Series: Nightsiders #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Harlequin on August 6, 2013
Reviewed by: Kate
Several graphic sex scenes
Human/vampire relations are in turmoil in a stunning new series by New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Krinard.
Tensions between human and vampire factions are escalating. Peace hangs in the balance. And like two ill-fated stars, Alexia Fox and Damon are destined to collide. She's a seductive human operative on a mission to infiltrate an illegal vampire colony. He's a vampire and represents everything she loathes—and all that she desires. Their attraction is scorching, immediate…and could explode like the fragile truce they've both been fighting independently to preserve. Now the world's last hope hinges on their ability to work together. As enemies they are doomed, but as allies they just might save the world.
DAYSIDER doesn’t bring to mind your typical paranormal vampire romance. The vampires don’t fit the sexy vampire mold and it takes place in a society following a war between vampires and humans, with a shaky truce between the two and separate societies. In other words, it was not entirely what I was expecting after having read the blurb, which doesn’t make it bad, but I thought it was worth a fair warning.
Aside from all that, the book doesn’t actually focus on the vampires and humans. It focuses on the daysiders and dhampirs- the result of a failed human to vampire transition, and the product of a vampire and human coupling, respectively. The relationship is between our heroine and hero, Alexia and Damon, is sizzling, I think at least partially because it is very forbidden. And their relationship develops very quickly, something I attribute to their presence in the dangerous no-mans-land area between the human and vampire cities and the fact that at multiple points people try to kill them. Those are usually pretty strong bonding experiences and the feeling of Alexia and Damon against the world is very strong throughout DAYSIDER. Alexia ends up coming off as mostly smart, but way too trusting- she pretty much automatically agrees to go along with Damon, despite the fact that in theory he’s the enemy and she has no idea what he is really up to. I really couldn’t get a grip on Damon’s character, and I think most of that is because of his multiple objectives he has that the reader doesn’t know about, plus the objectives that his leaders gave him that he doesn’t even know about. I felt like overall he had good intentions, so I didn’t dislike him as a hero, he just felt a little less real compared to Alexia’s character.
The main thing that stood out about the book was the ridiculous amount of twists and turns in the plot. Basically, take every vampire book you’ve read, and think about all the vampire politics and drama- for example, the Long Game in the Kitty Norville series, the drama between Cadogan House and the GP in the Chicagoland Vampires series, or anything involving Mircea in the Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. I could go on, but I’m sure you have some series or book in mind. Now take that amount of backstabbing and political maneuvering and multiply it by ten. Or maybe fifty. Then you may start to get an idea about the amount of twists and turns that happen in DAYSIDER. For about 75% of the book, it was nearly impossible to tell who was on whose side, what everybody’s real mission was, and what the end-game was (aside from the obvious getting Alexia and Damon their happily ever after). Now, take all that drama and twisty plot turns, and multiply it again by the fact that everybody had different names for everything- for example, what the humans called daysiders called themselves darketans, and we have vampires, which are also called opirs or nightsiders. Plus, there’s the enclaves and the citadels, which each have specific names too. I was pretty much lost by chapter two since not everything was always explained the first time it came up.
DAYSIDER is so creative and different, but at times I feel like that was what ended up holding it back. It was so outside the norm of what I normally read and sometimes so complicated that I felt like I was missing out. If you like the kind of thing where you can’t guess what’s coming around the corner because it is so unexpected or you’re a more attentive reader than me (maybe that was my issue?) you’ll probably like DAYSIDER. For me, though the romance was hot, that was a smaller portion of the plot than I expected, and I was confused for most of the rest of it. As it stands, I’m probably not going to continue on with the Nightsiders series.