and on setting up this book. It is a very fascinating world, but I must stress, a very violent one. The vampires in this book are ruthless. They have absolutely no humanity left. Many of the vampires not only feed on blood, but on fear or pain. As humans from the real DC walk through these sunbeams and become trapped in VC, the vampires use them as slaves. Most slaves don’t live very long as their torture is extremely cruel and intense. There are a few scenes in here that made my stomach feel sick. I really like the fact that this author chose to make her vampires with no morals but I must warn you there is a brutal rape scene which Quinn witnesses in it. And other scenes of intense violence.
At one point, slaves are tortured so brutally and then Quinn learns they will get glamoured so they forget what they went through. This eases Quinn’s wariness somewhat. This made me feel ill. Because these slaves are tortured, are made to forget, and then are tortured again. I’m not sure how Quinn can find comfort that they are glamoured and this bothered me about her.
That being said, the hero (and I use that word very lightly – actually, I should not use that word at all ) is a vampire named Arturo. He is one of the few that is a little more decent. He thrives off fear, so while he loves to make someone scared, he usually doesn’t kill or torture for the fun of it. He rescues Quinn from some more evil vamps at the beginning of the book and she becomes his slave (of sorts). I had a lot of problems with this romance. They don’t fall in love with each other but there is lust and I really didn’t buy into it. The situation Quinn gets dumped into (which I’ve barley touched upon) is so intense. There is so many evil things that I just didn’t buy into her lust for Arturo. At the beginning he undresses her against her consent and there is some icky things between them. He is very loyal to his maker, Cristoff, (a vampire that feeds off pain and is just so evil) and at the end, he is still loyal to him. Arturo lies to Quinn, a lot and while he does help her, I don’t trust him. At. All. And for him to be the main guy in this book (and I can only assume the eventual HEA) he has A LOT of ground to make up for in the next book. Like, he needs to stop having sex with other people. Oh, and stop lying to Quinn and making her fear him.
The supporting cast is not all horrible vampires. We meets some that honestly don’t want to participate in destroying innocent humans, but can’t escape out of Vamp City. We meet some sorcerers and some slaves that are also decent people. The city the author has created feels very detailed and full of engaging characters. That is where the strength of this book lies. The world was so vivid while I read, I still have a picture in my mind of what it looks like. I’m still not sold on the romance, and for that I have to mark down my grade. This book is so dark and violent, I wish we could have had a better romance to get us through the dark times. We needed something to hold onto as the slaves are being tortured and we didn’t get that. It is a depressing book, yet I didn’t want to put it down.
I think some will hate this book and I think some will love it. Either way, it will get you talking, that is for sure.
I’m so curious to see where this series heads in the next book.
Rating: C, maybe C+