Title: Demon Moon
Author: Meljean Brook
Review number: 28
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Stand alone/ series: second full-length novel in the Guardians series.
Summary: No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but they would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity—bitter comforts, since a curse has erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos. Savi Murray’s insatiable curiosity had gotten her into trouble before, but she’d always escaped unscathed. Then came Colin. In the midst of Heaven, he gave her a taste of ecstasy—and of Chaos. Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection—and their only passion…
Why did I read the book: Because I loved the first one, Demon Angel.
It’s 8 months after the happenings in Demon Angel. The Gates to Hell are to be closed for 500 years after the Mega Guardian Michael won a wager against Lucifer but Earth is not yet safe. There were quite a few escapee demons who managed to get out before the shut down, some creatures such as the Nosferati still lurk around and given that a high number of Guardians have Ascended (basically moved on to the afterlife) , humans are in dire straights. At the end of Demon Angel we learnt that Hugh and Lilith would work together to protect the world: they do that by managing the SI – Special Investigations – a special division of the Homeland Security that covers up any demon and vampire activity to keep the public ignorant about their existence and also to train new guardians, human and vampires.
Yes, vampires. You see, in this universe, vampires are not all that bad because they do not feed from humans – not because they are good and honourable but because they know that if bodies start to appear, humans would start to hunt them. So it has been decided ages ago, that the smart thing to do would be to feed from other vampires. And because bloodlust is a powerful experience that comes together with body lust and the vampire usually cannot stop himself from also having sex with the person he is feeding from, they usually try to find a partner, a consort to spend their lives with.
The vampire community is in tatters after most of the elders have been killed with the fire that destroyed Polidori’s, the night club who was the centre of their community back in Demon Angel and Colin Ames-Beaumont has bought and rebuilt it. Now, the vampires are looking up at him, expecting that he will become their leader.
But Colin wants none of the responsibility – he just wants to carry on with his self-indulgent life. Colin is not a regular vampire: his blood is tainted both by the Sword that belonged to Michael and by the Nosferatu blood that was used for his transformation. This means that he has extra strength, can stand daylight, and has the power to feed from humans without killing them or without being remembered afterwards. Any human he feeds from or has sex with, thinks he was nothing but a fantastic dream. He is one of the most beautiful beings in existence and is extremely vain and egoistic, which is ironic since he has been cursed with not being able to look into a mirror without having visions of Chaos – a terrible realm to which he is an anchor to.
Then he meets Savitri Murray, Hugh’s surrogate sister. Savi is an incredibly smart, curious young woman who has a fantastic memory and is a techie wizard. When a child, she witnessed the murder of her entire family and was saved at the eleventh hour by Hugh when he was still a Guardian. She has built strong psychic shields to protect herself from her memories which kind of separates her mind from her emotions and because of that, she runs – from responsibilities and from deep attachments with her lovers. She suffers a Nosferatu attack at the beginning of the book that will taint her blood and change her life forever.
And these are two individuals that carry the story in Demon Moon.
As Demon Moon begins, we learn that months ago, while they were both sent to Caelum for protection during the final events of Demon Angel, they had a fling that did not end well. Savi, now working for the SI, has trouble trusting Colin, who is after her relentlessly – he is attracted to her to scent and to her personality like never before. So they decide to become friends so that Colin can prove himself trustworthy before they can explore their attraction to each other. But always with the certainty that nothing more than a passing sexual relationship could ever happen between them: Colin , because of his tainted blood can not transform her into a vampire and he can’t feed from one human forever else she would be weak so they have about one month in which to be together before Colin must find another source of blood – which as we know, usually comes with sex. And that is no good.
And that is only the beginning: we have their relationship in the centre stage yes, but this is a big theatre with other characters , demons , nosferati , vampires, plots, and the happenings that surround them in a crescendo till the climax of the book.
I found this instalment to have a completely different feel from Demon Angel with regards to the love story. In that one, we could see from the start that Hugh and Lilith were made for each other, two sides of the same coin, light and darkness, truth and lies and that from the start they were bound to find love in each other.
In Demon Moon , there is an uneasy feeling regarding Colin and Savi , who seem to be so superficial and careless having only passing relationship with other people and who can’t, possibly, be ready for love.
But Meljean Brook’s writing shines once more, as she surprises me by showing that they had more depth than anyone can see – as the story progresses we are shown layer upon layer of these characters, like, excuse me for the awful comparison, peeling an onion , where by showing us what they are trying to protect, we finally reach their core, or their hearts and when we do, the tale turns into a conflicted, deep, sometimes sad, love story. The forces that they have to face, their own tainted blood, their inner nightmares, are almost tragic. At points I feared that the happy ending would not come at all, as I could not see a way out of their predicament.
And as neither could them, their despair grew and I couldn’t help but to feel for their misery and their sadness and I shed a tear or two. It took my breath away, the way their story was resolved, some of the turns the story had in the end were quite courageous – and felt deeply relieved that they did find a way to be together and happy.
In other words: another fantastic instalment in a series that is shaping up to be one of my favourites.
Notable quotes/parts: The last pages. Their despair at the imminent separation and the realisation that they had to, at least try, the madness of feeding from each other because the thought of spending an eternity apart was much worse than death.
Additional Thoughts: I think I mentioned that before but I really dig this thing of bloodlust and sex together. It reminds me of this:
Verdict: Everything is good about the book: the characters, the action sequences and the fight scenes, the universe, the dialogue, the sex, the love story.
Rating: another 10!
Reading next: By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter.