Once, Sarah Bingham's biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she's landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control...
In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible---when it means forfeiting the world she's always known, and the life he would do anything to protect.
©2011 Dianne Duvall (P)2011 Tantor
"This is a strong start in what looks to be a thrilling and chilling new paranormal series. Fantastic!" (Romantic Times)
Loved this book. After looking for something similar to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Midnight Breed, or basically what I now found to be called “paranormal romance” I settled upon the Immortal Guardian Series. This book is intelligently written with a strong female character, Sarah, discovering her knight in shining armor or rather her knight in a tanned ripped body, Roland. Normally, I listen while commuting but I could not set down the iPod and go back to normal life. I went looking for medial tasks so I could listen to more. Well now the house is sparkling and I have completed one of the most breathtaking audible books.
But please don't shove your views down my throat. Smack in the middle of my favorite genre I find Vampires (check), a heroine (check), a bit of action (check), a bit of romance (check), a bit of eat healthy and exercise (what????). For pete's sake, it threaded through the WHOLE story. I don't read escape literature to be reminded of real life. UGH
I am Who I am; and you are Who you are...so lets leave it at that.
This book is not unique in its theme on good vs bad vamps....if you have read books from authors like Christine Feehan and Lynsay Sands you will find a lot similarities but the story is so entertaining that you will forget all about the other authors series. The book is so well written and I think the narrator did a really good job. I like how the author sets you up for her next book and maybe even for the entire series. She gives just enough of taste that you will look up when the next one is coming out. (Dec 2011;) The other thing that I like is the whole story was not always about the main characters. This book is a romance with steamy sex scenes. So if your not into that look else where. Also folks who do not want to get involved in a series that will probably be going for a well just like the previous authors mention then also look else where because this book leaves you with a lot of unansweres question. There is also a lot of fight scence which I personally like. Action. Hot men. Sexy romance. Good vs Evil. Good narrator. Makes for fun listening....hope you likey:)
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Better characters, better dialog, better writing, less lecturing, no "Mary Sue"...
My Take on Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall
- The dialog was awful and had me rolling my eyes every other minute.
- The main characters so flat and one dimensional that I almost felt embarrassed at the silly things they said or the boring action - seriously how long can a writer go on about prepping an organic salad, the importance of eating organic, being eco-friendly, recycling? Way too long!
- I felt like the author had an agenda with the organic, eco-friendly lecturing.
- The main female character was a complete and total "Mary Sue" so undeveloped and "ideal" it was almost sickening.
- The narrator was good but her accents were not the same as how the accents were described. If the accents had not been described as, "Egyptian, British, ...etc then there wouldn't have been a problem but because they were described in the book it was something that continued to bother me.
- The lists. Every so often the characters just start listing things...for example when the main female is thinking about her reasons for having sex with Roland she just starts stating the reasons why (even though early on we were told she is a good girl that has only had two sexual relationships that were both based on love and she doesn't approve of sex outside of relationships) that she can have sex with a man she has known for about 24 hours. This particular list was so long that I found I had tuned out the book...when I tuned back in the list still wasn't finished!
- The sex scenes. In my experience there are a large number of books that although the story or characters are flat...the sex scenes just sizzle. This was NOT the case. Instead it was a case of - Sara does _______ . Roland does ________. Sara does _______ . Roland does ________. Seriously it sounded more like stage direction than a sex scene.
- So bad I sat down and wrote my first audible review.
- I do not have a lot of extra money for audible books and I feel like I have wasted one of my (very precious) credits on this book.
- I may end up finishing this book some day...but I can not listen to it for any length of time before I have to just turn it off.
- The book started out very good - the action drew me in immediately and I was very interested in the characters - until I actually started to "get to know" them - Later though I felt like I was dying a little bit inside with each chapter after the pizza making incident (very early on) - after the later salad making I really started rolling my eyes. (If you still get this book after reading this review - you will see exactly what I mean.)
- The narrator - she took a badly written, boring story and did the best she could with it. She did a good job with the different voices (although the accents didn't seem quite right) and it was easy to tell the different characters apart.
- For a while I had entertained the thought that when the author was going off on an "organic" tangent it was actually "in character." It was jarring to me but I thought that perhaps it was in character for Sara to notice, point out, and/or use organic, eco-friendly products at every turn or to lecture on the use of cell-phones, about eating non-organic foods or why eating meat and shell-fish is gross etc etc... but eventually I gave up on the hope that this was in character and just became annoyed. On a side note - I personally do what I can to recycle, use good (earth friendly) products, and feed my family healthy food so that isn't the aspect that is bothering me.
- There were some interesting ideas in the story and I do want to find out more about how these ideas develop.
How Good: Not good enough to overcome the bad. I will eventually finish this book because I always run out of credits and material to listen to long before my next installment. I am interested enough in the new ideas about vampires and immortals to want to know a little more but can only listen in small bite-sized chunks...anything more leaves me gagging.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Not really! Although I guess that some of the ideas behind "vampires" and other "immortals" seem interesting and it was nice that the female lead wasn't all "kick a$$" (although funny enough there was an eye rolling moment when I found out she is an expert with a gun.) I still wish I hadn't wasted a credit on this book.
Any additional comments?
I know there are a lot of high reviews for this book, this author, and this series and so I worry that it is just me who doesn't like this book. At the same time I haven't listened to a book this bad in a very long time so I really have to wonder at all the four and five star reviews.
