By fj on October 26, 2014
By Jess m on February 15, 2015
The way that the story began was intriguing, I appreciated the bits of history and background info leading into present day. I really liked that this was more of an original concept when it comes to vampires than most of the books one can find out there. The character and plot development was good, and I absolutely loved how descriptive the author was. It felt as though I could see the things that were being described. The writing was also very good, and there were very few errors/mistypes.
The book follows Alex, her best friend Lauren, and her boyfriend Matt as they are immersed in the supernatural side of Sydney. It was interesting to watch the way that their mutual relationships progressed (or broke down, depending on how you look at it). I felt badly for Matt the way that he ended up being hurt, but he did sort of bring it upon himself by being such a jealous, ignorant ***hole. I mean, reallyyyyyy(!!!!!!) who gets a phone call from someone that won’t identify themselves and just does as the unknown person tells him to? Lauren also got a pretty raw deal in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, it had less to do with her deserving it, and more to do with her not understanding her worth or demanding to be treated properly. Although this may make me sound like a whack job, I was totally pumped for Lauren when she got to exact her revenge on that callous, cowardly excuse for a man. After she got summoned to the king’s estate, I was sort of left wondering what actually happened to her though since she really wasn’t mentioned again.
Another thing that surprised me was the lack of a real love triangle, which seems to be an ever present fixation in books now. I did appreciate that, even though I sort of wish that there was more of a romantic vibe between Alex and Dante earlier on in the book. I felt like they were pretty platonic, other than a few random things that felt a tad inappropriate for Alex to be doing while in a relationship with someone else. Maybe the lack of tension/spark just had more to do with the secret Dante was hiding from Alex, or the fact that he doesn’t experience emotion the same way that humans do? However, closer to the end of the book they did begin to show a bit more of a connection/attraction to each other. I think it’s just the hopeless romantic in me, but I really hope that they end up falling in lurve and doing it like bunnies.
All in all, I’m excited for the next book in the series. I’m hoping for some kick ass [supernaturals], some more development of the relationship (?) between Alex and Dante, and please for the love of all that is holy, let someone beat Julian’s ***. Hard.
By Ruty@ReadingDreaming on February 8, 2015
Alex is a young woman whose life is turned upside down when she finds out that night creatures are real. She is a likeable character, quite real and brave on her way. When the story is at its highest peak she takes the reins of the story and does a good job at it. Dante is the typical tormented vampire. He tries to make out the best of his situation and obviously he doesn’t want to live like majority does and creates his own rules.
The other characters are all well described, the bad guys are evil to the core, the good guys fight with all their power but I have to mention Lauren, the BFF, she is a crazy b**** (if you know what I mean). She is one of those people whose personality comes like a tornado and drags you into her craziness. I really liked her and was one of my favorites (even at her darkest moments).
There are a lot of elements that make this book worth your time. For example the writing style, it’s fresh, natural and modern. It feels like if you were talking to a friend. Of course this friend happens to live in a world where vampires are real. The dialogues are natural and believable, I never doubt I was reading about people around their twenty-something. It’s clear that the author used his knowledge of the city, the surroundings, the local history and how young people have fun (I almost believe that this wasn’t fiction, of course it is or I would be buying a plane ticket to Australia). Another thing that got me reading was the action, there are numerous scenes where adrenaline jumps in and it’s palpable through the words and you can sense the tension and the danger. There are old enemies, secrets unraveled, the past coming to change the present. You also get great doses of blood, death and intrigue.
This book brings back the classical vampires, the ones that sleep during the day, don’t spark and are real kick-ass bloodsuckers. The author explains everything with simple words and you get an answer for everything. Despite using classical elements the book also adds original facts and ideas (which I won’t tell because I don’t want to ruin the surprise).
I really liked, well more like I LOVED, that this wasn’t the typical vampire book where the main lady falls for the bad guy who ends up being a blood-sucker. I mean, she feels attracted to Dante but I think is only because he is really handsome and a good person. Also, as you know the vampires have in their nature a way to lure everyone, it’s their way of survival. I think it was really clever to create a story that doesn’t revolves around a silly love story.
Last, I would like to mention the cover. It’s beautiful and it really captures the story with images.
*** I received a complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review. ***
By nicole s on June 18, 2015
Let me preface this by saying that I finished this awesome story a few days ago, very wound up in excitement for the next book in Mr. Speer’s Undeadly Secrets series. I’d wanted to settle myself, and my thoughts, before writing my review. I’d wanted my review to be concise, not overly “fan-girlish”, and detailed enough to encourage people to read the book yet not give any spoilers that would ruin the experience. Trouble was, the more I tried to reign myself in, the more I didn’t like the way it “sounded” in my head. So, taking my own advice that I give to others, I’m going with my gut, writing my thoughts as they come to get them free of my mind.
I should begin by saying that I am an American, reading my first Australian author, my first book set in Australia. It was incredible! I learned some Australian lingo that I affectionately refer to as “Aussie-isms”, easily understood via context. I learned tidbits of Australian history, could easily learn more via the author’s links within the story. Another first for this reader, to be given such information, if I want it. Australian history is a part of the refreshingly unique interpretation of the vampires in this story. I’ve read all sorts of vampire fiction over the years, and this was a believable mix of old and new concepts, cleverly “proven” with historical facts. Mr. Speer’s vampires are fascinating to learn about, and he slowly gives more information throughout the story, so you can guess a little, then be proven wrong in the best way. Nothing predictable here, no information-dumping all-at-once, and that’s a very good thing. These vamps are a little bit old-school scary, ruthless, inhumane, and yet a little bit intriguing, sensual, and enviable. A must read for fans of vampires, even if romance isn’t your thing.
This book is a great mix, I think, of UF and PNR. There’s the incredible world-building, mystery and at times violent thriller aspect of UF. We’re also given a deliciously sexy, supernatural hero inherent in PNR. No annoying “insta-love” thankfully. Just an expertly-paced build-up that leaves you wanting more , like right now.
I’ve always been a very critical reader, finding flaws in everything, frustrated when I see what gets published these days. Imagine my surprise when I literally could not put this story down! Interruptions to my reading such as needing to make dinner, wash the laundry, etc were deeply resented as I read about Dante, Alexandra, the people close to them. I honestly haven’t felt this way in way too long, and am grateful to this author for bringing the joy of reading back to me. I’d been quite miserable after recently finishing novels, or struggling to finish a few more chapters of some, by “best-selling authors”. Then here comes this new guy from Australia with the most well-thought-out tale I’ve encountered in some time. He kept me reading, kept me guessing, and kept me wanting more. His characters reflect people we’ve all known or at least met, and some you just love to hate. But for me, it was feeling that anger toward the “villains” , feeling the ability to relate to some of the characters, feeling the eagerness to turn the page that got to me. I hadn’t been feeling much of anything in the books I’d read recently, other than groaning irritation, having to literally put them down and walk away. Now, I’m groaning in eager anticipation for the next book in this series!
So, for a synopsis of plot, I recommend reading the description and some of the other reviews, I don’t want to ruin the joy of discovery at all Just know this is nowhere near the “typical” anything. This is a brilliant world of modern-day vampires in Australia, told in a gradually unfolding tale of layered details. There’s drama, mystery, suspense, love, lust, scares, and thrills. Reading this was one hell of a great ride, and I can’t wait to run right back in line for another.