While Vlad Tepesh lends himself as a fantastic supporting character in the Night Huntress series, his personality has the word “lead” written all over it, and Jeaniene Frost was smart to take advantage of it.
He gets his own storyline that introduces his potential better half, Leila. Though mortal, a freak accident as a child leaves her with the unusual ability to channel electricity into psychic powers. Her powers are attractive to a group of vampires with malicious intentions who need her abilities to reach out to Vlad, the most infamous of them all. His power to wield fire gives him a significant upper hand, but everyone has a weakness and his adversaries may have found his through Leila. However when they meet, you don’t need chemistry lessons to know that fire + electricity = one dangerous combo.
On the heels of a Vlad-less Night Huntress book #6, I wasted no time getting to this spin-off to get my fix. Though this series is the Night Prince, the story is told from Laila’s POV, so we can’t get into his mind quite as much as fans were likely hoping. I didn’t mind it much because I actually liked Laila’s character. Though tragic and sympathetic, she’s not helpless. I look forward to the evolution of her powers over the course of this series. Sparks were certainly flying between her and Vlad, and so far I approve. There appears to be substance to her which I’ll take any day over the typical disposable heroine. Her powers at times reminded me of Rogue from X-Men, who also wears gloves to protect those close to her. She is one of my favorite characters and Rogue/Gambit is one of my favorite all-time fictional ships. It’s just that while Gambit couldn’t handle Rogue’s power; Vlad can handle Laila’s, allowing them to be more tactile.
Vlad himself is everything I wanted and then some. I feel like Frost wanted to let loose a bit more with him here. He’s sexy, hilarious, frustrating, and terrifying all at the same time. I love those types of dynamic characters in literature. However, this book was written making it clear that there would be more to come. Vlad is extremely private and even though he heats up the sheets, it’s a taller order to heat up his heart. With centuries of success comes centuries of pain, so I’m glad it may take multiple books for this resolution. I like it when my characters truly earn their happiness, and standalone books rarely cut the mustard or me when it comes to that.
There could have been a bit more development with the story, but the characters carried it enough that I found the read satisfying and refreshing from Cat & Bones’s world. It’s part one of a trilogy after all. I’m just glad I don’t have a long wait for the next one.
It’s tough enough trying to take down vampires and ghouls galore, but what about ghosts? Particularly ones that continue to wreak havoc beyond the grave for centuries on end? It’s not an easy fix, but Cat and Bones are determined to do it. Heinrich Kramer, a witch hunter who’s been dead for centuries, has the ability to become corporeal for one night of the year every All Hallows Eve. This allows him to torment and murder innocent women. One of his victims turns to our favorite vampire duo for help because they may be the only ones who can put a stop to it once and for all.
I’ve stated how I tend to like the odd books with this series. As an even numbered book this sort of broke that pattern, though it’s not really a favorite. I am not typically a ghost person, so I believe it says something when I can be engrossed enough to want to see what happens next. Frost makes it very easy to hate the villain and want to see him get his loooong overdue comeuppance.
The story was okay, but I admit that I missed Vlad somethin’ awful this time around. I know that he gets his own novel, but he’s become the character I most look forward to reading about in this series. I understand it’s Cat and Bones’s story but the heart wants what it wants.
Cat has been mellowing out a little more lately, in turn making her less annoying to me, but there were a couple of eye-roll inducing instances, particularly when she harps on how she was apart from Bones for 4 years. I just didn’t connect with that “angst” because they’re together now, have been for a few years, and will probably be together for centuries to come–a luxury (or curse) most couples won’t have.
All in all, while I didn’t have the Fever experience with this series (I read all 5 books in 6 days), I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking it out and getting it done. Now I look forward to Vlad’s book!