Kirsten Potter- yes. Dianne Duvall- NO.
I liked the premise of the story and the narrator was great. I bought book one and two of the series thinking it would be right up my alley. I loved the concept and parts of the story, however, it seemed like the book was a political statement 50% of the time. It drones on and on about organic foods, pollution, and all the carcinogens in the food we regular humans eat. For a race of people who live to protect humans, they sure do think very little of us. And personally, I want my heroes larger than life, all these almost 7 foot tall men drive a Prius.
The world the author builds at first seems interesting and it is a different take on vampirism. Though this different interpretation quickly shows itself to be severely flawed.
Main premise of the world: vampires are all bad and give in to blood lust -- the immortal guardians protect "innocent" humans from the vampires.
The 'altruistic guardians' and 'evil vampires' are flimsy, predictable (and not in a good way) and completely unbelievable. (The guardians even all look alike -- black hair and brown eyes -- how boring!)
The author has the guardians and vampires only killing "bad" humans. (There must be a lot of pedophiles in this author's world. I myself have never known one, but they seem to be ubiquitous and abundant in this book. Whenever someone needs to feed, there just happens to be a pedophile nearby. So convenient.)
The book has numerous plot holes. This is not surprising for a new author, but can be distracting nonetheless. ie - in the opening scene, the heroine rescues the hero then takes him to her house just a hundred yards away. She left the "bad guys" knocked out just outside. The hero and heroine promptly fall asleep in her house and stay there all day. Now, wouldn't any half intelligent person think that the "bad guys" might follow the copious trail of blood they left leading to her house?! This possibility wasn't even mentioned, let alone explained why the most logical thing didn't happen. There is another major plot hole at the end, but it would be a spoiler so I won't detail it.
The final irritation -- and main reason why I won't read more by this author -- is her preachy attitude. From the opening scene to the closing scene, she constantly preaches about organic food and cleaners. If you don't believe in these things (which I happen to support, but don't appreciate lectures about) then you will be made to feel like a bad human deserving of being food for a vampire.
The author also seems to be very sure of herself in claiming innocence or sin in a person. Most of her protagonists can tell just by looking at someone if they are "innocent."
Well...there is no such thing as "innocence" and the author acting as jury, judge and executioner, through her characters, is highly annoying.
There are several references to the christian bible -- as if the bible really is true in this paranormal world and even predicted the alien guardians. (That was creepy.)
Every time I read a new author that disappoints me, I tell myself I won't do that again, but that never sticks and a few weeks later...there I am reading another new author. So, this time, I won't bother saying it. I guess I'd never be delighted by a new author if I didn't keep trying.
This author might do it for some, but not for me. Hope this review helps you. Happy reading!
If not all vampire books had the same "hot" guys and girls ready to rush into bed with them, an unpredictable plot line, and more intense problem solving this book would have been so much more entertaining. The female protagonist is so willing to give up her body and life with barely a thought because she can't seem to get enough of Roland's muscular body and sexual prowess. She seems to act tough out of a sense that she thinks she's a rough and tough feminist, but she caves in to every lusty outreach that Roland throws at her. Enough of drooling over hunky vampires women! Get a life! Very dissappointing book.
Too predictable and trendy
If the listener could have second guessed what would come next
The mystery woman
I had high hopes for this book, but there is something that rubs me the wrong way about the story. The politically correct, vegan, prius driving vampires just lack the intrigue that drives me to read/listen to that genre of book. The discussions about Tofurky, organic cheese and benefits of not putting processed foods in your body were totally off-putting. I want male heroes to be manly men and not worried about "is that organic goat cheese on that pizza?" Okay, I get that the author believes in this lifestyle, but really? Sorry, even if 100 authors write books with the bad guys driving prius', I'm not ever going to believe that isn't totally lame.
I'm kind of a paranormal newbie, but, this book has truly endeared characters of this genre to me! I've already listened several times and this book is definitely one of my all time favorites. The depth of character and life that Kirsten Potter gave in her narration was awesome, it really drew me in. Darkness Dawns had love, action, passion, and humor. Great listen!!
I spin my own wool and knit. Listening to audiobooks while I craft is one of my favorite things. I'm hooked.
This looks like it will be a great new series for those who like romantic fantasy on the steamy side. Admittedly, there are some marked resemblances to other books in this sub genre. I noticed similarities to the work of S. Kenyon, L. Sands, and C. Feehan. I'm rating this book, however, on it's own merit. Not everyone will have read those other authors' series before reading this one.
The book is well paced, with steamy romance scenes. It is not material suitable for young teens, in my opinioin. What I really enjoyed in this book was how well the action scenes flowed. Fight scenes have a way of losing my interest, but these were written and read in such a way as to keep me involved.
The narrator did a fine job overall, although her male voices were on the weak side. I only gave her 4 stars because while it's only one thing, given that most of the characters in this book are male, it's an important flaw in the narration.
For me, the true sign of a book's worth is how it makes me feel when I finished. If a book in a series ends with a "cliffhanger", I feel unsatisfied. If a book ends on a bad note, I feel cheated. This book finished it's story beautifully and completely. Oh, there's a teaser to inspire you to continue reading the series, but the main story between the focal couple ended in a satisfying way. Well done!
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