Friday, June 21, 2013

Review - As Shadows Fade (Gardella Vampire Chronicles, Book 5) by Colleen Gleason (5/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: March 3, 2009
ISBN: 978-0451226327
Stand Alone or Series: 5th book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles
Source: Swapped
Rating: 5/5 stars

This is the fifth and final book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles. It did a nice job of tying things up and resolving the main story. I really enjoyed the characters, the action, and the plot involving the evil Lilith.

This time it is not vampires who threaten Victoria Gardella, but demons. In order to fight these demons the Venators must do the unthinkable and team up with Lilith. Lilith is still obsessed with Max, and the Venators are forced to use her obsession with him to aid in the fight. Victoria has become a wonderful leader to the Venators but her heart is in turmoil. Sebastian appears to be the perfect companion for her, he loves and respects her and fights fiercely by her side. Unfortunately Victoria’s heart is set on Max and since Max has given up being a Venator that means that Max is a bit of a liability. Then there is the matter of Victoria needing to provide an heir to the Gardella line..

All of the characters we have come to know and love are here in this book. There is lots of Sebastian, Max, Lilith, and Victoria. They must hunt for the five rings of Jubei in order to obtain an orb of Lilith’s that will allow them to send the demons back home.

There is a lot of angst between Max and Victoria in this book. Max doesn’t want to be involved with Victoria because he feels that his human status will put her in danger and make it so that he can’t protect her like he should. Victoria knows that Max loves her and is unwilling to give up that love for something safer. There are lots of deliciously tense scenes between these two and they have excellent chemistry together. Really these interactions really made the book and they are what we’ve all been waiting for from book 1!

I felt very bad for Sebastian throughout. Victoria has made her choice clear, but Sebastian refuses to give up. He goes the extra mile again and again for Victoria trying to grab her attention. He truly and strongly believes that Max is unfeeling and uncaring and totally not worthy of Victoria. We learn a lot about the tension and history between Sebastian and Max in this book as well. Sebastian’s story is the only one that is really left at loose ends.

I love the quest-type feel to the story as well and how our heroes have to hunt down these strange objects. Adding to the plot is the idea of Victoria being the last Gardella and how she has a duty to continue the Gardella line. It was interesting to watch her try to cope with the idea of her having a child with her current duties as a Venator.

There are some excellent action scenes where Max, Sebastian, and Victoria all fight back to back in some wonderfully demonic battles. As with previous books this book continues to remind me of a Victorian Buffy the Vampire Slayer...with more adult sex scenes.

This book was a fun and quick read. It was engaging and entertaining and did a wonderful job wrapping up the series. The only loose end really is Sebastian’s story. Imagine my excitement when I heard that Sebastian’s story will be continued in a spin-off series starting with Roaring Midnight, which released on June 18th!

Overall a very well done and satisfying conclusion to this series. I love the interactions between Victoria and Max and enjoyed learning the history between Max and Sebastian. There are some excellent action scenes as well and I enjoyed the quest-like feel to the plot. The addition of demons added a whole new level of danger to the story too. This whole series is recommended to fans of vampire slaying stories that have a bit of romance in them. I absolutely cannot wait to read Sebastian’s story in Roaring Midnight!

This story goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- Paranormal Reading Challenge
- TBR Pile Reading Challenge

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