Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror
Paperback: 384 pages
Release date: May 29th 2012
Series: Vamp City #1
Reviewed by: Christine
Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city’s magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal world…one who knows nothing of the power she wields.
Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see—and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her.
What Arturo can’t do is forget about her—any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission—his to save his people, hers to save herself.
But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City.
Pamela Palmer’s latest book, A Blood Seduction starts rather harmlessly: Quinn, a researcher is different than your average human, weird, as she characterizes herself. Her clothes change colors spontaneously and she has flashes of visions of another place overlapping with the real world, nothing too dangerous. Then, people start going missing, including Lily, Quinn’s brother’s best friend. When Quinn and Zack start searching for her, they cross over into a different dimension: a dark, violent version of Washington, called V. C. or Vampire City. For this version of the Capital is ruled by vampires who have only two use for humans: as food and as entertainment.
Humans are on the very bottom of the food chain in V.C. It’s an incredibly dark, violent and brutal world Pamela Palmer has created. Vampires are depicted as sadistic creatures that thrive on human pain, fear and blood. Don’t expect to encounter a vamp you can swoon over in this book. Some of the scenes happening in this book are so violent and appalling that I was about to stop reading several times. It is tagged as urban fantasy, but it felt more like horror, not a book for the faint of heart. Personally, I could have done with a less vivid description of all the violence, torture and even rapes. The fact that the minds of their victims are mostly erased afterwards didn’t make said scenes easier to stomach. Yet somehow, I found myself reading fervently.
Pamela Palmer knows how to make a reader sympathize with a character. Quinn is a woman driven by the love for her brother Zack. Her bravery and resolve are admirable and make her a truly great character. Those traits were also one of the reasons I finished the book, as I desperately wanted for her to escape this horrible place with her brother. I’m also very curious to see how her “powers” will unfold in future books. The story arc about Quinn’s magic missed out a little bit. I would have liked to see her develop her magical talents a bit more, but I guess we will read more about that in the next books.
Arturo, her master, savior and seducer is one of the reasons Quinn can’t escape. He is also one of the "good" vampires, though to call him that might be exaggerated. I had difficulties feeling the attraction Quinn felt for him. How she could have be attracted to someone who almost raped her the first time he met her is beyond me. Even worse is the fact that she feels she can’t trust him. Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship, so his betrayal made it that much harder for me to like him. Still, I kind of wished he would get his act together and choose Quinn over his master, that’s another reason why I read the entire book.
Beside Arturo, there were several other, interesting characters including Bram and Cassius, two of Arturo’s vampire friends, who also have more moral than the rest of the vampires and seem to have an interesting story. And then there’s Grant, a sorcerer and slave, who forms a tentative bond of friendship with Quinn. Throughout the story, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there is more to his magic than meets the eye.
Right from the start, there is a lot going on. This book is full of tension and action and if you can make it past all the violent scenes, you’ll get sucked into a story that hardly allows you to catch your breath. The end packs another punch: it makes you question the relationship between Quinn and Arturo and makes you want to know how things will unfold.
Personally, I would have enjoyed A Blood Seduction much more if some of the scenes were less violent or only hinted at and left more things to the imagination. Tell me, how much violence can you stomach in a book and where do you draw the line? Is too much graphic violence a reason for you to DNF a book? Go ahead, share your thoughts!
Want to get a taste of Vampire City yourself? Here’s an excerpt for you!