Jabril (Vampires in America #2) – Even better than the first
While the scenery has shifted a bit from Malibu, California to Houston, Texas, Cynthia Leighton brings some of her problems there with her. After her falling out with Raphael, to keep herself focused Cyn heads to the lone star state to help yet another Vampire Lord. Except this time her client is the purely evil and sadistic Jabril Karim, who needs Cyn’s P.I. skills to track down the most important acquisition–an heiress who has escaped his clutches before her 18th birthday. Like her sister who he already controls, once she turns 18 she is to become a vampire so that he can acquire her family’s fortune as her guardian.
Of course word spreads fast and Jabril has summoned Cyn all because of her connections to Raphael. Forbidden fruit is always the most tempting and he wants a piece. He is all about ruffling feathers and doing whatever it takes to get ahead. As Cyn soon realizes this, she is in too deep and has to do all she can to save the very two sisters that he wants to keep under his thumb. It takes her back to Cali, showing that she can’t run away from her problems like she wants. And she certainly can’t do it alone, facing Raphael once again since it takes a Lord to defeat a Lord.
This second installment of D.B. Reynolds’s wonderful PNR series is even better than the first. It continues the storyline from the first book, unlike a number of books in this genre that present new heroes and heroines from book to book. Having an overarching couple allows the reader to become more attached to the characters, so I’m glad she took this approach. We get to see them deal with the aftermath of their decision to not be together, which builds a lot of tension and makes their dynamic more interesting.
The villain is fantastic. I love that we got do see a good deal of the horror he revels in inflicting. There were actually a number of bone chilling scenes for me which was a welcome surprise and is another quality that helps separate this series from your typical cookie-cutter story.
I liked how the victims were portrayed as well. Sometimes they were very naive and they embodied the attitude of your typical frustrating and irrational teenager a number of times. Even though they had an enormous hardships losing their parents and falling into Jabril’s clutches, they still managed to be innocent in a lot of ways.
The cover still leaves a lot to be desired for me and I think Jabril looks a bit cockeyed, so I try not to use that picture as a reference when I imagine him. I still think the lack of a good cover doesn’t do this series any favors. That said, I’m past judging a book by its cover when it comes to this series, though I’ll comment on the covers until they start to look better. I don’t know if anybody else does this, but I know it didn’t help to make me want to read these books right away.
The story resolves itself in this book, but the author leaves breadcrumbs that will build up to the following book. And because of that I went right into the following book right away. This book only strengthens my opinion that this series is worth the investment.