Date published: November 29, 2011
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher
After the death of her parents, Caroline Clifford went to live with her Uncle Nigel. Her legacy is an icon picturing a goddess and an egg, a puzzle she has not yet been able to explain or understand. Coddled and protected from the world Caroline, or Caro as those closest to her call her, pursued an academic and quiet life until one day she changed direction and became a tour guide. Leading tourists wasn’t quite as simple as it should have been with Caro losing a few along the way. But it’s what she wants in her life right then so she does her best.
That is, until, she receives word her beloved Uncle Nigel has died. Not just died, but been murdered. Before she can take in the circumstances of his death she meets Jude. Immediately attracted to him a little voice tells her he appeared just too conveniently and is just too much what she wants and needs in her life. When Jude tells her of his own attempted murder, followed by the death of her flatmate, Caro’s world crumbles even further. But more awaits her. Jude opens her eyes not just to immortals in the world but the fact that there are vampires and they live side by side with humans. More than that, they are looking for a book, the Historia Immortalis, they believe Caro has in her possession. But Caro has so much more.
Suddenly she finds herself on the run with Jude, searching for the answers of not only why her uncle was murdered. She also seeks to find the answers buried in her icon. At every turn a vampire stalks her and Jude, peeling away everything she has ever believed. From London to Bulgaria to Egypt she and Jude manage to stay a step ahead, yet at each turn they are caught up in a web of intrigue and betrayal.
Debut author Piper Maitland’s ACQUAINTED WITH THE NIGHT posits an interesting theory on immortality and vampires. The non-paranormal scenes, i.e., those without the vampires, are believable and realistic. While I never really connected with Caro as a character she was interesting to read. I didn’t really get much of a feel for Jude either. Something was missing and after a few days thinking about how to express it all I can say is there is something undeveloped about them and their relationship. In the short time Nigel is featured, in the references to him, he seems a more complete character. Jude and Caro express a passionate interest in each other but I never felt the emotions that would go with a great love. There is a reason for their attraction, beyond those of a couple, but if you aren’t reading carefully it seems like the author included a sex scene because she felt she needed one. Read on, however, because there is a reason for the suddenly intense sexual interest.
The vampires came across to me as more cartoonish or caricatures than actual beings. Their behavior was continually over the top and under-developed. They aren’t the heroes of the piece so there’s no reason to like or relate to them, but on the whole they were boorish.
Ms. Maitland touches on one theory of vampires and immortal life and that certainly got my attention! That theory was unique to me and I can see where the tagline about the power to shake Christianity comes from. Sadly she backed off from it; however I couldn’t tell if it was because she treaded into an area she was suddenly uncomfortable with or is waiting to delve more deeply into it in book 2.
Segments of the book came across as unfinished, but this was a final book and not an ARC so it should not have been so choppy. ACQUAINTED WITH THE NIGHT is book one of what I’ve seen called her Night Series, but I have found no information on whether in fact a book 2 exists. The ending of book 1 does lead one to believe another story follows. I will read it if for no other reason than to see where the story goes and how the author’s style changes over time.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.