Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Afterlight by Elle Jasper

From the Back Cover:

As Savannah's most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe is quite familiar with the local underground scene. She lives and works on the edge of it every day. Now she's about to step over the edge. When her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by centuries-old vampires, Riley discovers a world of shadows and blood--and those who exist there.

Her ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, who is attracted to Riley's beauty as well as her one-of-a-kind blood type--a blood type he is not alone in craving. To save her brother from certain death, Riley will face dangers she's never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour all in its vile grasp.

My Thoughts:

This book has a lot going for it: a delicious southern gothic vibe, an interesting and suspenseful story, and Riley Poe, a fantastically unconventional romantic heroine, and one of the best characters I've come across in a long time. Riley is Savannah's most sought-after tattoo artist. After surviving a traumatic and troubled adolescence, she put herself through art school, raised her younger brother, and built a thriving business. Everything finally seems to be going her way--until the night her brother and his friends accidentally unleash a pair of centuries-old demons hell-bent on creating a vampire army, and Riley is thrust into the center of a supernatural world she never imagined actually existed. With the help of her Gullah friends and their hoo-doo magic, a family of old world aristocratic vampires, and the very sexy and very powerful Eli Dupre, Riley must confront the demons of her own sordid past as she sinks back into the seedy underground lifestyle to save her brother and the unsuspecting residents of Savannah.

This could have been a solid 5-star read for me if the author had been able to curb her over-descriptive tendencies and her annoying habit of breaking the action to explain bits and pieces of her setting. Here's a prime example, from a scene in which Riley is in the middle of a tense situation with a vampire:
I stumbled, caught myself against the tabby wall (made of oyster shell and sand mortar), then sucked in a gasp.
This is a classic example of not giving your reader enough credit. I travel quite a bit through the south, so I already knew what tabby was, but if I hadn't known, I either would have been able to figure it out or I would have looked it up...LATER. Not while I was in the middle of the action. Unfortunately, this happened quite a bit in places where I definitely did not want to be pulled out of the action. In fact I was pleading with Ms. Jasper at one point to stop distracting me from her rockin' story!

Because this story does rock, I tried very hard to get past the distractions. I loved the setting--vampires and the old south just seem to go together so well--and as I've already said, Riley Poe is awesome. I loved the Gullah and hoo-doo aspects of the story. They felt very authentic, and really added to the spooky atmosphere and the freakiness factor. Jasper does a good job of blending the old world with the new. I'm always complaining about one-dimensional villains, but the villain in this story actually has some depth and he's very intriguing. Oh, and did I mention the hot sex? While this is another vampire story, it's different enough to stand out. A couple of mysteries that are touched upon are not fully explained, but the ending has enough of a resolution to satisfy, and it also opens up a whole new can of worms to propel Riley into the next installment, and I will definitely pick up a copy of the recently released Everdark to see what happens next. I'll just hope for fewer paranthetical distractions!

My Rating:  4 Stars out of 5


  1. I do like books that rock :D lol, who doesn't. Also, so my genre

  2. I'm not sure if this my genre, but it does sound interesting. Something I like to try new things...i'll keep this in mind.


I love comments! Getting feedback on my posts makes my day! Thanks for being here!