As the novel opens, we find an ill prepared Jesse girding herself to witness the graveyard birth of a vampire which she plans to kill. After a year of fighting the thing inside her, refusing to feed it’s blood-lust so it can take over her body and soul Jesse is set on a mission of vengeance to destroy as many of the creatures as she can. She also wants to find out what happened to her twin sister Amanda who was taken at the same time as Jesse. As it turns out, a newly ‘birthed’ vampire isn’t as easily destroyed as Jesse thought and in a tense action scene where she is very nearly killed a savior intervenes.
“The demon laughed.
Then, with a flick of its reptilian tail, it vanished. A strange luminescent afterimage lingered as if scorched into the fabric of the atmosphere. All that was left of the body was something that looked gummy and sticky, like tar poured on top of the newly turned soil. Immolation had happened so instantaneously, it was almost hard to believe the thing had existed.
Knees going weak, Jesse collapsed. It was all she could do not to scream or break into hysterical sobs. She hadn’t imagined anything like this would happen when she’d climbed over the fence surrounding the cemetery. A stake to the heart and the vamp would turn into a neat pile of ashes—game over.
Only this was no game.
Gun in hand, her rescuer sauntered over like a soldier armored in the pride of an enemy’s defeat. He stopped within a foot of Jesse, overwhelming her with his presence. His lanky body filled her vision. The power he radiated enveloped her, kept her sitting.
“First time you see a demon face-to-face is a shock.”
Struggling to calm her erratic heartbeat, she barely managed a nod. “No shit.”
Darkness Descending © Devyn Quinn”
Jesse’s rescuer goes by the name of Maddox de Valois, the novel’s tortured, war weary hero. Maddox (I love his name), along with a surly native American / Russian brute named Reyen, and the diminutive, brilliant Asian Dr. Sam Chen, make up a rag tag team of vampire demon slayers called Palindromes. Shrouded in secrecy and a creation rooted in mythology, Palindromes are all males who carry a unique DNA structure that is able to destroy the demon infection and actually transforms their bodies, giving them superhuman abilities enabling them to fight the vampires. Their lifespans are also substantially lengthened.
Maddox is centuries old, has suffered immeasurable losses, and witnessed much death and destruction over the duration of his long life. He knows he should destroy Jesse, however the fact that she has been able to survive when no other human has and shows a tenacious will to live and suppress the thing inside her impresses him. And, there is the prophesy, which you will have to read the novel to learn about.
The sexual attraction and tension certainly zings between Jesse and Maddox, but theirs is a difficult romance hampered by trust issues, and the very nature of who they are. Jesse, after all is host to a demon Maddox has devoted his life to slaying. There is tenderness and sensuality in this story, but their relationship is thwart by the ever looming danger of the demons that are growing in strength and numbers.
This was another read I had difficulty putting down. Ms. Quinn skillfully crafted each scene that advances a fast paced plot with plenty of twists, intrigue and a forbidden romance. This author is known for developing extremely nasty antagonists and the one in this story is no exception, the ages old, powerful, seeming indestructible Queen of the Telave. Amonate’s frightening plans for humanity seems to be coming to fruition. When all appears lost, Ms. Quinn designs an action packed, surprising conclusion that will tug at your heartstrings, and sets the stage for Book II in what is to be a series of stories.
IMHO Ms. Quinn has developed an exciting and enticing world for the first of her Vampire Armageddon books, that has all the ingredients lovers of dark paranormal worlds look for. Jesse Burke’s character is matured over the course of the novel, she shows tenacity and strength enabling her to become a real kick-ass heroine. Maddox proves to be a sexy but tortured hero, who struggles with what he believes to be a holy calling and a wish that he could just end it all. The other thing I loved about this novel is Ms Quinn’s signature dark sarcastic wit which had me chortling out loud on more then one occasion.
If you enjoy a well-written unique paranormal romance/urban fantasy story you may like to give Darkness Descending a try.