Friday, September 19, 2008

The Rest Falls Away: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles (Book One)

The Rest Falls Away:
The Gardella Vampire Chronicles

By Colleen Gleason (Author's Website)
Publisher: Signet
Published: January 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0-4512-2007-3
368 pages

Page 223: "Do you believe in destiny?"

I wouldn't have started on the series if Wendy of Musings of a Bookish Kitty did not write reviews on it and feature the author, Colleen Gleason as a guest blogger. For that, I thank her for introducing this talented author who has penned a wonderful paranormal historical series. If you like vampire tales, you should definitely check this one out. I find it unique and holds my interest right to the last page, and beyond.

Assuming you are Victoria, what would be your reaction when you found out that you are born to fight vampires? That you are the direct descendant -- in fact, the last -- of a powerful family of Venators? This is what Victoria Gardella Grantworth, the protagonist of the story is. She is the last of the direct bloodline in the Gardella family; the only people who possesses a fighting chance to destroy Lilith, the vampire queen.

Victoria's aunt, Eustacia is a powerful Venator herself, and aged over eighty years old. She plays a central role in guiding Victoria with the help of Kritanu (her aunt's lover). Victoria's choice of accepting her destiny as a vampire hunter will no doubt, affect her life in a major way. There is no U-turn once she receives her vis bulla - the last step towards her destiny. She meets another magnificent Venator (not by family legacy but his own choice) named Maximilian Pesaro (Max) and they must work together. She then finds love when she meets with Lord Phillip de Lacy, the Marquess of Rockley at her coming-out ball. And then there is another man named Sebastien Vioget who runs a bar patronized by humans and the undead. An intriguing and mysterious man he is.

I could relate to the pain and anguish when Victoria is confronted by Phillip, her love to tell the truth about a certain incident. I feel for her so much that I burst into tears myself when Victoria crumples under pressure: Then her tears burst forth. Everything that she had held back in the last weeks, since she had the dreams. Since she had learned of her calling. It is heart-wrenching being in Victoria's position. I am not sure if I was crying because of her (it must be) but I think I cried more for myself. There are certain things in our lives that we simply cannot tell others.

The debut work introduces great characters, including supporting ones like Victoria's maid (Verbena plays an important role in supporting her as Venator - smart girl, that one), her mother and her friends (they are all busy planning the courtship of Victoria and the marquess), and of course, the vampires themselves (there will be no story if there are no vampires to slay). It is also interesting to read the tension between Max and Victoria, and Sebastien toying with her emotion. I have truly enjoyed reading the first book in the series and at the time of writing this review, had started on the second one, Rises the Night.

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