|Title: In Memories We Fear
Author: Barb Hendee
Series: Vampire Memories #4
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Julia
Kissing, references to sexual contact.
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
Eleisha Clevon lives a quiet life in Portland, Oregon — for a vampire. She has learned to feed without killing humans and to train others of her kind. Along with her protector, Philip Branté, and their human companion, Wade Sheffield, she seeks out other vampires to offer them a community and to show them they do not have to exist alone.
Now, a series of killings in England point to a new — and feral — vampire. Eleisha, Philip, and Wade travel to London to make contact with the terrified creature, to offer him sanctuary and stop the bloodshed. But the vampire they find is not what they expected. Maxim is centuries old, with no memory of living anywhere besides the forest and feeding on animals. Now, he’s gained a taste for human blood. Philip thinks he’s too dangerous to save, but Eleisha won’t give up… even at the cost of Philip’s love and her own life.
In the common urban fantasy vampire mythology, IN MEMORIES WE FEAR is a completely different kettle of fish, both in paranormal and physical terms. To further complicate the issue, vampire culture has been decimated by the villain, leaving the main characters to flounder around and find their own way. Eleisha’s band of misfits was an interesting group, with a web of interconnecting dependencies that may verge on the unhealthy (but never gets boring). I enjoyed learning about this world as they discovered things themselves.
In addition to the life or death mission of rescuing a mentally deranged vampire before he can be killed, the main drama of IN MEMORIES WE FEAR centers on the interpersonal stresses of Eleisha’s little family. The initial codependencies are immediately apparent through the language Philip and Eleisha use to relate to each other. Philip is the antithesis of a self-aware, observant alpha. Rather, Eleisha’s efforts to grow closer to him often go right over his head. His own attachment to her isn’t in question, however, as she is the only thing keeping his murderous nature leashed (most of the time). I’m a sucker for a romance where two virgins find their way, and this dynamic is further complicated by an essentially different vampire sex drive. Hendee’s vampires may not understand human passion, but they do crave intimacy. I can’t imagine trying to create an entire vocabulary for relationships without cultural guidance, and the process had me riveted.
Though this was my first book in the Vampire Memories series, Hendee drops information in through multiple character perspectives, a smooth technique that I think will work for both established and new readers. Though the discord that troubles this group is balanced without any of the characters betraying their essential nature, their initial dysfunction leaves me more interested to see what will happen going forward than in than going back to read how they got this far.