Monday, June 27, 2011
Immortalis Carpe Noctem -- Book Review & Giveaway!
I first stumbled upon Katie Salidas' "Immortalis Carpe Noctem" a year ago on my Kindle. I cracked open a bottle of wine, and settled in on my couch to read it as the sun set. I read it in one sitting and to my surprise it was dark out when I finished it. It had drawn me in and didn't let me go.
This story is the first in Ms. Salidas' "Immortalis" series and it begins with the main character, Alyssa waiting for her best friend Fallon to arrive at their regular hangout - a cafe near a college campus -- on the day she had lost her job. When Fallon calls to beg off, Alyssa leaves the cafe deciding to take a shortcut home and encounters two seemingly harmless men who ask her for directions to the library. Grudgingly, she responds and is suddenly attacked. As she lays on the ground close to death, her hero, Lysander appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and quickly does away with her attackers -- but not before he turns her in order to save her life. When Alyssa finally regains consciousness, she's not sure where she is or what's happened. She's experiencing changes in her body that she doesn't understand and this is where I got wrapped up. Katie's description of what Alyssa is experiencing is so vivid and realistic that you can't help but continue reading. As a fan of the genre, I had never seen the physicality of "the change" described so clearly.
The story continues with Alyssa's "maker" (Lysander) making some major adjustments himself. Lysander is a somber, introspective vampire -- the "strong, silent type", who when you first meet him you find out that he is a lone vampire. He is not part of a clan per se at this point in the story but now that he's turned young Alyssa, he is responsible for her and this has his maker, Kallisto pretty upset. Kallisto is also Lysander's former lover. Her anger towards him stems from the fact that he has broken the rules set in place long ago for fledglings, and as the story unfolds you will see that she harbors a mean spirited jealousy toward Alyssa.
When a travelling clan, The Peregrinus, which is made up of some of Lysander's "children" come to visit, they begin to bond as a "family" with Alyssa. In addition, Lysander, Alyssa and their new clan members all have to deal with the Acta Santorum, a band of vampire hunters comprised of self-righteous vampires themselves who feed off animals . They are working with the Vatican to eradicate vampires who are not like them. They consider other vampires evil.
As you become engrossed in the story, you will learn about Alyssa's new traits, strengths and weaknesses right along with her. You will see age old myths and beliefs about vampires de-bunked. Alyssa struggles with her new self and as she learns to adjust, you see her inner self begin to mature. You will grow to love all of the characters. The unfolding story will break your heart as you experience challenges and losses right along with her and her clan-mates.
I see this as a story about inner growth and slow maturity; a story about love and family; although the blood ties that bind this clan are not biological. This is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. It is a great introduction to those who have not experienced the genre and those who have, will find that it is different from anything they've read before.
Full disclosure: Katie and I have an ongoing virtual friendship. I am her latest interview featured in her "Author Spotlight" on her blog: http://networkedblogs.com/jDvUr
Notwithstanding all of that, I believe Katie Salidas is an author you'll want to keep an eye on, someone to watch. Apart from that, she's just a wonderful human being, so visit her blog to see all that she's up to!
Oh, by the way, Katie was kind enough to offer a free giveaway for a smashwords copy of "Immortalis Carpe Noctem". Since this was her first book and "Sinner's Ride" is my first novel, the first person to leave a comment on my blog will win a copy! Here is an excerpt: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PD365LmgoI6pP2jEpaWvqjnljHVIzv8LsCTE4mR2U-U/edit?hl=en_US&authkey=CI3E06sB
Here is a short synopsis of Katie's latest "Pandora's Box":
Alyssa thought, after a few months as a vampire, that she’d learned all she needed about the supernatural world. But all that will change when a mysterious package shows up on her doorstep - a Pandora's box. An ancient prison, created by powerful magic, the box was used to trap the most dangerous and deadly creatures on earth. Once opened, it releases an ancient evil, with an insatiable lust for vampire blood. Within moments of its release it the feeding frenzy begins. Alyssa must find a way to return the creature to the box. If she doesn’t, it will not only destroy her clan, but the rest of the vampires in existence.
Here's Katie's bio:
The youngest of four children, Katie has always had a desire to entertain. Since, early childhood, she's dreamed fantastical characters and scribbled them into pages of various journals and notebooks. Taking an interest in vampires, she devoured every book, featuring those blood sucking creatures, in any genre she could find. It was only natural that a love of reading vampire stories, turned into a love to write them. Katie is also a Las Vegas native, having grown up in the famed City of Sin. She loves to feature it as a recurring setting for many of her stories.
And now for the legal stuff:
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Thank you all for allowing me to share this with you.