Friday, October 26, 2012
A Hidden Fire (Battle for the books and the hot librarian)
I have to say, I was quite impressed with this book. I couldn't put it down. Started it on a lark, but then the mysteries in the beginning kept me reading and the deeper I read into the characters, I got incredibly attached. The strongest strength to this book is the intrigue. It keeps you guessing, keeps things not quite explained, at least not until the end.The cast is fantastically fleshed out and none of the characters are flat or cookie cutter. Giovanni is all dark and mysterious, but it turns out, he has good reason for being a loner and he really is quite alone. Beatrice is a smart, computer savvy and capable female lead which is...well, refreshing. And Carwyn the Irish priest vampire who wears Hawaiian shirts? I think that says it all on its own.
Giovanni's Mysteries #1: When I first started reading the book, it took until the third chapter to reveal he was a vampire. You could guess it, sure, but there was enough vagueness and enough uniqueness in his abilities that you didn't just go, d'oh, vampire. His interactions with Bea in the library are like an intricate dance as both observe the other, becoming more intrigued and more interested. And once he reveals himself to her in the elevator? She handles it like a champ, despite her qualms and concerns. Plus, the concept of elemental vampires is a fun variant and brings an entirely different perspective to his vampirism.
Giovanni's Mysteries #2: Now, this is a vampire with a fine appreciation for books. (An avid reader's wet dream) And early on in the novel, particularly when Carwyn comes around, it becomes evident that Giovanni's running some sort of game. Even though he finds Bea attractive, he's ancient and has more smarts than that. Her dad is the source of intrigue because he's been tracking down his books the whole time and has the feeling her father got involved. Well actually, he has the concern that her father got turned. So he hires Bea to work for him and leaves the reader wondering what his real end goal is with all of this.
Giovanni's Mysteries #3: The final bit of intrigue which ties the story together involves Giovanni's crazy "son" (aka the guy he turned) Lorenzo. Nothing like Giovanni. And more like an unstable clown that's taken too many uppers and decided to prance around in Renaissance garb. At least that was the mental image that popped to mind every time he spoke. And Lorenzo pretty much takes it on himself to toss Bea's life into the garbage chute. He attacks her grandmother, he turned her father and he kidnaps her, forcing her to live in his gigantic Grecian dollhouse and wear all of his dumb white outfits.
So the story wraps up with Lorenzo temporarily defeated and Bea saved, even though she bears some pretty hardcore trust issues as a result of her staycation in Lorenzo's funhouse. Even though her and Gio get together, she ends up still leaving for L.A. which I was very sad about. But, the book still ended on a good note with Gio walking up to her place in Cally and leaving a note for her, which desperately makes you want to read the next book.