Series: Dark Ink Chronicles #1
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published by Signet (11.2.2010)
Paperback, 336 pages
Source: I own it
Savannah's most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe, lives on the edge. Now she's put over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires. Her only ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley's beauty and rare blood type. To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley faces dangers she's never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour it all...
The book was fairly decent for a while after that, with the scene at the graveyard and then Riley’s brother acting strangely. Until it got to the part where things were explained to Riley, and she finds out she has – dun dun DUNN – special blood. Blood that vampires find irresistible. Groan. And a ‘love interest’ that can hardly control himself around her because her blood smells so delicious. Gee, sound familiar?
Everything went downhill from there. I mean, even the names mean basically the same thing. Afterlight. Twilight. Huh. Then you’ve got a family of ‘good’ vampires – Cullens Dupres – with a brooding son named Edward Eli that tends to be a loner. Baddies making an army of fresh vamps – Valerian and Victorian (Victoria, anyone?). An ancient family that keeps the Dupres in line and protects the city (Gullah instead of Quileute). At least they weren’t werewolves.
“You have no idea how much of a temptation you are to me, Riley Poe. No idea how much control I truly have not to simply taste what rushes through your veins, with barely more than a paper-thin layer of skin to stop me.”
The romance was basically the same as Twilight, with a few steamy scenes thrown in. Edw- I mean, uhh Eli was controlling, overprotective, stalkerish. Wanted Riley to keep her distance for her own protection, because he was dangerous. (Because it ‘always ends badly’ between mortals and vampires.) Saved her from a pervert in a dark alleyway and vehemently stated that he should have killed the guy. Riley finds it ‘thrilling’ that Eli watches her from dark corners – and while she’s sleeping. Um? How the hell is it exciting for a complete stranger to be creeping your bedroom, watching you sleep? HOW?!
Eli: I’ve watched you, even before we met. From inside your room.
Riley: Ohh, that’s so romantic, let’s make love!
Something else that bothered me? Eli’s manhandling of Riley. He was constantly pushing her around (literally). I should have kept count of how many times he shoved her into a wall. I’m not sure how any of these qualities are something to be admired, or what Riley saw in him…but whatever.
Thank goodness Riley was different than Bella. Unfortunately, it was the extreme opposite. She was cocky and a total badass. She thought she was, anyway. Eye roll. Her arrogance irritated the hell out of me. Sure, she could fight. But she seemed to think she was invincible. She thought she was the epic hot shit. Anything with a penis wanted her. She was irresistible. Ugh. And I could really deal without a complete in-depth rundown of every single freaking outfit she wore. Good lord. I really don’t give a rat’s ass about Riley’s wardrobe.
I had some issues with the world-building, as well. The Gullah weren’t explained at all, so I didn’t understand their background. Too lazy to look it up, not my job. Also, I didn’t understand why they couldn’t destroy the Arcoses until they were fully rejuvenated. That makes no sense! Wouldn’t you want to off them while they’re still weak? The only explanation I got was something about Gullah magic. I don’t even know. I didn’t get why Riley had to go back into the underground and pretend to be into drugs, either. I know that her brother and his friends were choosing recruits from seedy places like that, but why does it matter whether Riley does it or not? That part confused me.
Writing style: 3/5
Overall rating: 2/5