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Jamie Wasserman is a native of Ellicott City, Maryland. His work has appeared in The Rhysling Anthology, Exquisite Corpse, Star*Line, Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Strange Horizons, Flesh and Blood, Gothic.net, Weber Studies, and Magma (UK) among many others. He has received numerous honorable-mentions from The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and was nominated for a Pushcart by Lite: Baltimore's Literary Arts Newspaper. Blood and Sunlight is his first novel.
on Aug. 21, 2012 :
I am a fan of Jamie Wasserman’s and of course vampires in general. I also really enjoyed Blood and Sunlight book 1, so I was happy and eager to read book 2. Also since Jamie provided me with a free copy in exchange for a fair review and I provided him with my book for the same.
I thought Melanie was a great vampire of the female persuasion and I enjoyed her boyfriend (and maker) Keenan as well, so I was also happy to spend more time with them.
This book brings back Kirsten (who was a small child in book 1). She is now in university and obsessed with angels and of course we know that her angels are something else entirely. She is an interesting character and a welcome addition to this world Wasserman has created. I always enjoy reading about university students and campus life in general. It is a great contrast how Kirsten is only interested in studying while her roommate Laura just loves to party and be with guys.
As before Jamie does a great job with dialogue and I also particularly enjoyed his descriptions of vampire powers and getting into the vampire mindset (i.e. the need for blood and to hunt). His descriptions of their powers in action and vivid and quite compelling. His vampires are predatory and the idea that they must hunt and drink human blood to thrive is a fascinating one and is used with great skill (and interest to me) in the book.
He continues with the technique of going back and forth between the past and present but this time the jumps aren’t as sudden or frequent as Holding Back the Day. Melaine’s time with Kirsten as she grows are often touching and sometimes quite humorous.
I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say there are several excellent and exciting plot twists that I didn’t see coming and they made me enjoy the novel even more.
On the academic/insightful side of things I also love his inclusion of a discussion on the Book of Enoch (which I’ll admit to knowing nothing about) and his explorations of the meaning of life (and love) through Kirsten and Melanie were excellent and gave me pause for thought (and running to google ) several times.
The sex in the book, while present, is not nearly as explicit as book 1 and was more enjoyable for me to read. I also thought the villains he created in this book were quite entertaining and well-developed.
Of course I’m a nitpicky guy so I have to point out a few errors. There is one scene where Keenan is badly hurt and it is said one eye is destroyed, then he gets up (he was faking injuries to some extent) and his eye is fine. While I’m sure a vampire could fake injuries I don’t see how anyone could fake losing an eye, I know it’s a minor detail but I can’t help noticing it as it took me out of the story for a few minutes. There is also a scene where Kirsten has a revelation (she has two in the book) that seemed rather heavy handed and a little hard to believe. There is another scene between two vampires which was a little gory and strange for my tastes. Finally there is a scene where what I thought should have happened didn’t only to have it occur later, this seemed to me Jamie was stalling for some reason.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. Jamie makes excellent characters, a compelling storyline and has a great ability to turn ordinary settings into creepy locales where vampires or other dangers could believably show up at any moment. His descriptions of every place the characters visit are top notch. The ending is satisfying and leaves room for a sequel. I love spending time in Jamie’s vampire world and I dearly hope there is a book 3 so I can read more of Keenan, Melanie and Kirsten. A strong 8/10 from me . If you are a fan of adult vampire fiction I would highly recommend it. Of course it’s another Penumbra Book and that alone is a reason to buy it .
(reviewed long after purchase)