Uzuri Wilkerson reached out to me recently about an interracial vampire novel. I immediately thought this woman had somehow read my mind because I was depressed with everything I was reading at that point. She saved me.
Celia is your average young Black woman. She's a bartender/waitress at a bar called Cage's and has a go-go dancing BFF named Trixie. Victor is Celia's very vampire boyfriend who, of course, consumes her nights when she isn't bartending.
The first thing that jumped out at me was that they don't have a picture perfect relationship. Generally in vamp books, the girl is always falling all over the vampire like he's the last thing on Earth. Not in Celia's case. They have arguments and real issues like a normal couple would. Now ... Hunters are invading the area and dusting vamps at an alarming rate. One such hunter is Jay, a big Texan (Dallas *raise the roof*) who comes to Boston looking for a vamp that got away from him. What he finds, in addition, is Celia, who he ends up being drawn to, and vice versa. Now we have hunters waging war on vampires while arguments between Victor and Celia lead her to Jay one too many times when an off-kilter vamp, Milo, decides Celia smells much too good to pass up taking a bite out of ... Something Victor had yet to do.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book but have a couple of issues. Ramsey, the head vampire in charge, seemed really ... What's the word ... Bored? No ... Not bored but he was just way too lax about everything going on. He basically, in my opinion, did nothing while everything was going on around him. He didn't do enough of anything for me to consider him to be HVIC. That made his presence forgettable. One vampire that I would love to get more out of is Cilian. He has tons of info, it seems, about Celia (or at least her blood). He is also bat shit crazy and I tend to find that hot. I would love to read more about bat shit crazy Cilian in books to come. Another problem I had with the book is I felt the vampires were so weak. Yes, some were killed, but yes some vampires were killed and it seems like more hunters should have been killed than vampires. But ... If we think about who it was they killed, I guess I can understand how those deaths occurred. Either way it goes, I still feel the vampires are much weaker than the hunters.
I will say ... I think Jay may be packing a little more than I give him credit for. I still don't like him. Although in theory, he's supposed to be sexy ... He's that guy that you drool over all night and then he opens his mouth and you want to stuff a cheeseburger in it. I like Victor, but not much more. Truth be told, the only characters I really enjoyed were Milo and Cilian. Yes, Celia was cool, but too easily swayed.
The fight sequences were good aside from the vampires really getting their asses handed to them in some cases. I loved the fact that a vampire went up a wall like it was nothing. I love face distortions and teleportation that not enough authors include anymore. And most of all, I love that Celia's body wasn't photoshoot ready. She's a normal sized girl with a little extra around the middle and I absolutely love that.
Don't let the bad things keep you from entertaining this book. I actually really like it, but those were things I thought on between the time I finished reading up until now.
I needed a decent vampire book in my life and finally got one. Thanks, Uzuri. BRING ON BOOK TWO!
IR: Celia (Black) Victor (Spanish and something something), Milo (Asian), Jay (White)