The Rest Falls Away
Published 2007 360 pages
Reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Summary (from book jacket)
In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy of vampire slaying, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantwowrth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves among the crush of ballrooms and the 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.
Many reviews have referred to Colleen Gleason’s heroine as “Buffy meets Jane Austen.” I think she’s closer to one of Amanda Quick’s feisty regency heroines, albeit with a stake hidden in her hair or in her garter. Just my opinion, but I don’t think Victoria is nearly as perky as Buffy, and I like her more for that. She’s feisty, opinionated, tough and loyal.
Gleason has drawn Victoria and her male counterparts well. The Marquess of Rockley is a man to fall in love with especially when we learn of his earlier meetings with Victoria when they were younger. He’s caring, protective and will do anything to watch over Victoria, even if she doesn’t want it.
Victoria’s Aunt Eustacia, head of the vampire hunters has a presence that fairly jumps off the page. And Max, one of the most powerful hunters, although not of the Gardella clan, is wonderful with his banter with Victoria. Max appears to think that women should stick to balls and frippery rather than doing man’s work, and Victoria plans to show him otherwise.
Gleason has paced the story well, keeping tension alive as we move forward on our vampire hunts with Victoria. While many vampires must be staked through the heart and have their heads chopped off, most of the vampires in this novel “poof” into ashes once staked. Imperials though are stronger and require having their heads removed
While we don’t spend a good deal of time with the vampires themselves, Lilith has a sensual pull. If we can feel it as readers, imagine how hard it is for others to resist her call. Gleason keeps a fabulous twist for the end that at least this reviewer didn’t guess.
Gleason’s writing is crisp and even with strong dialogue. I like how the titles of her chapters mirror the regency time. The prologue, for example is called “In Which Our Story Commences.” Overall, I enjoyed this tale and look forward to reading the other books in this series, which include Rises The Night, The Bleeding Dusk, When Twilight Burns, and the forthcoming When Shadows Fade.
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