But when it comes to this novel, the story suffers for it. I wasn’t too surprised that Rhiannon Frater’s Vengeance of the Vampire Bride was really slow compared to its predecessor, The Tale of the Vampire Bride, but I was hoping that some of the momentum would carry over; that just didn’t happen unfortunately.
Glynis is adjusting to her new undead life as Countess Dracula, plotting and planning revenge against those who literally led her family to slaughter, all the while trying to find her way back to her true love. But the presence of her vampire maker and husband Dracula isn’t making things so simple. Though she’s got superhuman powers of the undead, it’s going to take more brain than brawn to exact her revenge exactly how she sees fit.
While it had its moments, the book was an overall let down for me. It started out fairly promising, but then it hit a brick wall of boring and it took a while to climb over it. To be quite honest, I didn’t crack open these books to read about how she plans to kill these people as opposed to actually doing the deed. Instead we’re forced to suffer through countless dinner parties she attends involving uninteresting human side characters that receive significant screen time. There’s not enough development of Glynis’s actual powers steadily throughout the book. There’s more whining about how she wishes Dracula could have taught her something as opposed to her actually doing something.
It’s just impossible to go from an imposing, horrifying, complex, and enigmatic character such as Dracula to the mere humans he’s manipulated and threatened, while still producing a book that’s remotely as compelling, pulse-pounding, and unpredictable—everything that encompasses the first novel.
In the end it was all bark, and not a lot of bite. In a vampire story, bite is practically mandatory. By the end of the novel I felt as if the next installment should be an improvement. I do hope the series continues because it has potential to become a favorite of mine. I just hope it’s not too little too late.
Simply put, this is another one of those novels that you will either love or hate. As for me, my goodness I loved it!
Lady Glynis Wright is Dracula’s love interest of choice in Rhiannon Frater’s dark and gothic novel. She aspires for a carefree life where she can seek out her own opportunities, however her aristocratic parents have other plans in mind. They want their daughter married to a man of high status and means. Unfortunately, their ambition leads to nothing but trouble as they wind up in Dracula’s home and ultimately his evil clutches. It’s going to be a hell of a battle to get him to let go.
Overall I was very impressed. By the 20% into the story I had no idea where things would go next. This book at 20% would be another book at 100%, I guarantee it. This really built anticipation and excitement for me. Though Frater introduces her own take on this age old tale, it successfully incorporates Braham stoker’s fictional world in a manner that provides endless possibilities while still feeling familiar. While it feels long at times, I honestly never wanted to put the novel down because I was so immersed.
Your mental approach to this book will mean everything. If you want to enjoy it, I highly recommend that you envision Dracula as the villain. This book is NOT, I repeat, NOT a love story and if you keep that in mind you may be more willing to stay on this roller coaster ride to see how it all plays out. Dracula gets so much focus that you want him to seem like an anti-hero, but honestly he is Glynis’s nemesis who she must overcome. I loved how this dynamic broke the usual formulaic mold of a brooding guy who may be an ass to the heroine; however he hasn’t yet crossed that moral event horizon–therefore he’s redeemable.
Some of the themes are very disturbing, especially the sexual themes. While this is fiction, it really pushed the limits for me and I feel that it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s brutal and downright ugly at its most intense and lowest moments. Then games are even more psychological and political than physical and I felt true horror as I read a number of the scenes.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I read this book, but I LOVED getting this kind of surprise.