From the Bookcover:Night’s Cold Kiss is the debut novel from Tracey O’Hara and the first in a new urban fantasy series called the Dark Brethren. Night’s Cold Kiss drops us into the action right from the start and introduces us to Antoinette who is on the hunt for a dreniac. As a venator she hunts and destroys them, protecting the human population from this dark side of the parahuman races. Antoinette has great passion for her work having lost her mother to a dreniac attack when she was a child. The experience also colored her perceptions of vampires lumping the civilized Aeternus vampires together with the evil dreniacs.
For centuries war raged between the humans and Aeternus vampires—until courageous efforts on both sides forged a fragile peace.
But the rogue Necrodreniacs will never be controlled—addicted as they are to the death-high . . . and bloody chaos.
Since witnessing the murder of her mother, Antoinette Petrescu has burned with fiery hatred for the vampire race—even for Christian Laroque, the noble, dangerously handsome Aeternus who rescued her. Now an elite Venator, Antoinette must reluctantly accept Christian's help to achieve her vengeance—even as he plots to use the beautiful, unsuspecting warrior as bait to draw out the bloodthirsty dreniacs.
Night’s Cold Kiss is an action-laden novel involving a hunt for a serial murderer/dreniac combined with human and parahuman political intrigue. Thrust into a mission where Antoinette must work with the Aeternus vampire Christian, she is forced to confront long-held prejudices. Antoinette is further kept off balance by revelations about her family and the identity of the serial killer. As a character she is forced to change and evolve and Antoinette is all the more real for it.
There are some terrific supporting characters in Night’s Cold Kiss, in particular Christian’s long-time friend Victor who almost single-handedly is responsible for opening Antoinette’s eyes, bringing understanding and compassion. This leads to some very powerful and emotional scenes. Another interesting character is the gruff Oberon a parahuman detective assigned to the case. Oberon is an Animalian and specifically a werebear. While the supernaturals in Night’s Cold Kiss are for the most part familiar, the author has added some nice twists to the origins story so their behaviours are not always what you would expect.
The bad guys are suitably bad, with the serial killer dreniac being particularly horrific - delivering some very intense scenes. The primary villain behind the human/parahuman conflicts is kept well hidden until close to the end and I for one did not suspect his identity until it was revealed. I didn’t completely buy into the shift in this characters personality once he became known, but that is my only quibble. A good action thriller always needs its equivalent of a Dr. No.
I liked the dynamics between Christian and Antoinette and clearly their relationship and romance is in its infancy, but the chemistry is there. To some degree I am reminded of Cat and Bones in the Night Huntress series, so I am sure readers of Jeaniene Frost’s series will enjoy this. Night’s Cold Kiss is a good solid debut and is a welcome addition in the action urban fantasy category. There is also a handy Glossary of Terms at the end of the book, that I found useful, a feature that would be nice to see in more urban fantasy books where the world-building is important.
Read an excerpt.
Dark Brethren Series:
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