Friday, January 15, 2016

Kate Baxter - The Last True Vampire

He is the last of his race. The one true king of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of L.A. after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The last of the Ancient Ones, he alone has survived the destruction of his race at the hands of the slayers. Now he is forced to hunt and feed like a common vampire, a creature of lust. Nothing in this world can fulfill his needs…until he meets a woman who's everything he's ever wanted. And more.
Her name is Claire Thompson. Her blood is so sweet, so intoxicating—the smell alone draws Michael to her like a moth to the flame. Sly, sexy, and seductive, Claire seems to be the only mortal who can satisfy his craving and seal his fate…forever. Can she be trusted? From their very first kiss, the last true vampire sweeps Claire into a world in which darkness rules desire—and where falling in love is the greatest danger of all…in The Last True Vampire by Kate Baxter.

Comment: I got this book not too long ago and I've read it already because it's for one of my book clubs. I confess I wasn't totally on board with the book's concept, but I'm always game to try new PNR reads; who knows how great they can be?
This is the story of Michael Aristov, the last true vampire in the world, coming from a race of Ancient Ones that have been killed by their enemies for centuries and now only Michael is left. There's a race of vampires-to-be but Michael needs strength and power to help the others transform into real vampires like him.
He meets Claire, a special human woman at a club one night and he realizes she's his mate and the person who can give him his soul back, the way for him to get full power again. Of course their relationship isn't easy, but if there's one thing they can't deny is the attraction between them. Can they make it and save Michael's race from the enemies still hunting them?
I think this book has many interesting elements but the way the story is told didn't give them the importance they should have nor does the world itself give me the idea of structure I feel should exist.
I got the feeling the author wanted to make this the first of a captivating series, with all the stereotype characters one can find in a PNR, but the reality is, the world didn't seem well explained enough and I don't it's just a matter of being a first book or lack of information on purpose to develop throughout the books.
I think any PNR wins when the author takes time to think about the structure and organization of the world and the way we are suppose to learn about it. In this case, the author told us many things but the would didn't have a structure, it was a collection of details and ideas we learn from people's conversations. Apparently the race's numbers have been decreasing but they are still many, settled in covens. However, they aren't organized properly, they feel lost when Michael finally finds his mate and there's a lot of talk about uniting the people. I mean...after centuries, couldn't they have this done already? I had the feeling it was supposed to show us how cohesion depends on emotions and well being but the story was complicated and the lack of organization didn't help.
I'm a picky reader, I like certain things and I expect certain things to happen in specific genres. But with this book I wasn't positively surprised by the differences and to be honest, I kept thinking about the details I'd change if I were to edit the story. So many little things got on my nerves and I wondered why seemingly smart, clever, savvy people like the main characters and two or three others would act so childishly, so recklessly if they have such responsibilities on their hands? I'm thinking about Ronan, secondary character, following installment hero, and why would he make a pact with the wrong person, knowing it, for something he could try to get in a different way? I get it, plot purposes, but sincerely, it was silly of him and an indication about other things also not well done.
The plot is very simple in a way. Find the mate, battle the enemies, win the day. This plot reminded me so much of this other book I've read and in both I found the lack of interest, or thrilling emotions and vibrant world details. Everything seemed cold and detached, there weren't fun or familiar scenes showing us how perfect some things, some routines or life itself could be for them. I mean, the story has a darker tone, which I can understand, but why, we know everyone has to suffer, but why don't they try to change, to have a different existence to pass on to their children and friends, for instance? I just think authors focus too much on the usual clichés and then the books are just one more...
The romance...some interesting details yes, but like a friend commented with me, it's just so annoying the intimacy between them overrules everything else, even common sense. I like attraction and sizzling scenes as any other reader, but do they have to be stupid about it, like having sex in a club is the smart idea for someone who's supposed to lead people, a race? Or even the heroine, being so clever and putting all her past lessons aside just because she couldn't resist him? Whatever happened to sexual tension, building the emotions along with the lust? Their relationship was cliché and uninteresting for me.
There are some things I'd like to know more about, to see developed but to be honest again, I don't think I'll read more books in the series. Too much to red already... plus most readers seem to want Ronan's book but from his choices and behavior in this book, I don't feel any interest whatsoever in reading more about him.
So, a weak 5, but it's worth for some scenes and moments....
Grade: 5/10 

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