I hate the cover of this book.
It’s Marcus’ origin story! Marcus, a young revolutionary, is dying in a hospital when Matthew de Clermont finds him and offers him immortality. He takes the chance, and now he has to face his strictly traditional new family with his heated revolutionary mindset. In the present, Phoebe is preparing for her own transformation. When past and present collide, Marcus and Phoebe can do their best to keep their relationship in one piece.
I really wish I liked this book more. I loved Marcus as a character, and I was so looking forward to him getting his own story. There was so much and yet so little in this book, though. It’s important in writing to show, and not tell, and yet Harkness has a big issue of doing just that.
For specifics, pg. 244: Harkness completely glossed over Marcu’s transformation. And the fact that out of 434 pages, 244 is way too long to wait for a main plot to finally start. And it happens again on pg. 252! Marcus? And Gallowglass? On a ship for a month?? And we don’t get any of it! And again on pg. 362 with Vanderslice and Marcus in New York and pg. 382 with Marcus in New Orleans and they’re just…skipped over. I want details! Dialogue!
There were just SO MANY CHARACTERS. Philippe, Ysabeau, Baldwin, Freyja, Matthew, Alain, Francoise, Marthe, Charles, Diana, Philip, Rebecca, Jack, Hubbard, Marcus, Miriam, Chris, Fernando, Gallowglass, Phoebe, Agatha, Sarah, Gerbert, Juliette, Domenico, Nathaniel, Hamish, Margaret, Sophie, etc. And add to that Persephone, Apollo, Obadiah, Patience, Catherine, Oliver, Zeb, Tom, Dr. Otto, Vanderslice, Adam, Marquis de Lafayette, William and his wife, Veronique, Matar, Ransome, Edward, Padma, Stella, everyone from Marcus’ childhood, Marcus’ revolutionary friends, Marcus’ New Orleans family, all of Freyja’s friends, a couple of other random vampires, and so many more. There’s just so many! Too many. Harkness couldn’t even keep track of them, it seems, because a few of them are just forgotten.
And I hate Baldwin. I hope Rebecca grows up and kills him. That would be a fitting end.
Vampire rules, unlike the magic of the universe, are so vague and annoying. What even are they? Can I get a solid explanation, please? Or any of the characters? Because it seems very dangerous for the non-vampires in the universe that have to work around these vague ass rules.
There was not a single mention of Emily. Sarah and Agatha may be dating, but Emily isn’t even a part of the VERY LARGE cast of characters? Ridiculous, and it makes me want to scream.
Some things I did like, though, are the follows: the absence of Matthew and Diana for a lot of the book was a welcome change. I hate their relationship. Phoebe and Marcus, when they aren’t being super childish, is nice though. I like them.
I like Marcus! He’s a good little vampire. He wants equality, and I can’t argue with that. Maybe he can usher in a new vampire age. Suck it, Baldwin, you old hag. I liked the historical bits that had some descriptions. Marcus’ backstory really fleshed out his character! Seeing the vampire change was also nice. I want a clearer explanation about why 90 days, though, and why people would talk if Marcus and Phoebe didn’t stick to that tradition, but I digress.
Anyway, I thought it was a…semi-enjoyable read. It wasn’t my favorite, but it also didn’t ruin Marcus for me like I was worried it would. Now: can Gallowglass please get a happy ending?
Trigger warnings: child abuse, domestic abuse, sexual content, violence, death, gun violence, racism, cursing, gore