As a fellow dark fantasy writer, I had a blast reviewing this book called The Vampire Within by Laura Daleo. I found her book through BookRoar which is a website where you can review indie authors and they can review you as well – more on this site later! Below is my review that I left for her on Amazon and GoodReads.
This book was a very easy and fast-paced read. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought it was an overall enjoyable read with a very interesting premise.
Brandon is a 16-year-old kid who finds himself attracted to the scent of blood and attacks a student one day after school. Trying to find the cause of this mysterious illness, his family takes him to the local doctor and decides to homeschool him since his friends now identify him as a monster. With the help of his new tutor, Rick, and his little sister, Lindsey, they embark on a journey to discover why he has these new vampiric tendencies and how they can get rid of them.
It was nice reading a unique vampire story that didn’t create a central romance to the plot. This story was more about trust, family, and friendship. Brandon was a likable character and the story comes from him as we see how it unfolds. There was a part in the story where we glimpsed the vampire soul residing in his body that was a little jarring – it was an abrupt transition that was a pleasant surprise. His sister Lindsey was also lively and genuinely cared for her brother. While they still had banter between the two, it was out of love and I thought it perfectly captured the essence of a brother and sister duo. Rick was also interesting, although we didn’t get as much background on him. Confined to a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident, he simply wished to live again having only been in his 20s.
These characters created a solid bond with each other even faced with all their obstacles along their journey. Rick was central to their plans to discover the truth behind the mysterious occurrences with Brandon, something his parents weren’t able to admit in the beginning.
The ending was satisfying for the story. Everyone seemed to be in a better place at the end than they were off in the beginning. The plot was wrapped up nicely and most loose ends were tied up. I liked the author’s writing style which was more dialogue based. While there was some dialogue that I felt was unnecessary, most of it was quirky and fun!
My only real complaint would be about the abundance of physical descriptions for characters that mainly included brow expressions and their eyes. I felt like I was reading the same description of characters multiple times, especially eye color. I know it can be an important aspect, especially in a vampire story. However, the repetition of this could be reduced to enhance the reading experience and flow of the story.
Overall, I had a fun time traveling along with the characters and discovering the truth behind Brandon’s affliction.
Check this book out on Amazon if you’re looking for an interesting twist on the vampire genre and quick read. This happens to be the 3rd book written in the Immortal Kiss Series. However, it’s a great stand alone book as well.