Roaring Midnight (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, #1 Macey) by Colleen Gleason
In Roaring Midnight we pick up The Gardella Vampire Chronicles circa 1920's.
(Author): Amid the glitzy age of Jazz, when gangsters and bootleggers control the cities, there lies another, more insidious threat....the undead.
Macey Gardella is a typical young woman of the Roaring Twenties: she works a job, has her own flat, and loves to dance the Charleston. But when a mysterious man named Sebastian Vioget informs her she belongs to a family of vampire hunters, Macey is stunned and disbelieving.
Yet, strange and frightening things begin to happen, and when Macey comes face-to-face with one of the fanged creatures, she has no choice but to believe Sebastian. And when she learns his own soul depends on her willingness to carry forth the family legacy and hunt the undead, Macey capitulates and joins the fight.
As she begins to learn about her new life, Macey meets the handsome newspaper reporter known as Grady--who seems to know more about vampires than he should. When he begins to ask too many questions, she has to juggle her strong attraction to him with the need for secrecy.
Slipping into speakeasies and sampling bootlegged whiskeys, dodging gangster gunfire and trying to keep her nosy landlady from finding the stakes in her flat, Macey Gardella must navigate through a world of stunning violence, passionate romance, and dark betrayal...
Roaring Midnight brings back some of our favorite characters from the original Gardella Vampire Chronicles as well some from the Regency Draculia series. This new spin-off with Macey can be read as a standalone series, though I highly recommend reading the original Chronicles. The characters have so much background that it is hard to appreciate their situations without knowing their full sacrifices (both materialistically and emotionally).
Because we are 100 years past the original series, there are many different characters brought into the story. Including Al Capone! There are some old as well; Count Alvisi, Chas, Sebastian (!!), Wayren...
I'll admit, it was kind of hard for me to really get into Roaring Midnight at the beginning. I absolutely fell in love with Victoria, Max, and Sebastian in the first series, and my heart just couldn't accept that they were not the main characters anymore. The good news - Sebastian is back! And he's as dangerous as ever (dangerous a.k.a. gorgeous, charming, sly, powerful...). I think the progression of his storyline will be great - for those of you that were a little frustrated with the ending of the last series, left wondering "what now?".
Then of course there is Macey who is the next generation of Il Gardella. She has many of Victoria's qualities and thus is a strong female lead. However, it's just that reason I found the beginning hard to really get into. I still wanted Victoria back, and reading about someone whos personality is 90% like hers left me longing for the real deal. That being said, Macey does have her own flare; having grown up in a completely different era, with different circumstances and different ideals.
While I did have trouble getting my head around the fact that my beloved characters were not only "not around", but dead *gasp*...(it is a 100 years later after all)... I was able to eventually enjoy this new setting. The 20's are an interesting time in American history with speakeasies, jazz, flappers, and gangsters - and that makes for a very original and interesting plot development. The new characters are just as exciting as the old, and I can honestly say that I have no idea where the next book will go! There are so many roads that can be taken!
As an introductory book - to a trilogy I believe - you may find it hard to understand some of the characters backgrounds if you haven't read the original series. I think that is the only downfall. Can you still get into it? Definitely! Will you understand everything? Maybe not. Sebastian's past and his behavior isn't explained yet as this is only book 1. Some of the Venator/Vampire ways of life might be a little foggy as well.
However - I'm sure Colleen will bring everyone to the same page in later installments. She hasn't failed me yet!
Romance: great connections developing
Character development: *****
Writing Quality: *****
Plot (originality): *****
Good Reads: 4.3
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