Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: The City Beneath by Melody Johnson

The City Beneath by Melody Johnson
Series:  Night Blood, #1

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sultry Scale: 1 of 5 flames

As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven's secrets safe…

But Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. He reveals she is a night blood, a being with powers of her own, including the ability to become a vampire. As the body count escalates, Cassidy is caught in the middle of a vampire rebellion. Dominic insists she can help him stop the coming war, but wary of his intentions, Cassidy enlists the help of the charming Ian Walker, a fellow night blood. As the battle between vampires takes over the city, Cassidy will have to tap into her newfound powers and decide where to place her trust... 

This book had good potential, but unfortunately it lacked the depth to win me over.  It was just an okay read for me.  I often felt like I was watching television or reading a screen play instead of a novel.  I was being told what was happening, without enough detail to make me feel like I was part of the story.  A bit like I was watching through a window.  I could not connect with the characters.

There was a bit of a love triangle, but we really don't know anything about Dominic or Ian, other than superficial information.  I did not understand Cassidy's continuing relationship with Ian, as it was apparent to me that he was only interested in killing vampires, no matter the fallout.  I felt like, despite wanting to turn her, Dominic truly cared about her.  However, I would have liked much more back story on these gentlemen.  Dominic is a 500 year old vampire, there is so much room there to write a compelling character, and we just don't have it in this book.  

The book is written from Cassidy's point of view... yet the details of her life are vague or glossed over.  Outside of her work, we are only briefly told about how she received her injury, the death of her parents, and quickly meet her brother, Nathan.  She also appears to have some sort of sexual hangup or issue that is mentioned during an encounter with Ian, but we never learn what is or the reasons behind it.  Like I said before, there is just not enough depth.

I know all I have said so far sounds negative, but it was not a bad read.  It just did not hold my interest as much as I would have liked.  There are some interesting things. The vampires are not your normal unflawed beautiful characters.  Rather they can appear beautiful if they are well-fed, but they also transform into gruesome creatures that look somewhat like gargoyles.  So that was a new take on this fictional species.  And while the vampires were humans before they turned, not all humans can become a vampire.  Only special humans, such as Cassidy and Ian, which are called night bloods. Only their DNA can accept the mutation.  This is not a novel idea, but its not used as often as other paranormal tropes.  I will read the next book in the series to see where it goes... but I really hope the love triangle doesn't continue because I just didn't buy the relationship with Ian Walker.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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