Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

Set in England during the 1800s, the novel tells the story of Victoria who is born into the Gardella family. She is the last of the direct descendants of the Gardella line, and she is a Venator, a vampire hunter. The reader follows Victoria as she navigates through society while keeping her occupation as a vampire hunter a secret. She is aided by her great-aunt Eustacia, her aunt's companion and Victoria's trainer in martial arts, Kritanu, the mysterious Max, and her lady's maid, Verbena.

Things get truly difficult for Victoria when she meets the Marquess of Rockley, Philip. The two were acquainted as children, and a romance quickly springs up between the two. Victoria is forced to hide her destiny from Philip

Meanwhile Lilith, queen of the vampires has moved to London with her entourage of vampires. She is searching for the Book of Antwartha, and Victoria and her allies must keep the book from the vampires.

Along the way, Victoria enlists the aid of Barth, Verbena's carriage-driving cousin. She learns how to dress while still carrying stakes. She discovers how to excuse herself so that she can kill vampires without offending society ladies or permitting anyone to remember when they've seen a vampire. She is bitten by a Guardian vampire, a step up from your run-of-the-mill vampire, and has to clean her wounds with salted holy water. She frequents a bar where the clientele is mostly vampire and befriends the owner, the enigmatic Sebastian Vioget.

If you like books about vampires or books with a historical setting, you'll enjoy this book. Victoria is a strong lead character, and it's easy to believe in her. There is a strong romantic aspect to the story, but it does not overshadow the main thrust of the book--vampire hunting. The love scenes are very tastefully and discreetly done, and the action is compelling. Overall, it's a great read!

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