Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review -- Afterlight

The Dark Ink Chronicle, Book 1
By Elle Jasper
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: November 2, 2010

"You know, looking back now I can nail the exact moment everything around me changed. What's funny is, I noticed it right away, but it never really registered. I just didn't get it. Not until later, after I realized vampires existed. Know what it was? Cicadas. The moment it happened, the cicadas silenced. I've not heard even one, much less the thousands that filled every single summer night since I was a kid. They were my white noise, and they've gone. Fled. And it's annoyingly quiet around here. How effed up is that?"
---Riley Poe

Riley Poe is a sought after tattoo artist in Savannah, and being the boss of her own business, Inksomnia, suits her just fine. After a wild and crazy phase during her teen years, Riley has settled down and become a respectable adult, taking care of her fifteen-year-old brother Seth, paying her bills on time, and staying out of trouble. Sometimes you don't have to go looking for trouble, though. Trouble finds you. Seth and a group of his adolescent friends break into a crypt known as da hell stone (according to Riley's surrogate Gullah grandparents) in the Bonaventure Cemetery one night. Their juvenile prank unleashes a pair of evil strigoi---vampire brothers Valerian and Victorian Arcos. Riley never imagined that vampires actually exist, or that her ally in the fight to save her brother will be one of the walking dead.

Eli Dupre and his family have been charged with protecting the city of Savannah against rogue vampires. Now Eli must become Riley's personal bodyguard, protecting her from her brother, who has been corrupted and is becoming a vampire, and from Victorian and Valerian. Riley possesses a one-of-a-kind blood type that tempts all vampires, but Eli craves more than that. As they join forces to fight the Arcos brothers, Riley and Eli must decide whether to fight their attraction to one another or give into passion they crave.

Without taking his eyes off me, Eli drew closer, grasped my hand and placed it over his heart. "Again, I ask. What do you feel when you touch me?"

My eyes closed as his hand covered mine and pressed it against his chest. "I feel...a sensual energy that I can't get enough of, that lingers on my skin, inside of me, and drives me crazy," I said quietly, my chest rising and falling faster with my ragged breathing. I looked at him. "An obsession. I feel you."

Eli slid even closer and pressed his palm over mine. "But no heartbeat."

I rose, slipped my hands over Eli's hips, and guided him onto the cushion I'd just vacated. Grasping his neck, I climbed onto his lap, my leather dress riding up as I slid my legs on either side of him and locked them behind his back. He sat silent, completely still, and I knew that if he did have a heart that beat, it'd be pounding like crazy right now. His hands slid to my hips as his eyes searched mine.

I palmed his chest and brought my lips closer to his. "My heart beats enough for the both of us," I whispered against his mouth.

I know a lot of people think, "Another vampire book?", but I have to tell you that Afterlight is so much more. Elle Jasper puts her own unique spin on the vampire myth and sucks the reader into the story---no pun intended. Savannah is the perfect setting for this series---steamy, mysterious, elegant and full of history, but with a dark, gritty side. I could practically feel the sticky, humid air on my skin and smell the sugary, buttery scent of pralines. And I had to occasionally fight the urge to look over my shoulder to see if something (or someone) was following me.

Riley is a tough-talking, tattooed former wild child with a soft heart. She is willing to do anything, including sacrifice herself, if it will save her brother, Seth. Eli is your quintessential vampire: tall, dark, mysterious, and possessing super human abilities. But he also has a sense of humor that really appeals to Riley. And his feelings for her fill his un-beating heart with love and longing. *Sigh* The love scenes with these two are positively combustible, as far from cold blooded as you can get! Intriguing secondary characters added to all of the above elements make this a page turner that will keep readers awake long into the night. The next book in the series, Everdark, will be coming in June 2011. The third book, Eventide, will follow later next year. Bravo to Ms. Jasper for giving readers a vampire/urban fantasy series they can sink their teeth into.

Elle Jasper also writes charming, heartwarming paranormals under the name of Cindy Miles. You are in for a treat no matter which nom de plume you choose!

~ Gannon


  1. Great review Gannon I am not big on Vampires but this one sounds like it needs to be added to my must get list

    Have Fun

  2. Helen, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Elle Jasper has a great voice!

  3. Really good review, Gannon.
    I love a good vampire book and this one sounds like it certainly has a different spin.
    Plus, I live in south Georgia and I just love Savannah being used as a backdrop.

  4. Thanks, Gigi. If you like vampires, you'll love this one. It's been years since I've been to Savannah, but it's one of my favorite southern cities. So lovely!

  5. Wow, this sounds really good, Gannon. I don't mind an occasional vampire book and that along with the fact that it is set in Savannah has me wanting it. Thanks!

  6. Great review, Gannon! I love when a book is set in a southern town. It makes me feel like I'm visiting home.

    The chemistry between Riley and Eli seems to be really good!

    It sounds like a book I would enjoy.

    And I didn't know that Cindy wrote under a different name!

  7. Andrea, I think you would enjoy this one. Savannah is a great setting.

  8. Buffie, Eli is one hot vampire. *g*

    I had no idea Cindy was writing under a different name, either. When I e-mailed her to tell her how much I loved AFTERLIGHT, she told me that I had reviewed one of her Cindy Miles books. My response was, "Well color me clueless!". LOL. That made her laugh.