“Blood Omen Book 1: The Vampire Wars” by Katie Ruth Davies

I must state from the start that this is not a stand-alone book. It is not really Book 1 of a series. It is Episode 1 of a serial. So don’t be surprised and disappointed, as I was, when you turn a page in the middle of the action, and there isn’t any more. The writer, of course, wants you do be disappointed, and immediately go out and buy Book 2. I suppose that’s well and good, but at least now you’ve been warned.
This is a pretty standard vampire book, where the main character, Dea, seems to have attracted the attention of a coven of vampires. All her life she has been able to see vampires, while the rest of humanity can’t distinguish the predators in their midst. Then there’s her best friend Ana, a typical teenager, a Goth who is enamoured with the idea of vampires, and keeps going on about them in the normal inane teenage way. Meanwhile Dea is battling them for real, and trying to protect Ana at the same time. This contrasting view of the same situation is a great writing technique, and Ana is my favourite character in the book.
The other strength in the story is Ms. Davies’ portrayal of the emotions Dea goes through, with her bereavement for her mother, her divided feelings for vampires in general and a few of them in specific, and her terror at the situation she is forced into.
Unfortunately, these strengths do not completely carry the story. The plotline is episodic, with the same pattern happening several times. You’d think the ‘good guy’ vampires would figure out that every time Dea goes into the outside world, the bad guys catch them. But they keep doing it anyway. Their refusal to tell her what’s really going on is great for suspense, but the excuse that she “isn’t ready to hear it yet,” needs to be developed more seriously to be credible.
The characterization also has problems. It seems that every male vampire is pale, beautiful, and wears black jeans. They all rather blur, even the important ones. The female vampires have more individuality.
As well, there is a rather disorienting timeline switch and a lot of general writing errors that a good line edit would have fixed.
In all, a decent story, but uneven in execution. Recommended for the less fussy paranormal reader.
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
For a good article on how to write a serial, may I suggest “Crafting Serial Fiction: an In-Depth Guide” by M. L. Gardner

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