Monday, May 20, 2013

As Twilight Falls by Amanda Ashley

As a longtime fan of this author, I really liked and was intrigued by the direction she went in with this book. Kadie Andrews is going around the country photographing ghost towns. She finds herself in Morgan Creek and things take a creepy turn when she finds that she is unable to leave. The town is like a Bermuda Triangle. What she soon finds out is that the town is home to a coven of vampires and the humans they keep in town for their own personal blood source. The town is enchanted so that anybody unlucky enough to wander in can never find their way out. I like the pop culture references in this book, showing a self-awareness – that it’s the kind of thing that only happens in TV shows like The Twilight Zone. I liked how the beginning of the story was almost more “spooky story” than “paranormal romance”. You get to see Kadie go through different stages – fear, shock, disbelief, until she almost shows acceptance by the time she’s talked to Vaughn & the female human residents (prisoners) a few times. There are other paranormal romances with strong, alpha-male heroes in which the heroines are put into situations in which they have little to no control but I think this story really explores the philosophical aspects. Kadie is kept, along with the other human residents (both male & female), against their will by vampires. The vampires use the humans for their blood, but in return the humans are given certain freebies (housing, entertainment, etc.). For some of the vampires, they really don’t see what they are doing that is so wrong. The downside for the humans, other than being used for their blood, is being torn from their normal lives and loved ones – some have been trapped for 20 years or so. There is no money but some of the humans do odd jobs, not for money, but to feel useful and break up the monotony. I enjoyed the love story as well – the main one between Kadie and head vampire Rylan Saintcrow as well as the secondary one that comes later between Shirley and a male vampire created by the evil vampire Lilith. I liked seeing Rylan evolve throughout the story. He starts out seeming like a self-centered king with no concern for others beside himself. Through knowing Kadie, he starts to see Morgan Creek and what the vampires have done in a different light. The only thing I had a hard time understanding was how the female humans changed in their attitude toward Kadie after it became evident that she was in love with Rylan. I think if I was her, I would have stopped trying with them a lot sooner. I look forward to reading more books by this author, especially looking for more stories in this new style.

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