Title: The Vampire's Protege
Series: From the Vampire's Angel universe
Author: Damian Serbu
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 21
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Genre: Horror, paranormal, abduction, action, blood and gore, cisgender, contemporary, crime, dark, death, gay, paranormal, vampires
SynopsisA sinister vampire offers Charon a choice he can’t refuse: play a deadly game of winner takes all, losers die. Charon relishes the competition and molds himself into a sexy vampire who defies vampire law, savoring his power and embracing the role of villain. He also loves surrounding himself with hot young men. But when an alluring vampire stalks him and threatens to turn him into the Vampire Council unless he helps with a seemingly impossible task, will Charon risk his perfectly narcissistic life on the challenge? Does he have any other choice?
The Vampire’s Protege
Damian Serbu © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Damian Serbu © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Everyone thinks they adore the Vampire Council with its rules and regulations that allegedly govern all vampires and thereby ensure the safety of virtuous humans. People want to lose themselves in the tales of the Council members: Xavier and Thomas and their love; Anthony and Jaret and their guarding of humanity; Catherine and Harriet and their whims within a righteous vampiric empire. Most of all, the Vampire Ethic provides comfort with its guarantee that goodness protects an individual from a vampire attack, with its promise that all vampires defend innocence.
Vampires accept this reality because it gives them a collective soul. The ethic protects them from the stereotype of evil incarnate preying upon humanity. Or, in the least, obedience to it keeps them alive, lest the Council hunt them down and murder them for transgressions against it.
Humans desire the Council’s laws to maintain their fantasy of security from the supernatural realms. Who would dismiss a hidden force of vampire police that might swoop in at any sign of danger and annihilate the perpetrator?
Yet deep inside, so many long for something different, something that avoids this utopian trope and perfect world, all tied up in a pretty bow. Part of everyone, that piece so desperately stamped down and derided, seeks an alternative story.
To be sure, many will deny it. Fight against these words and honorably cast them out as the devil’s temptations. Yet no proof of Satan or such demonic forces presents itself. Because even those thoughts really stem from the inner being in everyone, that secretly locked-up atom inside a person that pines for freedom and seeks release, even as the goodness scolds it.
Still people contest these words. Deny them.
Yet a fascination with villains thrives in America. Think of the great antiheroes of history and their legendary fame. The Wicked Witch of the West. Darth Vader. Hannibal Lecter. The Joker. The infamy of historic figures such as Adolf Hitler or Ted Bundy or the Son of Sam. The people who don the costumes at Halloween of Lord Voldemort, Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler because it empowers them for a night with beautiful wickedness. People laugh at Scar, Ursula, and even Mr. Potter. They read the tales of Lex Luther and Cujo, privately wishing they would eventually triumph over the heroes of the story and bring a bit of destruction to the globe.
Jack the Ripper lives through the ages because he successfully hid himself, true. But also because his perfect malevolence went unpunished. People want that for themselves. His legend draws them back again and again to that story with the hope of their own misdeeds going unchallenged.
Thus, whether admitted or not, people long to meet Charon. Yes, so many cry out for Charon and his story. People want him. Readers desire him, need him, really. The world will have no choice but to love him. All will embrace him as they have these other villains of history. They will celebrate his perfect treachery.
Unlike those obedient to the Vampire Council, Charon hardly worries about a bit of notoriety from time to time. Fear of retribution never enters his vocabulary. He need not concern himself with the Vampire Council and its regulations. Nor does Charon often fret over any other person or entity cracking down on his masterful empire.
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If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
Boring alert: right here at home. I like working in my office, with my dogs nearby, and Paul coming home in the evening so we can hang. I have pictures and an atmosphere that transport me into my writing. I get the most done right at this desk, where I’m currently typing.
What's the one thing, you can't live without?
Paul! Followed by my dogs and family.
What internet site do you surf to the most?
Cleveland.com. I know, what?! It has nothing to do with my writing! But I am a HUGE Cleveland sports fan, so that’s how I keep up with my teams.
If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?
Anne Rice, because she’s just my absolute favorite. Her ability to create a story and pull you into characters is unmatched. Then Greg Herren. He’s written so much quality gay fiction, and I think he pioneered so much in the field of mystery and some horror. Than, I’d say Bart Yates. He writes such moving and brilliant stuff, without getting the recognition he deserves. Honorable mention goes to Lynn Flewelling and Timothy Floreen.
When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
I was giddy and excited! I didn’t know if it would ever happen, so I was smiling, hugging the dogs, and crying. I couldn’t wait to tell Paul when he got home, so he learned first.
Charon is pretty much the embodiment of narcissism and has very little concern for the so-called Vampire Council and their rules and edicts. He believes that people secretly desire the dark that comes with the things that are feared. So it goes without saying that he is coveted by many.
Wow, what a prologue! This story pretty much clutched me in the first sentence. It's as if we are being told the legend of Charon instead of just a fictional story and I appreciated the dramatics of it. I was hooked.
Now, I think it's important to know Charon/Blade is a complete jerk and extremely self-centered. He doesn't really care about hurting people, whether it be emotionally or physically. He's selfish and even when he begins to grow on you it still is glaringly obvious that this man, this vampire is not a "good guy".
This IMO is not a love story at all, Charon loves only himself. Charon is in it for himself and what he can get to make himself happy, powerful and loved by all. So this is very unique. You have to forget about the stereotypical HEA and True Love. You just go with it and try to laugh at his antics while following the politics of the world the author has created.
Would I recommend this one? Probably, if I knew the reader wasn't hoping for romance and a beautiful story. For most though, I'd probably say read with caution.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
Meet the AuthorDamian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He previously authored several novels now out of print, and is excited to reignite his writing with Ninestar Press!
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