Sometimes I get the urge to go back to my original love of my vampires, and this series by an author I already enjoy seemed like the perfect opportunity. Drake pulls no punches by introducing us immediately to (half) the main heroes, dropping tantalizing clues and setting up future conflict right out the gate with Ethan’s tragic past. We get Marcus’s equally painful backstory directly after, at a point where we don’t have quite enough details to put all the pieces together. That these characters will bond despite the obstacles in their way is the nature of the genre, but I appreciated the shared connection of brotherhood that guides both men, even when their goals might be in opposition to each other.
The experienced vampire and innocent human is a classic for a reason, but I enjoyed the way Drake flips the trope here. It certainly works better as a representation of the characters’ respective upbringings than the usual relationship arc, so kudos to Drake for taking a chance on the switch. Here, it allowed Ethan and Marcus to meet on more equal footing in some regards, which is beneficial to any relationship in the long run.
Overall, I enjoyed Ethan and Marcus, but their characters were overshadowed by the much stronger and interesting personalities in the rest of Ethan’s family. Additionally, though this is a paranormal romance, the multiple secondary plot lines at play also dominated the text outside of a few important moments that did do well to establish the connection between them. The expansive secret society will likely fuel the overarching series plot, but Marcus’s secrets also carry a lot of weight. One conflict gets fairly built up but felt solved way too quickly; however, the climax of the book itself definitely felt like the first battle in a larger war. I’m both looking forward to getting to know the rest of the Varik clan better and happy to sit back and wait for everything to play out across future stories.