When I began reading The Birth of Vengeance, I quietly wondered what the story was about. To begin with, you meet Jonathon Harper, a rather unremarkable young man, nearing the end of his school career, and looking forward to beginning college. His is a life which takes a turn for the worse when he’s becomes the target of a local gang of bullies and thugs, causing him to lose his one and only friend, and making him and his father flee his hometown for his safety.
It isn’t until several chapters on that he meets Thorn, a beautiful and dangerous woman, held captive and forced to be the subject of government experiments, and oh yeah, she’s a vampire. Once he is able to free Throne, the real story begins. Vengeance, then, is another entry into the burgeoning, and I would say over-crowded genre of Vampire literature.
So what makes Vengeance unique? We’ve seen vampires as heroes and we’ve seen vampires as villains. Thorn, at least in this novel, is neither. She’s content to be, to exist and co-exist, to feed and let live, only killing when she senses her victims mean to do her, and others harm. Not quite virtuous, but not entirely evil in a classical sense. Which is not to say she has a strong moral code.
She begins to mentor the weak and pathetic Jon, teaching him, molding him to become a man, to fight and to stand up for himself. Aided with a serum developed by Thorns captors, which when injected, gives the injectees vampire-like strength and aggression, Jon learns to fight, and begins a campaign to seek revenge on those who tormented him. In the end, this becomes a test. Jon has to prove his devotion to Thorn, and his worthiness of becoming a vampire.
The Birth of Vengeance is an easy read. Nothing remarkable about it, which is not to say it’s not worth checking out. It may not have the broad commercial appeal of a Twilight Saga, or the upcoming Vampire Academy, which in my book makes it even more appealing. This is not some lame, tween vampire romance novel.
What it is, however, is a coming-of-age story, where the protagonist must learn to face his fears, to grow up and take charge of his own destiny. He is forced to make life-altering decisions and accept the consequences of said decisions, and I’ll admit that I felt a grim sense of satisfaction whenever he meets his former tormentors.
Vengeance is a good, solid story, that should appeal to those who would like to enjoy a casual read. It’s entertaining, with some dark moments which are resolved in a satisfying manner. I wholly recommend you read it.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)