Review: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter (Royal House of Shadows #1)
August 23 2011
Mass Market Paperback
Received from NetGalley
Yummy Man – Nicolai
Kick Ass Chick – Jane Parker
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.
Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.
When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She’s drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she’s ever craved…
Le sigh… LE…SIGH… Where to begin? I guess I’ll start by talking about the concept for this series, because it’s pretty cool. Yeah…let’s start on a high note. *g*
The Royal House of Shadows series is about four siblings, Prince Nicolai, Princess Breena, Prince Dayn and Prince Micah, and their quest for vengeance. You see, a while ago (we’re not sure how long ago from this book) the King and Queen were murdered in a coup. The King, a vampire, used his last smidgen of vampire magic to cast a spell on his children causing them to always feel the need to avenge his and his wife’s deaths. The Queen, a sorceress, used her last little bit of magic to send the siblings away so that they would remain safe. Each book will focus on a different sibling and will be written by a different author. (Pretty cool, eh?) The first book, Lord of the Vampires, is written by Gena Showalter and it lets us see what happened to Nicolai, the eldest, after he poofed.
Well, it seems he ended up in a sex slave auction and was purchased by a really nasty piece of work. She tricked him and scrambled his brain so he couldn’t remember that he is actually crown prince to the throne of the kingdom of Elden. In fact, she was so nasty to poor Nicolai that he managed to escape long enough to kill her…only for her nasty sister to take over and be mean to him too. Eventually his memory comes back (after finally getting away from the nasty girls with Jane’s help) and he remembers that his true purpose is to avenge his parents and gain back the throne. Oh, and find out what the hell happened to his siblings. And maybe fall desperately in love even though he is really only into non-long term relationships.
I enjoyed how Nicolai’s memories came back a little at a time. The things he would remember were interesting and sometimes even sweet. That being said, I didn’t feel much for Nicolai himself. I found him a little flat and almost caveman-ish. His dialogue was sort of limited. It mostly consisted of “mine” and “no” and “later” and then more “mine”. I usually sort of dig the whole possessive thing vampire heroes have sometimes, but I didn’t like the way it was done here. There was no strong character development to back up his “mines”.
I felt the same thing about Jane, our heroine. She was sweet and clever and her internal thinkings were sometimes comical, but there wasn’t much depth to her. I think if I were to suddenly appear on a different plane and find out I look like someone else there… If I were to meet the vampire that had, until that moment, only appeared in my dreams… If I got whipped by ‘my mother’ for not following orders… Yeah… I do believe I would have freaked out at least a little bit. Actually, I would have lost my sh*t even if I was a super brilliant scientist who was privy to the information that other beings do in fact exist before disappearing to goodness knows where like Jane. I also found Jane to be so uninspired. She is not only a crazy brilliant woman who graduated from school when she was pretty much a child; she was in a car accident and lost her family. I just didn’t find anything overly amazing about any of the characters, and you know that I am a character reader. You can probably tell by my reviews. Even the villains were just so-so for me. Did I want to smack Leila? All the time! But that was because I didn’t understand why she was tormenting Nicolai and why she so badly wanted him back after he escapes.
The story itself was filled with neat micro-moments and quite a few not-so-neat parts. I sometimes wondered why entire little side happenings were happening at all. One in particular was really not necessary and just ended up being vile and annoying to read. I didn’t see a point to it and it didn’t advance the story at all. But the final showdown was pretty neat.
Overall, I just felt this book fell flat. Tons of potential but none of the magic I was hoping for. I will read the rest of the books though because I am curious about where it will all lead. The siblings have potential to be strong characters – let’s hope I enjoy them more than Nicloai.
Giggle worthy quote
“’Who did you mean to summon, then?’ she asked, tracing an X next to his navel. She blinked. His navel? Damn it! Her willpower sucked.”
Books in the Royal House of Shadows series –
Lord of the Vampires (Gena Showalter – available now)
Lord of Rage (Jill Monroe – September 20th 2011)
Lord of Wolfyn (Jessica Andersen – October 25th 2011)
Lord of the Abyss (Nalini Singh – November 22nd 2011)