Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason


Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long taken over the world.

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake.
But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria`s heart is torn between London`s most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget.

And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love…

When the people at Allison and Busby asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a new urban fantasy series which has come to the UK market, I jumped at the chance. And I am glad that I did.

The story's setting is completely new to the genre, being London's Society in around the 18th Century. So, if you are a fan of historical novels keep reading. The main character with the most incredible name I have ever come across is anything but a simpering violet. The mama's, aunts and other debutantes that litter the book remind me strongly of the conniving that is part of Pride and Prejudice. The story is flavoured with nods to the Bronte's and Georgette Heyer and her Regency novels which she so excelled at. And because Buffy is the girl we set our vampire hunters standards on, I have to say, the one-liners won't leave you wanting, nor would the action.

But at the end of the day, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is very much her own woman. She handles becoming a vampire hunter with remarkable aplomb and with her Great Aunt Eustacia as her guide and mentor she soon starts staking vampires. She negotiates her coming out as a debutante with grace and we are soon introduced to a very sexy suitor the Marquess of Rockley. Throw in the mysterious Sebastian who seems keen to help her out with information about the Queen of the Vamps and the prize she was after - and we never quite become sure of his motives.

The story makes for a fun frolic through London high society, with balls to attend, suitors to fend off and vampires to stake and a plot to destroy the world to foil. Along the way there are some compromising situations which makes for some creative storytelling. Victoria is a credible heroine and she grows from strength to strength.

But she does have her faults. And the author is careful to highlight them with subtlety and humour.

Initially I found the dialogue a bit difficult to get into, because it is quite stylised and formal, but you soon get used to it and it helps with the story's general feel. What also works well are the little asides with Victoria's mother and the aunts who cleverly discuss various situations and the growing mystery of the possibility of vampires existing.

All in all, it is a very clever book with a great hook! I look forward to reading the second book which has recently been published: Rises the Night.

A bit about the author:
I recently became addicted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (thank heaven for DVDs!), and thought ... hmm ... what would it be like if Buffy had been living during the times of balls and chaperones and the ton? And thus The Gardella Legacy was born.

You can find Colleen Gleason's website here.


Ailsa said...

Ooh, that sounds quite cool. Might check it out... eventually, when I have money and my 'tbr' pile isn't looming over me so much. Too many good books! :D

-.- said...

I love this series, hopefully you'll check out the rest of the books in the series because they keep getting better and better.

Great review!