Sunday, March 1, 2009

As Shadows Fade Book Review *Colleen Gleason*

Welcome to the first book review for the DIK blog! The reason I am writing the review here is because Colleen so graciously acknowledged the DIK ladies in As Shadows Fade. So, I thought it would be appropriate to post the review here.

As Shadow’s Fade is the final book in Colleen Gleason’s outstanding Gardella Vampire Chronicles. This Victorian Paranormal series has great action, suspense, drama and romance. The hardest part for an author must be writing the final book in a series they have invested so much work and emotion into. The same goes for the reader.

This is a bittersweet review on my part because not only did I have absolute joy in reading about an amazing heroine in Victoria Gardella, Grantworth de Lacy, but had wonderful discussions with my fellow bloggers about the series. I also had some great conversations with Colleen who has so much to give the publishing world in the next years to come.

The hardest part about writing a review for As Shadows Fade is the big spoiler in the book of who does Victoria ends up with? Is it that seductive yet naughty Sebastian Voget who showed Victoria such incredible passion or is it Maximilian Pesaro, Victoria’s fellow Venator who pushes her away even though he longs to hold her in his embrace? Most of you may know that Colleen’s fans are either on Team Sebastian or Team Max. I am a Team Sebastian girl, whereas Kati from Adventures in Katidom is in Max’s corner. She and I would share countless emails about why we think our man of choice is perfect for Victoria. In As Shadows Fade, Victoria does end up with one of them. That is one of the joys in reading this latest from Colleen. After all the heartache and loss Victoria has gone through, Colleen has allowed Victoria to have some fun. She had a small taste of joy from her husband, who she had to kill in the first book, The Rest Falls Away, because he became a vampire. Now that Victoria is a little bit wiser and more mature, she is no longer a girl experiencing love for the first time. She is a woman who wants passion and everything that comes with it. She wants a man she can love with her whole heart and soul and who will love her in return.

When Victoria and her man of choice decide to be with each other, it is a great thing. Victoria is one happy lady throughout As Shadows Fade. This is the most sexual of all the books in this series. After all the hard work Victoria has done, she is given her reward, so to speak. Yup, Victoria has a great deal of sex. She has tender lovemaking, fast passionate nookie, and one such scene at an inn where the walls shake. He lover is one feisty and lusty fellow.

I have to say that the love triangle between Sebastian, Victoria and Max is so well written. Colleen wrote it in such a way that whichever man Victoria chose, it would have worked. By the end of When Twilight Burns, it is pretty much a given who Victoria wants to spend her life with. Sebastian is the man who her body responds to, while Max is the man of her heart.

Even though the romance is an important part in As Shadows Fade, the other is defeating the evil vampire queen Lillith who has been a thorn in both Victoria and Max’s side. Lillith is to blame for Max’s angst, which made me give him the nickname Broody Max. In the past, Victoria had to work hard to defeat her enemy. Now in As Shadows Fade it is Max who must overcome those obstacles in order to save his life. He is nothing unless he is a Venator, just as Victoria is. Max is given the ultimate test where if he doesn’t succeed he will perish.

Not only are there vampires to deal with, but demons that also have their own reasons for destroying Lillith and her followers. Will Victoria work with one evil side to defeat the other?

As Shadows Fade is a most excellent book. Perhaps it is because I have been on a serious Urban Fantasy glom, but I felt As Shadows Fade was a great Historical Urban Fantasy if there can be such a thing. Again, when it comes to Urban Fantasy, it all comes down to the strong “kick-ass” heroine. Victoria is definitely this. She has become a leader and the ultimate fighter who even though has backup, doesn’t necessarily need it.

Colleen made sure to end everything perfectly and that elusive HEA has become a reality for Victoria. Colleen gives Victoria everything she has ever wanted, as well as her readers.

As Shadows Fade will be placed in my top 10 book list for 2009. This is an outstanding, well written book. It ends a series that I am so happy to have read. If you haven’t read Colleen Gleason’s Gardella Vampire Chronicles, you should. (Signet Eclipse)

Final Grade: A-



Kati said...

*LOVED* this book. And not just because Miss Colleen thanked us. Mostly because it brought to glorious close the story of Victoria Gardella.

I desperately hope we get to revisit the Venators, even if it's in a different time period.

LesleyW said...

Katie - This is a series I've never read. Maybe because although I'm a huge vampire fan, I struggle with historicals. However, your review makes me want to give it a go.

Tracy said...

That is so great that Ms. Gleason thanked the DIK! So cool.

I haven't read past the first book but so many people like the series I may have to delve into the second book soon.

Great review Kate and thanks for posting it on DIK!

orannia said...

Thank you Katie! It sounds like As Shadows Fade is a great conclusion to the series (and like Kati I'm hoping we are able to revist the Venators at some point).

I'm still not quite 100% ure who Victoria ends up with's Monday here if that helps so my brain isn't quite into gear yet :)

Anonymous said...

Woohoohooo! Thanks KB!

So does this mean you've eeeased on over to a different team now?? ;-)

Thanks for the great review and for the support from the DIK ladies!!!

Bridget Locke said...

Wow, it is SO cool that she acknowledged us! I *heart* her.

Haven't read it yet (boo) so I don't know who she ends up with. I'm a Team Max girl, by the way.

Excellent review! You didn't give anything away! Bless you, KB! :D

KT Grant said...

Victoria was one lucky woman in this one, if you know who I mean!
The question is with which man... heh heh heh...

Anonymous said...

OMG, I've never even heard of this book or series. I really need to check it out, it sounds wonderful.

Bev(QB) said...

*Fingers in ears*


That's it! No more ANYTHING about this book until I get it read because I don't want to be spoiled any more. Dammit, I've been there from day one and I've gone back and forth between Sebastian and Max the whole way. Every time I've decided firmly for or against one or the other, they would do something to make me second guess myself.

The last book had me crazy trying to make up my mind. Colleen, the inside of your skull must be BRUISED from all the jostling!

Anonymous said...

Hahahaaa...Bev, no jostling inside my skull. It's all been settled since Day One--at least in my mind.

Hope you like it!

Kristin said...

KB...loved the review! Even though I want to bang my head on the wall in frustration until I have my very own copy of the book in my hands!!! :)

The Gardella Vampire Chronicles have been an amazing happy to get to the HEA, but sad not to be looking forward to any more. you really think KB might have eased over to the other team?!?! :o I'm not bugding!!! Seriously, thank you for such a wonderful reading're a great author and person as well!!! :)

So looking forward to your books to come!!!

KT Grant said...

I will say this, I wouldn't mind have both Sebastian and Max to have fun with.

Sarai said...

Awesome review per usual Katie! And thanks Ms. Gleason for thanking us how cool is that?

I really need to pick this series up again just to join in the excitement

Carolyn Crane said...

Hey, thanks for the wonderful review! It must really be hard to write that last book.

Christine said...

Wonderful review, Kate. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series, as I've only read the first book. But after the first book, I am Team Sebastian. I'm curious to see if I waver as I read subsequent books. There's only one way to find out, right? I'll have to keep reading! :)

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