Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
A fresh vampire mystery that delves into the struggle of human-vampire integration
E. W. Roberts takes a classic idea and runs with it. In Descending Dawn, the first book in the City of the Dead series, the author integrates vampires into normal society in the largest city in Georgia. While they struggle to be accepted and are unwelcome in most states, they aren’t necessarily a secret anymore. This brings on a conflict that readers can get excited about.
Our introduction to Iliana Dawn is one that promises potential greatness, but that isn’t where we start with this story. We’re taken back to the beginning of her legacy as seen through the first of many journals she kept.
Iliana Dawn is a cop with a strong prejudice for vampires. Her father was a preacher who preached against the integration of vampires into society, and in many ways, Iliana is continuing his work through her profession.
When she is assigned to a newly formed vampire unit, she’s forced to work with a vampire named Knight and a new partner named Kershaw, both of which annoy her to no end. While investigating a crime involving a young vampire, Iliana’s world is turned upside down and she’s forced to rethink everything she’s ever known.
The intermixing of humans and vampires in society along with the mystery of a heinous crime pushes the want-to-read-more factor even further in this first book of the series. The crimes leave many potential culprits. Readers won’t know who to trust or whose side to be on as an investigation plays out with alarming consequences. Descending Dawn is an exciting read.
But Iliana is a tough character to follow, as her prejudice toward vampires feels harsh and unjust at times. She can’t help but speak down to and about vampires, and I don’t know if her previous experience with them warrants such a hateful response.
Thankfully she’s forced to ease up after forming relationships with Knight and Jewel. While Jewel tugs at her heartstrings for being a child, Knight intrigues Iliana with his soft nature and expertise. Her reliance on the both of them opens her up in ways that didn’t seem possible in the beginning of the story. Although perhaps she should have held onto that cynicism a little bit longer.
With captivating prose and a successful whodunnit approach, Descending Dawn is a great start to a promising series. Readers will be glad to know that more of these are coming. A good first book keeps us looking forward to the promises of the storyline; from what we can tell in this one, the story is far from over.