Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Lord of the Vampires
(Royal House of Shadows,#1) by Gena Showalter

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Royal House of Shadows, #1
Author: Gena Showalter
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Publisher: Harlequin || Book Trailer
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Where to Purchase: Amazon || Kindle
Reviewed by: Aimee
Source: eARC courtesy of Netgalley
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved...
*sigh* I am so going to be in the minority here. I don't even know where to start. There are four books in the Royal House of Shadows miniseries and each book is written by a different author. Gena Showalter leads the way with her book, Lord of the Vampires.

I'm surprised and a little disappointed to say this was another conflicting read from another one of my favorite authors. I love Gena Showalter. No... wait... I adore Gena Showalter. She's one of my go-to authors for auto-buys, rereads and books I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy. I know she's capable of writing truly entertaining tales and I'm a total LoTU fangirl. That's Lords of the Underworld for you newbies. Unfortunately, this was not one of her better stories in my opinion. The beginning of Lord of the Vampires got off to a rocky start, which was immediately cause for concern. But eventually, further on, there was a moment where I thought... okay, things are starting to pick up. There might just be a little promise here yet. Unfortunately, that didn't last long and things started to unravel again.

Let me just preface the rest of this review by stating that I am not a writer. I'm not an editor. I'm not a proofreader or anything of the sort. Mine are purely the amateur observations of an admittedly ignorant reader. And I could be shooting the arrow, but missing the mark. So what exactly was wrong with the story? It's hard to put my finger on one thing really. But if I have to narrow it down, I'd say... first, it's another case of missing subtext. The only difference here being the amount of missing subtext. It almost feels this way from beginning to end. Everything is rushed, not to mention so overly perfect and convenient that it starts to become too much to swallow. Sure there are a few places here and there that open up to more detail and complexity. But it was really sporadic. Like some parts of the story were nurtured while other parts were ignored. I know this is a miniseries, so maybe too many plot points complicated the matter? I don't really know.

Second, I think this was also a case of "show" vs. "tell". It's awesome when a book can "show" rather than "tell" the story within it's pages. People "tell" a story when they are trying to rush through the details to get to the point. They give you an abridged version without drawing you a picture with their words. Which is great when your reading a yawner like legal documents or a proposal. But I like to visualize the stories I read, which requires a little help from the writer. There are all sorts of ways to accomplish this by adding nuances (facial expressions, body language, internal & external dialogue, etc.) and the backstory or history of the characters.

In my opinion, things like this help the reader paint pictures in their mind. It's what I've noticed, at least. The stories that work "show" the reader by incorporating these things, and so much more, helping the reader visualize and empathize. Stories that don't work incorporate less and rush through (to get to the point), passing by the opportunity to "show" the reader anything at all. In the end, what winds up happening is an inability to connect. Unfortunately, that was the case with Lord of the Vampires in my opinion, at least. Rather than drawing me in, it left me on the outside, sensory deprived and seeking more input. Sure the love scenes were hot and steamy in typical Showalter fashion. She does have that talent down to an art form. But I still felt like I got the cliff notes version instead of the whole enchilada and It left me wanting so much more.

The Final Verdict?
This story was not for me. It needed something more, something it just failed to put forth. I'm not even sure who I would recommend it to other than to suggest you might not agree with me at all. In fact, you should always take my reviews as a challenge to find out for yourself. I'm sure there are truly qualified people that are rolling their eyes this very moment at my attempt to explain my so called theories.

I am curious, though, to see what the other authors will do with their stories in this miniseries. I'll also say, this is only a tiny lump of coal in a huge bucket of diamonds as far as I'm concerned. Because I am and always will be a Showalter fan. I know she can deliver and if I've ultimately scared you away from this particular read, please remember that each book in this miniseries is written by a completely different author and you might be missing out on something good if you pass the whole thing by. Plus, I highly encourage you to check out some of Showalter's other works that are guaranteed to please, like the Lords of the Underworld or Alien Huntress series. Your sure to find stuff that won't disappoint. Promise.

Fiction Fool

Other Reviews for Lords of the Vampire:
Demon Lovers Books and More - 4 of 5
Page 317 - 3 of 5
Goodreads Average Rating - 3.62

Other Recommended Reads by Gena Showalter:
Lords of the Underworld Series
Alien Huntress Series
Altantis Series

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