Author: Jade Astor
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 3.75 of 5 stars
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
From the Publisher:
American exchange student Luke Martin is surprised to meet a member of royalty while attending a British university. Though Luke is skeptical of a mystical Gothic castle wedged between Austria and Hungary where gargoyles come to life and the supernatural is the norm, Boris von Schatten and his tales of a tyrannical half-brother ignite Luke’s curiosity. Attracted to Boris, Luke jumps at the offer to spend summer break in Schattenberg. But when he arrives at the castle, he is met by Georg, the mysterious and darkly seductive half-brother, and he learns that Boris has disappeared.
Despite two deaths and increasing evidence that Georg may have murdered Boris, Luke is drawn to Georg. Surely he isn’t as demonic as everyone believes. Luke continues to trust him until blood-soaked clothing belonging to Boris is found in a nearby ravine.
Georg may be the victim of a curse, but he assures Luke he is no murderer and Boris is truly the cruel one. Though Luke flees the castle, the secrets follow him, and while he ponders Georg’s supposed madness, Luke discovers that Boris’s disappearance may be even more sinister than it appears.
I had very mixed feelings about this book as it progressed. For the first 25%, I was convinced this was just like a cheesy horror flick with a main character so stupid, he had no concern for his own personal safety. I was convinced he was going to be captured and sold into the white slavery ring or kidnapped and used for food for the evil vampires. I kept yelling at the book “Run you stupid man, run the other way!” and “OMG, can you not see how easy it would be to make you disappear without a trace?” But I was wrong, this never happened.
For the next 25% of the book, I was utterly confused, and not in a good way. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on and how it related to the overall plot. Yes, there was mystery, but it felt pointless and stagnant. The characters were so mysterious that it wasn’t entertaining, it was just hard to follow.
Finally, about half-way through the book, confusion turned to intregue. I started formulating my own ending and just HAD to know if I was right. The plot finally started moving forward and the author started to give enough details that I wanted to read more. Luke started to grow out of his stupidity and Georg became real, and likable. I finally connected with the characters and the story. But it took 50% of the book before I felt this way.
Once, the plot and characters started to develop, I enjoyed myself. The mystery, the angst, the backstabbing, the family drama, all really worked well together to drive this book to a satisfying ending. I am not usually a fan of gothic style books, but this one wasn’t bad. I just wish it didn’t take over half the book for me to finally get into the tale.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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