I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Light pink=links
Author: J. Matthew Saunders
Series: Book 1: Yasamin
Publisher: Saint George’s Press on May 3rd, 2015
Buda, Ottoman Hungary, 1599: Yasamin, the naïve daughter of an Ottoman bureaucrat, finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage to the son of the powerful governor of Buda. She is unprepared for the gossip and scheming rampant in the palace but realizes she faces more than petty jealousies when someone tries to drown her in the baths on the day before her wedding. An unearthly menace lurks in the palace corridors, and the one person able to protect Yasamin is a soldier named Iskander, who seems to appear whenever she needs him. Charming and confident, he is nothing like her new husband, but trusting either of them could be a deadly mistake.
Berlin, Germany, 1999: Adam Mire, an American professor of history, discovers a worn, marked-up copy of Dracula. The clues within its pages send him on a journey across the stark landscape of Eastern Europe, searching for a medallion that once belonged to Dracula himself. But a killer hounds Adam’s footsteps, and each new clue he uncovers brings him closer to a beguiling, raven-haired woman named Yasamin Ashrafi, who might be the first of Dracula’s legendary Brides.
Adam has an agenda of his own, however, a quest more personal than anyone knows. One misstep, and his haunted past could lead to death from a blade in his back … or from Yasamin’s fatal embrace.
Before I begin the review I have some backstory first. So I work at a museum and for the past 7 weeks or so I was helping out at a local after school program for middle schoolers. The topic was Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies. One of the other educators came up with this class to discuss about the biology behind those scary monsters. So instead of just a one hour class I had to stretch it out to make it last one hour for 7 weeks. So it’s the 2nd to last week of the program and we are finally talking about Vampires. Now, I don’t actually know a lot about the origins of them and haven’t gotten around to reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. When that same educator gave me an article to read that describes why people thought vampires were real. You can read it HERE! I highly recommend you reading it just because it’s interesting and though you may not read THIS book that I am reviewing it might help explain some things from other vampire books that you have read. So the book that I am reviewing actually took in consideration history and real accounts and I just found that so neat that what I was reading was actually correlating to what I was doing at work.
On to the actual review:
The story follows Dr. Mire an American professor and Yasamin, a vampire and their stories of beginnings and present. It switches back between Dr. Mire and his travels and how he got to Yasamin which is the past and the present where Yasamin talks about how she became who she is and she is telling all of this to Dr. Mire. It’s a little confusing now that I’m writing it out but it sorta makes sense…I guess.
- The storytelling was interesting. It was unique to see how they both got to where the story starts off at. You travel back in time to see how Yasamin became a vampire and the decisions she had to make. While you travel back not so far in time to see Dr. Mire and how he got started on his journey.
- The history of vampires and how historical fact was told throughout the book but kinda turned into fiction. I loved all the historical aspects of Vlad and Dracula and Fluckinger’s account. See above for the article.
The Not So Good
- There were a LOT of characters and it was sometimes a little confusing at times. There were bad people chasing Dr. Mire but there were a LOT of bad guys with names. I had some trouble keeping up with who was who.
- The cliffhanger at the end left me wanting to read the next book but at the same time it was lacking in something. It wasn’t so much a cliffhanger as it just ended abruptly.
- The cover is lacking though that didn’t really hurt the review I just love covers and this one was ok.
- The characters were great but I wish we had more. More personality and more everything. I would have loved to read more about how Yasamin survived all those years and the turmoil that comes with being an immortal being. Maybe in the next book?
So I tried out a new way of reviewing instead of writing a long passage of what I did and did not like I figured bullet points might make it easier to read and quicker. I’ll try it out for the next couple reviews and see how it goes. Feedback would be great!