by Crymsyn R Hart, fantasy (2006)
StarDust Press, $5.98, ISBN 981-05-7271-9
In Crymsyn R Hart's Immortal Desires, our heroine Amara is a psychic vampire. No, she doesn't do that "Gimme your blood!" thing, she instead drains "energy" from the people around her. She does crave blood but she and her fellow psychic vampires will slash their wrists and feed each other that way when the hunger strikes. I love this, by the way, it's so deliciously twisted in a way that will surely appeal to all those Goth-wannabe little girls out there.
Anyway, Amara is born this way and she doesn't question her nature as much as she does now when she starts having these dreams about two vampires, Crymson and Jacquelyn, having a final showdown in the woods with a mad vampire named Simon. And if you can't tell by now, the author seems to be very fond of the letter Y. I suppose I should be grateful that it's at least Simon and not, say, Symon or Simyn. Also, because she and her fellow psychic vampire friends are intimately linked in their minds no matter how far apart physically they are, she starts experiencing intense pain felt by her friends. Someone is hurting her friends, or worse.
Amara believes in reincarnation and past lives, and therefore she suspects that her dreams are telling her something about her past life just as she believes that she and her friends are close in previous lives to be as close as they are now. As Amara tries to look into the mysterious disappearance of a friend, Trevor, she meets two men, Simon and Andrew, who are related to her in her past life as Jacquelyn. Andrew was the man Jacquelyn lost to Simon. But is the Simon of today the mad and bad Simon that was killed in Amara's dreams? And who is Simon to her? Amara realizes that her dreams only tell a small part of the real story between Andrew, Crymson, Simon, and Jacquelyn. Amara will have to really get down to the heart of the matter when it's clear that the threat on all their lives has not been lifted yet. If anything, the body count has only just begun.
Immortal Desires has actually very little romance in my opinion to please readers who are looking exclusively for a vampire romance. What it is, however, is a very interesting vampire mystery/urban fantasy story. The fluffy cover does not accurately represent the story contained within its pages but I suppose there's only so much stock photographs can do. Ms Hart does one thing right in this story: she sure can tell a story because I can't stop reading Immortal Desires until I'm done with it.
It's a testament to Ms Hart's skill, I suppose, that I am engrossed in this story despite the fact that I find Amara a little bit "off". Let me explain: there's something about Amara that I find forced. Ms Hart has Amara cussing and dropping the F bomb pretty often, for example, but I find this aspect of Amara somewhat fake, as if Ms Hart is probably trying too hard to amp up Amara's tough gal act that Amara comes off like an exaggeration instead. Also, some of the canon details are vague. I still have no idea what Amara is capable of. Other characters hint that Amara can communicate with the dead, for example, but it is never spelled out what she is capable of or what she is. And really, what exactly is a "psychic vampire"? All these details are never made clear - Ms Hart alludes to these things but she doesn't even give enough hints to let me guess what these concepts could be. Still, the questions I have in my head don't really make any impact on my reading.
Nonetheless, all these flaws are minor, actually, which I believe can be attributed to the fact that Immortal Desires is Ms Hart's first published full-length fiction. Immortal Desires is quite rough around the edges when it comes to the author's narration style, but she has at least the ability to engage my attention and make me keep turning the pages down pat if this book is anything to go by. She's had one of the most important aspects of the craft mastered already. It may be interesting to see how things go for Crymsyn R Hart from here.
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