Beyond the Grave, Book 2 of the Jess Vandermire: Vampire Hunter Series, Lina Gardiner
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy
I’m always on the look out for a good vampire series and saw this one a while back. At the time though I had a long TBR list so this went on my wish list for later….( at one time I had so many on my BR list I divided it into two – that damn one click! Now I’m stricter, well, a little…)
So not having read book one, only the sample, I dived in to this. Its not that hard to follow though I was puzzled at some of the crits I seen referencing this as “soft porn”. Err – what? Jessica is still a virgin here! If you want an example of soft porn in books look at the later Laurell Hamilton Anita Blake series. I loved the earlier ones, but they devolved into a sex fest where it seemed like if it moved and was male Anita “needed” it – so that excused everything then 😉 Anyway, moving on…Jessica makes a good lead, strongly moral, wants to retain her humanity despite being a vampire now – and these vampires aren’t the usual romance type, but (most) kill needlessly and have absolutely no regard for humans and human life. Jess though has always had the support of her little brother. He’s a priest, though now elderly he’s still very strong and his prayers and herbals have held Jess to her humanity so far. There’s another Vampire too, James, who works for the police who is also helped by Regent’s prayers. He makes occasional appearances here but is an important part of the team. Then there’s another cop on the team, Britt, a human who’s in love with Jess but its still new, Jess is scared of hurting him and yet can’t seem to keep away. They seem to be the mainstay of the series.
Alongside that there’s the issue of what’s specific to this book, where humans are being killed by Vampires and it looks like Jess may be to blame…Britt knows her very well though, he and Regent agree it can’t be her despite the way it looks but can they find the real killer in time? Then there’s Drago, curious and secretive rich owner of a local club – he’s been offered a huge sum to get hold of Jess for a client.
There’s a lot going on here, lots of minor issues that gradually expand to give a clearer picture. I found it a bit slow going to start, maybe if I’d read book one? I don’t know – I don’t think it would have made a difference but it sped up in the second half into almost a frenzy of action at times, and I had to keep reminding myself only hours had passed in the book, it seemed like days so much had happened. There’s a few surprises in store for everyone, Jess included, and it made for a fun read but whether it’ll join the keepers I’m undecided. It may be one of those I like more after getting further into the series, but so far I kind of find it hard to get really engrossed in the story and characters, and just feel a little detached from them. Its a good read nevertheless, just not (yet) a five star one for me. I’ve got book three on my kindle so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about Jess, Britt and Co after that.
Stars: Four, a fun and entertaining read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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