Fallen Dawn by EW Roberts keeps the pulse racing—even if the heroine no longer has that characteristic unique to the living.
Too often, the second book in a series fails to live up to expectations. It’s either too repetitive of book one or too different, losing that certain something that made you love the first installment. EW Roberts avoids both traps. The story of Iliana Dawn continues with an equally involving style, an internal story that is resolved within its covers while extending the development of the overarching character arcs.
Dawn remains a prickly protagonist who trusts no one—and suffers all the more for that failure as she tries and fails to do everything herself. She hates being a vampire; her denial and acceptance of her new form nearly leads to tragedy and strains her few close relationships.
Fallen Dawn is clearly an interim state for the newly created vampire, as she must step back from her life as a human detective and find an equivalent place in a vampiric society that initially wants her fully dead. She remains suspicious of Marcus Knight, the keeper of vampiric secrets and creator of the Wardens—the Black Sail’s private police force.
Dawn cannot understand why Knight seems determined to save her from her own actions and the deadly intentions of others. Like all good mysteries, there is a slow trickle of clues from Dawn’s past that begin to reveal the reason for her chronic mistrust of others, the true nature of the inhuman Ava, and the secrets that Knight keeps.
The internal plot is a rebound from Descending Dawn, as Dawn and Knight try to track the ancient, evil vampire Jewel and locate the elixir of life that the vampire council is desperate to recover. Twists and turns abound as Dawn tries, and fails, to work alone until she reluctantly accepts that her destiny is more entwined with Knight—and may have been for a very long time.
Once again, Roberts deftly incorporates some amusing titbits into the story about this parallel Earth where the world is not quite the same as ours—even before the outing of the vampires. Instead of planes, there are dirigibles; and the Russian empire is headed by a descendant of that glorious historical figure, Rasputin.
If you enjoyed Descending Dawn, then you will love this next installment as the characters and plot continue to develop in a most satisfying way. While the internal arc means it’s not essential to have read book one; it would be a shame not to start Iliana’s adventure with her opening words and enjoy the detailed world that Roberts is developing with care and skill.
EW Roberts continues to craft a successful niche in paranormal fantasy with his snappy vampire detective, and I’m hungry for book three. Write faster, please!