Having lived in Washington, D.C. all of my life, I was expecting to be pretty well-versed in the environment of A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer. But instead we’re introduced to Washington, V.C. Nope, there are no typos there. V.C.–“Vamp City” for short–is the alternate dimension of D.C., taking us through a bit of a time warp in the process.
While not in first person, the story primarily focuses on Quinn Lennox, a scientist with NIH who always had a sneaking suspicion that she wasn’t quite normal. Strange things have happened to her and around her all of her life. She’s had this sight into a strange parallel universe that she hadn’t been able to enter until her brother’s friend goes missing.
On their mission to find her they stumble into this world by accident, separating from one another as they soon realize that they’ve been swiftly downgraded to the bottom of the food chain. Vampires, werewolves, and witches, oh my! They all exist here and vampires enslave humans to not only drink their blood, but feed on their anguish in many forms. Quinn is taken in by Arturo Mazzo, a devilishly handsome and manipulative 600-year-old vampire who realizes that Quinn is no ordinary woman. In fact, she may be the key to save V.C. But saving her brother is her top priority, so she endures the many horrors of this world. Better the devil that you know…
I devoured this book in one day. It is a departure from your typical Paranormal Romance which I tend to prefer in order to enjoy this genre. I was instantly drawn in to Palmer’s familiar, but not so familiar setting. Quinn is not the most likable heroine, but she is occasionally relatable if not a bit stupid in a few instances. Honestly, at this point I’m trying to figure out what heroine hasn’t been on occasion. It all really just goes back to her devotion to her brother.
While we do get a few scenes from Arturo’s POV, this character remains mysterious throughout the whole novel. Her relationship with Arturo is fairly complicated and I couldn’t always predict what would happen. It’s really difficult to determine his real motivations or a definitive direction for his character. This makes him genuinely intriguing and a bit more than a pretty face.
Palmer’s vampires are genuinely horrible beings, but boy are they pretty… Thankfully a lot of the scenes with them at their worst quell that appeal. I was slightly shocked at the depravity and cringe-worthiness of the vampires actions, so Palmer’s mission was accomplished to really make me hate the worst of the worst for these big bads. I’ve been looking for a bit of horror in my books and this brings a very good dose of it, more than I was expecting based on the synopsis.
Palmer also injects a lot Washington, D.C. history (more than I know personally *hangs head in shame*), but your average Washingtonian wouldn’t know half of the facts Quinn was throwing out, and it seemed a little out of character because Quinn wasn’t particularly interested in history. That’s my only real gripe about this novel.
This book is ballsy without a doubt. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a cliffhanger, beware that this book is certainly an introduction to Vamp City. The surprise ending left me wondering the fate of certain characters as the books progress, and I desperately wish that more books were available. It’s a story you’ll either love or hate, but if you love it, the second book can’t come soon enough. This is one where you’ll definitely hope for two books per year.
*ARC provided by the author.