September 20, 2011

Den of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

Den of Shadows site
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Purchase Link: Amazon


In the Forests of the Night Three hundred years ago Risika had a family—a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human. Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. And her past has come back to torment her.

Demon in My View Jessica isn’t your average high school student—she’s an acclaimed published author of vampire fiction. Now two new students at her high school strongly remind her of her favorite characters. But those characters only live in her imagination—right?

Shattered Mirror Christopher Raneva and Sarah Vida may look like a normal high school couple, but he’s actually a vampire who’s sworn off human blood and she’s an incredibly powerful, vampire-hunting witch. As if that weren’t enough to prevent their love, his past and her future collide when they get tangled up with Nikolas, one of the most reviled vampires ever.

Midnight Predator Once a happy teenager, Turquoise Draka is now a vampire hunter. Her current assigment is to assassinate Jeshikah, one of the cruelest vampires in history. But to do that, she’ll have to enter Midnight, a fabled vampire realm, as a human slave.

This is one of those moments where I picked up the book because I judged it by it's cover, isn't it pretty? But I was not disappointed, the cover supersedes the story inside! Initially I thought it's a compilation of short stories or novellas at best. To my delight, it IS four COMPLETE novels in one book... but here's the kicker, the story is about ONE thing and ONE place told by different characters.

In the Forest of the Night and Demon in my View is sort of the "couple". In the former we follow the story of Risika who was turned into a Vampire against her will just so that she can save her brother. But throughout the years she has vowed vengeance against Aubrey who did the most damage to her and her human family. Here we are introduced to Atwater-Rhode's vampires and their nature. They are your standard blood suckers but what I like about them is that they are mercenaries. Their loyalties are questionable and they are very patient predators. So just when you're about to pick a side and get attached to a character, they do something out of character and you end up switching teams again and again.

As we move forward to Demon in my View, it becomes a novel within a novel. Jessica has these vivid dreams that turns out to be memories of her vampire mother and her maker, Siete. What Jessica doesn't know is that her dreams are in fact real and the Vampire community of New Mayhem, New York are getting more and more uneasy by her vampire series, she's revealing not only their secrets but personal weaknesses as well. Not good for a coven of Alphas. Personally I don't like Jessica, though her character is intriguing, her darkness overwhelmed her good traits. But there's so much history here that was left for us to conclude and make up as we go along, I have to pick up the full length novel.

Shattered Mirror is my least favorite because I'm just a bit wary of "teen romance". It's sort of a love story between a Christopher, an abstinent vampire, and Sarah and witch vampire hunter. This is sort of a spin-off of the previous two novels and we'll see New Mayhem from the eyes of these hunters. Sarah feels like she's a second rate witch vampire hunter compared to her sister Adianna and her mother The Dominique Vida. As much as she wants to blend in and stay out trouble, the urge to prove herself and her worth is more persistent. She then goes hunting for Nikolas, one of the most vicious vampires who is responsible for the death of a lot of Sarah's ancestors. Turns out her harmless vampire classmate, Christopher, is related to Nikolas. Then their world gets entangled and Sarah ends up being a vampire herself. So based on this, you can tell that there will be teen rebellion and impusive decisions that will do more harm than good.

Midnight Predator is the darkest of the four stories. The story is about revenge, vampire hunting and human slavery. Torquoise Draka is a hired mercenary and a member of Crimson. She just got hired for a job by a mysterious employer and it entails revisiting the darkest part of her past, to be a slave in a vampire den. Her job is to assassinate Jeshickah, the cruelest vampire in history. But once she got in she discovers that there's more than meets the eye and started questioning her purpose and membership to the elite group Crimson. Reading this last story made me a little bit uncomfortable. What's more disturbing is that some of the slaves are willing to be kept like pets and for those who managed to get away, to say that they've been scarred for life is an understatement. We all can agree that the loss of free will and entrapment is far from enticing and Midnight Predator explores this to the hilt.
I hate it when I pick up a book and read it midway only to feel like it's not to my taste but end up finishing it for the sake of knowing how the story ends. Don't you hate it when that happens? This Quartet curbs that as it's a digest of the series that have been published previously, which works for me because I like trying new authors and this compilation is a good taste test.

Here's the thing, Atwater-Rhodes just gave us travel size portions of her fantastic world and she left me craving for more. There's so much more to be told about these vampires and witches whose destinies are too entangled no amount of softener or lubricant can pry them apart. I've been glamoured and if I see the full length ones on my next library visit, I'm sure I'll check it out.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes is a brilliant story teller, Forest of the Night was written when she was just 13 and the stories showcase her infinite imagination and how real this world is from her POV. This quartet is a good preview of her work and the Den of Shadows series, it helps you decide for yourself whether or not her stories are worth your time and money.

Based on this Quartet, the stories are very dark and violent and since it's a YA novel, expect that there will be some annonying emo moments. But it doesn't distract from the entire story so you'll survive the book without cursing the characters too much. If you like Vampire Diaries, you'll develop a certain degree of affinity for this one.

Den of Shadows Series


  1. I have never heard of these, but they sound amazing. I am happy that the covers look as good as what is on the inside. Seriously, who does these? They are beautiful. But I love the idea of the quartet. Definitely on my wishlist. So glad the emo moments are kept to a minimum. Great post hon, thank you :)

  2. I know me too! Apparently she's been around a long time and has published a couple of books already. I'll be reading her Were digest/quartet next time :)


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