“Not a love story…a dark spiral into blackness.”
“If you’ve read Shades of Gray, you know how this has to end.”
The prequel to Shades of Gray tells the story of Patrick and Michael, how they got tangled into Claudius’ web, and their valiant fight to escape.
When Patrick’s missing brother Michael returns, he brings with him a world of darkness. Turned into a vampire against his will, Michael is the coven’s whipping boy. When Patrick tries to help, he’s claimed as a slave who spends his weekends preparing victims, scooping ashes, and falling prey to the vampire’s twisted desires.
There’s only so much hell he can take, and when vampires from a warring coven offer sanctuary in exchange for cooperation, Patrick quickly agrees. What he expected to be a few months drags out into a long smear of nightmares, and though he fights for hope and freedom, the cost of victory may be more than he bargained for.
The park was eerie in the dark. The hulking jungle gym sat like a crouched monster waiting to spring, and the swing set’s long shadows were tendrils of evil that snaked toward Patrick and Michael as they leaned on the teeter-totter.
The snow slowed, then stopped. Patrick scuffled his feet in the drifts and counted off the seconds. How long would it take a vampire to find them?
And why in the hell do we want him to?
Michael’s shoulders went stiff and Patrick followed his gaze. At first, he saw only darkness, then, like last time, the guy materialized from the shadows.
“You’re looking for me?”
Michael narrowed his eyes. “You’re the mind reader, you tell me.”
Without hesitation, the vampire asked sharply, “Why should I help you?”
Michael grabbed his brother’s arm. “Come on, Pat. I told you this was a fuckin’ waste of time.”
Before they could move, the mysterious man replied, “I didn’t say I wouldn’t help, only asked why I should.”
Patrick nodded hopefully. If the vampires were half as terrifying as this guy, there was no way they could deal with them alone. They needed someone who could help them and, though he couldn’t say why, he was sure this was the guy for the job. Maybe because he scares the shit outta me. “Hang on, Mikey. Let’s give him a chance.”
Michael glared at the vampire. “Why? We don’t even know who he is!”
The man all but rolled his eyes. “My name is Jorick. What do you want from me?”
Patrick answered quickly, “He needs help to get away from Claudius.”
Jorick studied them. The moments stretched thin and taut, heavy with the oppressive winter atmosphere. Finally, he said, “Let me speak to my associate. We might be able to do something. Return here in five days.”
Then he disappeared.
Patrick’s story is just that. We finally get to hear all about the boyfriend that started Katelina down the dark and dangerous path into the Amaranthine world. Troubled, drug addicted, and quite frankly fucked up, Patrick is definitely not the man anyone should feel bad for. He is a go nowhere, do nothing loser who can’t hold down a job to save his life… And his brother, Michael, is no better. After Michael is forced to get a day job doing lawn care at a mysterious mansion, he hatches a plan to get rich and leave everything bad behind. The plan, of course, does not go the way Michael planned, and he goes to Patrick for help. Feeling a sense of responsibility for his brother, Patrick is plunged into a world no human should ever be in. Betrayal, violence, and abuse, Patrick’s seemingly tragic story does see one bit of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, but how long will it last?
I went into Patrick completely unsure. Very little was known about him outside of Shades of Gray. He was the loser boyfriend of Katelina’s that met a really grizzly and unfortunate end at the VERY VERY beginning of Shades of Gray (so this is not a spoiler). I was incredibly curious to see how Joleene could make such a deadbeat into a relatable character. And I was not disappointed. I became so attached to Patrick, that there was fan fiction being written in my head. I mean, I knew how it ended, I knew the direction every life in the series takes. I honestly wasn’t sure how many surprises there would be. This book made me feel so much for a character that I didn’t particularly care for, that I cursed Jo. I did, I definitely, definitely did. There was a very strongly written letter and everything. But nevertheless, Patrick was beautifully written and a wonderful story. The pacing, dialog, and all around feel of the story are very true to the rest of the series, so long time Amaranthine readers should be right at home. I enjoy books that make me feel, and this made me feel so many things. I teared up at the end.
If you have not read Shades of Gray yet and want to start with Patrick, I would advise against it. You will gain a much better sense of understanding, and it will just mean a lot more to you if you start with the beginning of the series.
Of course, I have to give Brothers of Darkness 5 out of 5 stars just being it. It was an amazing book and you HAVE to read it… like now… Because it came out today, so… yeah.
“After the battle in Indonesia. Katelina wakes in Samael’s domain. Though her memories are tattered, she knows someone is missing: Jorick.
Her vampire lover gathers an army to save her from the ancient, but his master Malick interferes. For five hundred years Malick has manipulated and ruined Jorick’s life. When he leaves Katelina broken and bleeding in the bowels of his oasis, it’s the final straw.
While Malick sets up his glorious war with a living legend, Jorick plans the ultimate taboo: to kill his master. He’s tried before and failed. Will this be different, or will he and Katelina be crushed in the carnage of a greater battle, between two whose blood goes back millennia?” (Blurb by Joleene Naylor)
Everything comes to a head in this action packed 7th novel of the Amaranthine series. After being kidnapped by the ancient vampire Samael, Katelina finds herself unable to remember anyone or anything. Elsewhere, while Jorick searches for his lost love, a battle is brewing. Malick’s determination to take over the world is as strong as ever. Can Jorick save Katelina and end his master’s reign of terror?
Clash of Legends is the seventh installment in the Amaranthine series and this has got to be Joleene’s best work yet. Where most series struggle to remain consistent and attention grabbing, Joleene has continued this series effortlessly. I am having a hard time trying to properly write this review because there were so many amazing things that happened in this book and I don’t want to spoil them for anyone.
I enjoy Katelina’s strength in this book. She has to deal with some very dramatic things very suddenly, and while she initially struggles, she is able to conquer her hesitation with grace and become the most kick ass she’s been thus far.
Another masterpiece and I cannot wait for more. You have simply got to read this book!
Hello everyone and welcome to a very special Book Review Thursday. I wanted to come out of hiatus for a moment to bring you all an amazing surprise! I am joined by Oren, one of the most interesting, albeit misunderstood, characters from Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine Series. He agreed to an interview, and I hope that you all are as excited as I am!
So Oren, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to get right to it. What have you been up to since we last saw you?
After the climatic events in Indonesia, