Sunset: Pact Arcanum: Book One

Adult
Rated 4.07/5 based on 15 reviews
The first book of the gay vampire saga Pact Arcanum, Sunset tracks the Daywalker Nicholas Jameson as he fights for peace among the Human, Sentinel, Nightwalker, and Daywalker races. More

Available ebook formats: epub mobi html

About Arshad Ahsanuddin

I am Canadian-born, but lived in the United States for most of my life. I moved back to Canada for work a few years ago. I am a hematopathologist, a physician who specializes in using biopsies and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Yeah, I'm a blood doctor writing about vampires. The humor is not lost on me.

Learn more about Arshad Ahsanuddin

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Reviews

Susan Leader reviewed on June 16, 2013

Arshad Ahsanuddin has really written a great book in Pact Arcanum. It is really detailed and makes you really believe in this world. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series and will write a serious review then.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Athanasios Galanis reviewed on April 17, 2013

Inventive and Refreshing
Pact Arcanum beams you into its world from the first page and keeps you immersed in its world till the end.

I enjoyed the world of Nick, the Daywalkers, the Nightwalkers Lorcan and Rory, the Sentinels and how they navigated their hidden world jarringly into view of the rest of earth's inhabitants: humanity.

It doesn't matter what anybody's sexual tastes are and I have to admit the few times the story lagged for me were the love scenes between characters. Not because they were homo or hetero erotic but because they took me out of the narrative for no more reason than titillation.

This is the only distraction from a complex, intertwined and thoroughly thought out story. I would encapsulate it by calling it sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal that begins what could be a modern epic.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Natasha Lacelle reviewed on April 9, 2012

I really enjoyed reading this book. The love stories of the various characters sometimes seemed over the top but I still enjoyed them. The villains were perfectly unlikeable and the heroes were wonderfully flawed. There is definitely room for more character development in future books. The story was great and at one point I couldn't see my e-reader through my tears. I would highly recommend this book and am glad I go the opportunity to read it.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
Lily reviewed on April 7, 2012

Very intelligent and intricate read. This was a well written futuristic novel about Nightwalker vampires, Daywalker vampires, and Sentinel races, and the aftermath resulting in their exposure to the human world, after millennia of walking around virtually undetected. This was also the emotional story of ‘Daywalker’ Nick and his struggles with his very human like relationships.

This book opens with a terrorist plot that goes wrong. It was effective, action packed, and had my attention from the first page. It introduces all the race players effectively, and some of the main characters of this novel.

The author did a really good job at world building, though the inner ‘governing’ structures of all the races did get to be confusing at times. All the houses and masters, and their individual titles were a lot to take in, but you quickly figure out the gist of it, and who the main players are. That being said, when minor characters were introduced or when all these players came together en masse, I was a little confused.

Frankly, what surprises me the most about this novel is how this author kept me so interested, even though most of the time I was trying to grasp the world he built. Maybe it was that the character development was so well done, that the inter-personal relationships and love triangles or (square as one other reader put it?) were so intriguing, gut wrenching and full of emotion, that I had a difficult time putting this book down, even though I struggled through some elements of this story.


In acknowledgment of the ‘elephant in the room’ - Though I am a very open minded, accepting individual of people’s sexual orientations, I have to, on a side note, acknowledge and commend the author for his eloquent writing and development of the gay relationships in this novel. Though I am heterosexual, and reading about male gay relationships may seem outside the comfort zone, I was not uncomfortable in any way. I was able to empathize with Nick’s emotions and upheavals; they were really no different than the emotional rollercoaster of feelings between men and women, so it did not distract from the plot line, and it wasn’t a point of focus for me in any sort of negative way. It was very contrary to that; I was very emotionally invested in the main character, because I could relate to his feelings, and understood them.

This was, however, outside of my comfort zone in terms of the “Sci-Fi” portion of the book. Though I was fine with the AI technology, I really don’t do well with many Sci-Fi books because I am a visual reader… and if I have a hard time visualizing parts of the book, I lose my ‘link’ to it. Some of the technologies were a little hard to visually grasp. I found the introduction of the space shuttles/ships and mentions of off Planet bases to not be relevant to the story line in this book, and left me confused… again… but it may serve its purpose in upcoming installments.

Very interesting novel, and I enjoyed it. I will definitely be keeping this author in mind, and very open to continue this series.

*This novel was generously shared by the author for the purposes of review* Thank you for the opportunity to read and review your novel!
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
Nicole Peterson reviewed on Jan. 25, 2012

This is extremely well written. The descriptions are fantastic. You almost feel like you are experiencing it first hand.

I don't know what to say for this one, it's beyond words for me. It's not something you can just stuff into a certain genre. It has some sci-fi, romance, vamps and meta humans. But I know one thing, it is a hell of a good read! Be prepared to follow this through to the end.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Kathleen Hayes reviewed on Jan. 21, 2012

Nick is forced to reveal not only his powers but the existence of supernatural beings to the whole world on national television in order to prevent a group of terrorists from blowing up a nuclear bomb. This is the start of this action packed story. In the end he befriends one of the terrorists, Jeremy, when it is revealed he is a latent sentinel and was just awakened. Sunset is a story that seems beyond categorizations. It is a fantasy novel filled with ancient vampires, power filled sentinels with genetic memory to kill those same vampires. It is a science fiction romp with space flying and futuristic weapons. It is an espionage thriller with layers of deceit and alliance that are ever shifting. And it is a romance in which you can never really decide who you want to win the final affections of our main characters. But more importantly, this was an engrossing and engaging read that I would highly recommend.

Arshad built a comprehensive world that you can just imagine yourself in as you read through the pages. And more importantly, he filled it with a cast of characters that you can't help but fall in love with. They are stupid and arrogant and do all the wrong things for all the right reasons but then they are caring and self-sacrificing and genuinely awesome.

However, there were a few jarring moments. I was a bit confused and possibly overwhelmed by the romantic triangle (square?) with Rory, Lorcan and Jeremy all being in love with Nick. Rory and Lorcan's obsession with Nick did not seem to add to the story and just muddied the waters. Perhaps more with this plotline will be revealed later in the series and I will discover why it was absolutely necessary but as is I think the story would have been better without this strange arc. There were a few other minor details that pulled me out, such as it seemed that almost every one of the main characters used to be an internationally acclaimed musical artist. It wasn't bad, just odd.

Nevertheless, despite these few jarring moments/plotlines I absolutely loved this book. It had the kind of in depth plot, world building and character development that is missing in a lot of books these days. 4.5 stars.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Katy Sozaeva reviewed on Aug. 13, 2011

If I could, I would give this 10 out of 5 stars – this is one of the most amazing things I’ve read in … a long time. I was initially intrigued by Arshad’s description in our forum that it was a “gay vampire” story – but it is SO much more than that. It is a romance of unbelievable beauty; it is an adventure, full of thrills, excitement and terror; it is a science fiction story, part space opera, and has elements of self-sacrifice for the greater good; it is about vampires, and magic-users and humans and how difficult it is for everyone to try to live together – but how wonderful it is when they do. It is about redemption, hope, love and growth. It is … AMAZING. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

The basic plot revolves around Nick Jameson, who is known as a Daywalker, or a vampire who has been redeemed and received back his soul. He is instrumental in stopping a plot that would have destroyed the greater Los Angeles area with a nuclear bomb; as a result, the metahumans are exposed to humans, and Nick is then appointed as the Ambassador to Humanity. We are introduced to the various races – the Nightwalkers, who are the vampires; the Daywalkers (already described) and the Sentinels, who are magic-users genetically programmed to hunt and kill the vampires. In North America, an unprecedented situation has been created where a truce has been put into effect – the Armistice. Opposed to the Armistice are the unaffiliated Sentinels and the Court of the Nightwalkers.

