Monday, September 24, 2012
Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney
Trapped between two very different worlds, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her strict Irish-Catholic Dad, but her over-protective maker, Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them...
Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time (Jace = cat; Moth = mouse). But when the teenagers of Boston’s wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances—before someone winds up undead?
I'm on a roll at the moment having read a number of fabulous books. September's been a bumper month and I've been struggling to decide what to read next but have been so looking forward to Falling to Ash that it was an easy decision to start it straight away. I've always loved vampires but for me they have to be the deadly dangerous sort. I was intrigued by Moth since I read her short story in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology back in 2010. Moth is not the sort of vampire that we've become used to in recent years. She's newly made - only a year into her undead existence - and she's yet to come into her powers fully. Still able to walk in the daylight but she's swapped a life of misery with her alcoholic father for suffocatin with an over-protective maker. Her comings and goings are restricted and she has to learn the ways of her new family. She's also had to drop out of college and rarely gets to see her much-loved little sister.
These aren't her only problems. Police turn up on her doorstep wanting to know why a murdered boy has her address in his pocket. When she goes to investigate his body she finds Jace the vampire hunter and together they discover that the boy has transformed into a zombie. They team up to find out who is doing the killing and must do it quickly before more teenagers are taken. Moth is a fabulous character - she's both gutsy and foolhardy but also touchingly trusting and vulnerable. Her tragic family background gives her a sorrowful, serious air but she's also sharp-witted and mistress of the eye roll.
Moth and Jace are a brilliant partnership and I was praying for them to get together. I won't give anything away but they have some wonderful moments together. Jace has his own problems - a totally single-minded vampire hunting father and zombies a-plenty. Jace is a great believer in research and has a huge library at his disposal. I like to think of him and Moth as a sort of Giles and Buffy combo - but well matched in age and sexy and … oh dear, you know what I mean. Jace is all wise and thinks things though while Moth acts instinctively and goes with her gut. They are the perfect duo!
The story is a wonderful whodunit and it breezes along to an explosive ending. The world of Falling to Ash is rich with folklore. I loved discovering the rules that the vampires must live by and how zombies are created. I sense that there's much to be revealed in the next book. Also available is the Moth Tales webcomic (brilliantly illustrated by Candace Ellis) which is updated every Monday and Friday and I urge you to check it out in all its awesomeness.