Much has happened in the life of Victoria Gardella since her coming-out season, when she made the fateful decision to embrace her heritage and become a Venator, a vampire slayer with supernatural speed and strength. This, the fourth book of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, picks up immediately from where the third book left off. Inevitable spoilers to the other three books likely follow - I recommend starting with the first book if you are interested in this series.
This installment presents a different sort of challenge for Victoria, who has already faced unimaginable horrors and great loss in her life. Now, because of surviving a vampire attack in the last book, Victoria must not only continue to fight against vampires and their dastardly plots and schemes, but she must also fight against a darkness that is growing inside her. The darkness prevents her from seeing clearly, and because that clarity is essential to her work as a Venator, it leaves her incredibly vulnerable.
Aside from Victoria's inner struggles, she has aroused the suspicion of a policeman who understandably focuses on her when she is found at the scene of several murders. Vampire attacks are taking place during daylight hours - and there seems to be a plot against the royal family, too. Victoria's plate is full, and once again the reader is hurtled along at a breakneck pace, as plot strands pull the story here and there, finally coming together in a dramatic finish. There was a more conclusive ending to this book, compared to the others in the series, which will make the wait for the fifth (and final, apparently) book slightly more bearable.
My only complaint, which I mentioned before in an earlier review, is the errors in the Italian one of the characters tends to sprinkle throughout her dialogue. These are simple mistakes, easily corrected. Syntax, for example, and basic grammatical errors, such as adjectives that don't agree with their nouns: "povero" modifying widow, which is feminine, so it should be "povera" instead. It seems nitpicky, I know, but when I read something like that, it throws me out of the story - it undermines the storytelling and the authority of the storyteller. I must say I was comforted by Nymeth's thoughts on the matter in one of her recent reviews.
At any rate, that is a minor complaint about an otherwise highly enjoyable series. Readers of historical romance as well as vampire fans are sure to enjoy this one.
Books in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles
1. The Rest Falls Away
2. Rises the Night
3. The Bleeding Dusk
4. When Twilight Burns
5. As Shadows Fade
When Twilight Burns (#4 in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles) by Colleen Gleason (Signet Eclipse, 2008)
Also reviewed at:
Back to Books: "I'm addicted to the characters and this series and can't wait to find out how it all ends in the last book."
Stainless Steel Droppings: "When Twilight Burns has something for everyone: action, adventure, suspense, tension, drama, factual historical elements, romance, and of course those pesky undead!"
Stuff as Dreams Are Made On: "...my heart was just beating non-stop from page one to page 356 (yes, that includes the sneak peak of book 5). The action was intense, the romance was steamy, the characters were incredibly real and believable as always."