I can’t go into the plot much, because I don’t want to spoil things - I will say that I laughed many times; I cried several times, too, and that is very unusual for me. I felt like these characters had become my own friends, confidantes and enemies – Arshad is masterful at descriptions and characterizations, and you will come out of this book truly feeling like you just returned from another world. I am eager to get on to the rest of the trilogy - “Sunrise” and “Moonlight.” Watch for my reviews later this weekend.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)
Judy Cox reviewed on July 28, 2011

I am glad I read this book, it is not my kind of book, but it was not hard for me to read and I finished it without any problems.Very fast paced and I really got into the read.
(reviewed 60 days after purchase)
Sim reviewed on July 24, 2011

4.5 stars!

Wow! This is a really difficult book to categorize or define, but I loved it just the same! Ahsanuddin's world building is amazing - very detailed and complete. It's based on the world as we know it, until a terrorist attack causes the magical world, until now hidden from mortal eyes, to be suddenly and shockingly unveiled. This world is based on vampires - Nightwalkers; Sentinals - mortals genetically programmed to become supernatural hunters of vampires/defenders of humanity upon first contact with a nightwalker; and Daywalkers - former nightwalkers who have regained their souls (the process of which shall remain undisclosed in this review). All three of these races have access to magic and some form of psychic ability. They are also technologically advanced - AI's, teleportation and space travel in particular - way beyond humanity's progress in the same areas. Ahsanuddin's science/physician's background obviously shows through here as everything is neat and logical without (well, for me anyway) glaring inconsistencies.

The main characters, on the whole, are somewhat on the dark side, with tortured pasts for many of them. One of the key themes throughout this novel is 'Magic requires sacrifice' and that is certainly reflected in many of the characters. Many have painful pasts with heavy emotional or personal losses. Yet there is also a hope for redemption and a hope for love, despite all the struggles, for many of them too. In many ways, the bare glimmer of hope is all they have to continue the struggle through dark times. For me, this is one area I could use a little more emotional connection to the characters. For me, Ahsanuddin's writing left me a little detached from all the turmoil and I personally would prefer a bit more involvement with the characters. Others, indeed, may find they prefer the small distancing effect.

One small quibble - at times I found that significant time had passed from one paragraph to the next (say, for example, 6 months), but the time lapse is not apparent till a few more paragraphs later. I then needed to go back a bit to make sure I hadn't missed something, throwing me out of the story for a time. This may be due to the particular file format I read it in, or it just be the way it was written; either way I found it a little disconcerting.

I recommend this novel for readers who love fantasy and sci-fi, and also those who like non-traditional M/M romance. Personally, i really enjoyed this novel, and I'm looking forward to the next novel by this author.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
Meera Nair reviewed on July 17, 2011

I LOVED THIS BOOK!! It is such a huge book with so much to say that I am sure I haven't done the book justice with this short review. I could actually come up with pages and pages of stuff to say, but I didnt know for sure if that would be ideal. So I put all my enthusiasm into this review and I hope that, even though its not so big, you guys get the point about how wonderfully awesome this book is.

Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin is the first book in the Pact Arcanum series. It is amazing how the author has taken the concept of vampires and turned it into something completely different from the usual vampire books. And when I say "completely different" I mean, not the stereotypical blood-drinking, super-fast, afraid-of-sunlight kind of vampires. Yes, the book, to a certain extent has all of that but also so much more. It is a very well written book!! What I liked most about the book is its hypnotizing, overpowering sense. The story is so gripping that you cannot but finish the book soon. It was honestly so difficult for me to pry myself apart from the book. Everytime I picked up my e-reader,and started reading, I could feel myself being sucked into the story. I wasn't aware of anything in my surrounding during these blissful moments of reading.

The story is set in the future in year 2040, when vampires live among the humans in a hidden society. There are three races in the hidden society- Daywalkers, Nightwalkers and Sentinels. The nightwalkers are typical vampires. The Daywalkers are those who have reclaimed their souls. The Sentinels are soldiers who have been trained to kill vampires. All the three races have been in war against each other for thousands of years with one main motive- world dominance. I loved the action scenes in the book. The descriptions felt so real, almost like they were really there and not just fiction.
Thank You Arshad, so much for sending me the book. I enjoyed it completely!! Can't wait to read the next book. I will most probably cheat and cut through my entire TBR pile and read the 2nd book next.

Ratings - 5Stars
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)

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