Van Morgue is a monster slayer. He’s apparently very good at it, getting his targets from afar and going to do so without much question. Yet he is sent to slay the vampire Tanith and cannot, deciding instead to take the opportunity to become one of his former prey. Morgue then finds himself in the middle of a war he hadn’t been aware was coming, learning more about the creatures he was sent to kill in the past as he moves along.
I have a very hard time figuring out how I want to explain this book. I suppose I should start with this: it is too short. Too short for everything that happens in it. Too short for the amount of characters involved that we are supposed to get to know. Too short for the developments, both interpersonal and not, which happened both too slowly and at a rapid pace.
There is a good story under here. At least, one I think I would be really interested in if done differently. But there are extended paragraphs describing the environment (a lot of comparing the moon or the darkness to something else, too much for my taste), yet not enough accurately describing the passage of time. It was hard for me to tell how much time was supposed to have gone on between the beginning of the story and every other movement of the characters. Eventually I realized a lot of time must have passed, but only because of mentions of how Morgue viewed other characters now. Specifically through another comparison moment.
This story is very plot based and the characters there could have been anything, because there was never enough time with the characters themselves to have them be more than the name and the label of their race or profession. The exception being Tanith, which the characters in the first half of the book spend a lot of time praising for things we do not really get to see her do. We hear about her curiosity (which in her flashback, she of course has), but we don’t really see her do anything to further prove that until later in the book, at which point Morgue is apparently well aware of this character trait the reader hasn’t been given the privilege of.
This book feels like someone has cut out very important swatches of it, that if those passages were returned I would finally be allowed in. Until then I am trapped on the outside of a premise which sounds interesting and totally up my alley, wishing for more. Not more books, as the book does end on more excitement instead of resolution, but more of this book.
I give this book a two out of five. I couldn’t tell myself to TDR it, hoping something would finally fall together, but in the end I am left disappointed by a story which promised me so much more.