Review: Kiss of the Vampire (Warriors of the Rift #1) by Cynthia Garner

    Kiss of the Vampire (Warriors of the Rift)
by Cynthia Garner;
Editions: Paperback, 384 pages; Kindle / Nook
Expected publication: February 1st 2012 by Forever
Source: NetGalley
Warriors of the Rift
Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world-or send it spiraling into chaos.< Half-demon, half-human, Nix de la Fuente is accepted by neither and mistrusted by both. Determined to prove she's more human than not, she devotes herself to solving crimes between the world's mortals and its most unsavory undead. But her latest case brings her face to face with the one vampire she could never resist . . . Called in to investigate a string of violent murders, special agent Tobias Caine isn't interested in rekindling his relationship with Nix. Yet one look and the vampire knows his need for her is as strong as ever. Once, their all-consuming passion nearly cost Nix her fragile hold on her humanity. Now, as their hunger for one another intensifies, exposing them to an unimaginable danger, it could cost them both their lives. Goodreads blurb

The Extra Dimensional twist was the hook; ok, aside that cover that just looked yummy. So what we have here are not creatures of myth and legend, but the results of entities from other dimensions merging with human hosts – depending on the chemistry between two parties, a preternatural creature would result, may it be demon, vampire, shape shifter or whatever else. I labeled this as a sci-fi-ish because it’s something of a mix between fantasy and some science fiction-ish elements, dimensions that communicate along some rifts, some techy stuff in that area.

The title hints at a romantic story, right? I mean, I was expecting romance. The NetGalley category for the title is Adult Romance, so I was sure I would get romance. It turned out differently.

The plot was interesting, aside the tensions between the preternaturals and humans, and among the different preternatural factions, there was a crime mystery nucleus sprinkled with some romantic elements between Nix and Cane. So in my opinion this novel was something of a mosaic of directions, but I would have a hard time labeling it as romance, there’s too little of romance in and too much of other tangents.

We have Nix’s inner conflict, she fights her inner demon literally, her and Cane’s relationship (the romantic element, somewhat downplayed in my opinion), the murder mystery tangent – preternaturals are being killed, why and by whom to be determined. The murder mystery wasn’t revved up much either, though it was the stronger element for me at least while reading this. It’s an eclectic novel as far as genres are concerned, and when you’re mixing up a lot of things there’s always a great potential for disaster, but there’s also the chance of a killer punch.
In this particular case, I wasn’t very much pulled in either direction, which I find strange but certainly unique. It didn’t keep me riveted and I wasn’t losing interest either. Perhaps if one direction would have been more evident to me then another I would have had a stronger response, but as things were though the mix was of elements I like separately, this felt like a too equal part mix, I was going on too many tangents but not too intensely on either. There, throw things at me now if you want to, lol.

The characters had a very interesting base, the ED preter-angle, that felt little fructified in my opinion; they were fun and had hints at nice dynamics to their relationships, but I didn’t feel charmed by any of them. And considering the fact I’m an all-around-groupie of vampires, it’s a bit strange perhaps that I wasn’t cheering much for Cane. I didn’t get the sense of vampirism from him, if you’ll grant me the use of the term. I mean, he looks like a vampire, perhaps he acts like a vampire here and there but he feels like a teenager when reading about him, there, I’ve said it. I mean, take his relationship with Nix that is a 20 something (didn’t remember the exact age, but she’s under 30) yo half demon, right? He has a very teenagerish physical reaction to her each time he sees her, she has the same reaction of “Omg, I wanna make out” all in all. They were together like 5 years ago when she was young admittedly, but he was still as old as Sahara sands or something, now it would be a reunion of more mature (especially on her part) beings. You’d think there would be more substance to it, I mean I would; they’re hot, they’re passionate, I get it, but it doesn’t feel like a lot more when reading, perhaps because the romance angle isn’t much developed since we’re chasing murderers and juggling other conflicts as well.

The writing is cool, accessible, clear, rendering one on one time as well as action scenes in a pleasant but factual way. Very physical somehow, focusing more on what is happening then is felt. It’s cool if you prefer that sort of thing, but I’m not deep into the “Show, don’t tell!” wagon, I’m more into the tell me where I should be told and show me where it’s more relevant. Like, if I want you to think I love you, it’s not gonna be showing if I wanna take you to bed and then leave you for your own good without even discussing it, and it won’t be showing either by coming back to you because I’m all hot and bothered and you’re jonesing for me as well. What am I feeling when I’m looking at you? How does your smell make me feel, what do your eyes do to my heart, you know? I didn’t get a lot of feeling in their relationship, and I felt there should have been since this was going for romance.

All in all, I feel this is a promising start to a promising series. The basics are cool and original, and I believe a clearer direction or ‘signature’ will develop over time, with each novel in the series. Or perhaps this eclectic mosaic of directions and genres is the signature trademark of the series, either way, it’s worth a try in my opinion.



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