October 12, 2012

Review: Disenchanted by C.K. Farrell

Series: The Celtic Vampire Saga
Format: Digital (from the author for review)
Excerpt here
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Purchase: Amazon 

Faelynn LeCroix is a woman hell-bent on finding those responsible for the brutal murder of her mother and the abduction of her father. She’s on a quest for revenge and, in her opinion, the bloodier the better. The arduous trail that she has been doggedly following for three years has led her directly into the path of Nathaniel Valour, an Irish vampyre who rules over the territory of New England. At first, she sees him as nothing more than one of the fiends she disposes of on a nightly basis, but something tells her that Nathaniel is different from every other vampyre she has ever encountered on her trail of retribution. The truth is, Nathaniel Valour is different—he is a vampyre with a secret. Upon looking into the eyes of Faelynn, Nathaniel realises that she is the one he has unknowingly been waiting for. Can Faelynn see beyond her situation and place her fragile trust in the hands of a depraved creature of the night, one she swore to destroy every last one of? If she can, Faelynn may find herself closer than ever to quenching her thirst for vengeance.

This intriguing and passionate saga would be attractive to the habitual readers of Gothic literary works, paranormal romance, and horror.
I have been avoiding vampires lately because these nocturnal beings have lost their bite as far as I'm concerned. They've been over exposed, their origins revised, rewritten and traced to various origins from fallen angels to extra terrestrial, every plausible myth has been explored and exhausted I'm over it. I've become very selective of vampire-themed books and unless it's written by someone whose writing I truly adore, or if the book is highly recommended by someone I trust I won't bother reading it. In this case C.K. Farrel, author of DISENCHANTED was sent our way by the lovely Carolyn M. Pinard so I took the challenge, set aside my doubts and plunged head-on.

First of all, DISENCHANTED is a very good and challenging verbal exercise and I've never been more grateful for my Kindle's built-in dictionary while reading this. There were words that have long been buried in memory back in the days where I was taking classical lit classes and words I've never encountered before (nugatory, chthonic, nadir, juvenescence) it's obvious I'm very much in need of a vocabulary boost. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, I used to live for writing like this! The prose was beautiful and though some of you might find stringing pretty words for effect antiquated, I think it's masterful. And once I got used to Farrell's "syntax" and "inflection", I breezed through the story easily.

DISENCHANTED is basically a character introduction of sorts. We meet the vampire Nathaniel Valour and get a sense of his reputation in the vampire society. He's suave and sophisticated and the mere mention of his name is better than a calling card or any written recommendation. In between his melancholic musings, we are given a glimpse of Nathaniel's life before he became a prominent member of the undead. We meet a lovesick Nathaniel whose greatest sin was falling in love with a woman belonging to the upper class, Martha Harrington. And like most relationships between two people belonging to different social strata, Nathaniel and Martha's romance is bound for doom. In the end, Nathaniel was drowning himself in tears, alcohol and misery while being consoled and unknowingly forging a deal with the devil, so to speak. That last part  reminded my of Louis de Pointe Du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt (Vampire Chronicles), too bad that's where the back story ended so I have to read book 2 to find out how that negotiation went down.
Why don't you take your snaggle-fanged ass back inside that stinking cesspit, hangout with your buddies, and knock back a few shots of plasma, - Faelynn
As for Faelynn Le Croix, I got a good feel of her as well. She's strong, independent, and crafty and for a human navigating the underground world of vampires, she's pretty fearless and very focused on her agenda. Faelynn is on a mission, she's in search of The Chieftain, Cormack de Cruel, because she suspects he is the one behind her mother's death. And it is through this mission for justice that her path crossed with Nathaniel. These two eventually paired up as Nathaniel is Faelynn's best bet in finding The Chieftain. And from the looks of it, it seems to me as if they are going to be great partners inside and outside the bedroom.

The brewing romance was implied as Nathaniel is obviously attracted to Faelynn but as far as the sexual tension and romance angst is concerned, it's yet to unfold. Although I'm unsure if this will be the romantic theme for these two, looking at Farrell's style, he's a romantic type who believes in courtship and all the bells and whistles that go with it. So probably this budding love affair between Nathaniel and Faelynn is going to develop along that line instead of the usual lusty and passionate paranormal romance we usually read.

DISENCHANTED was a good series appetizer, we know what drives the characters and we're given a clear direction of where the story is headed to. The plot is a little hazy to me at this point and I have a feeling that the core of the story will be revealed in Nocturne. By the end of the book I was left with a lot of questions and I know the answers are waiting patiently for me in book 2.

C.K. Farrell is an award-winning Irish novelist who is currently based in the United States of America. In-between hectic writing and research sessions, he spends his time walking his dogs around the woodlands and shores of New England, hoping to be hit by inspiration. Presently, C.K. Farrell is working on completing the subsequent books of “The Celtic Vampyre Saga”, along with several other projects.

Stalk C.K. Farrell on Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Series available at Amazon

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