Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review - Acquainted With the Night by Piper Maitland - 4 1/2 Qwills

Acquainted With the Night
Author:  Piper Maitland
Series:  Night
Format:  Enhanced Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Publisher:  Berkley (November 29, 2011)
Price:  $9.99
Language:  English
Genre:  Paranormal Suspense
Review Copy:  Provided by Publisher

A woman's quest for the truth...A medieval icon that holds the clues...And an ancient book with the power to shake Christianity-and humanity itself.

London tour guide Caroline Clifford has never believe in vampires- until her uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archaeological site, and a vampire hunter who corresponded with him seeks her out.

Strange anagrams on her uncle's passport lead them to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited to an age-old text on immortality-and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy all they know...

Back cover copy:
A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…

At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all…

My thoughts:

If you like Dan Brown type suspense (ancient mysteries/prophecies, cryptic clues, figuring out and following the trail) and vampires this is a must read.  Real settings and actual historical events pepper the pages. They serves a terrific backdrop to a story about a woman confronting her past for the first time and learning to move forward as she follows the clues left by her uncle.

Caroline Clifford in orphaned by a fire and is raised in England by her Uncle Nigel. The novel begins with Nigel at a dig in Perperikon in Bulgaria. He's murdered. Caro, as she's known, is contacted by the British government so that she can travel to Bulgaria and claim his body. Prior to leaving, she briefly encounters Jude Barrett, who follows her to Bulgaria. Once in Bulgaria, things spiral out of control and Caro has to run for her life while following the trail left by her uncle.

This is a complex novel with several interconnected story threads all of which are connected to Caro.  Piper Maitland skillfully weaves these threads together to ensnare both Caro and the reader. Should she believe in vampires? Who can she trust? Should she follow her Uncle's clues? Abandon her quest? What will she find out?

Caro is a very likable main character. I have to admit though that on a couple of occasions I wanted to reach into the book, shake her and tell her "Enough disbelief, get on with it." She is coping with a lot though - the death of her beloved uncle, finding out there are vampires, and all sorts of other things. She holds herself together fairly well. She's smart and determined. Jude Barrett is also very likable. He has very understandable vampire issues. The relationship between Caro and Jude develops in the crucible of the story events. They have their ups and down. The romance between them is all the more believable because it is fraught with issues. Most important I really like them together. There are several other secondary characters in the story as well that are all very well crafted so while the story centers on Caro there is a superb supporting cast and some really terrific bad guys too.

While many of the story threads are tied up in Acquainted With the Night it is clear at book's end that there is more to come. Acquainted With the Night is one of those books that is extremely hard to put down. It's fast-paced, suspenseful, and well written. I really enjoyed how Piper Maitland beautifully mixed history and her own vampire mythology. Now that I am acquainted with Caro's world, I can't wait for the next in the series.

I give Acquainted With the Night 4 1/2 Qwills

1 comment:

  1. What is your favorite place for novels. Number one is Gettysburg (have read some great alternate history) and then the London of Holmes and the Ripper