The vampire race is dying out. Charged with their protection are the Black Dagger Brotherhood; an elite group of warriors who hunt down lesser and allow civilian vampires to lead their lives in peace. But when Darius is killed by one of the lesser, he leaves behind a daughter, half human half vampire and she doesn’t know what she is. Loyal to his brother, Wrath vows to protect her and help her through the transition, if she will even survive.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series has a pretty established following and I often see bloggers getting excited about the latest instalment. I picked up a few copies in The Works over the years but only just got around to reading one. This is the first in the series and sets up an alternative vampire myth. The plot is a bit all over the place to be honest; there’s a lot of interesting elements and is an easy read, but looking back it is hard to summarise. It’s a blend of urban fantasy, crime and romance which needed a bit more coherence to hit the mark.

The good bits? The incredibly creepy lessers are a great addition. Created from humans, they are soulless and follow the orders of the mysterious Omega. In charge of the New York lessers is X, who in human terms would be a sociopath and serial killer. I wanted to know more about the history and the hierarchy. The mythology shows promise and is at least a bit different from the norm.

However I’m not convinced by the vampires only feeding off other vampires and not humans part. It just seems a bit odd (and no wonder they’re dying out, they’re just like pandas). The names of the brotherhood annoyed me a bit, misspelled words that I suppose described aspects of them; Tohrment, Phury, Zsadist, Vishous. Only Wrath is spelled normally, and yes he is wrathful, it all seemed a bit clichéd. And why Darius had a normal name I don’t know; is it because he gets killed off in the opening chapters?

I personally found the relationships a bit vomit inducing. They start off quite hopefully with a bit of tension and general restraint but descend very quickly into mushiness. I’m sure there’s some vamp mojo at work but it really could have been done without all the gushing. Not to mention the sex scenes seemed a bit out of place in the general plot; especially when Beth bounces back so quickly from nearly being raped in an alley. The characters just don’t seem very consistent, although I liked them much more in kick ass mode. I also hope Zsadist gets developed more in later books, he shows promise to be an interesting and multi-faceted character.

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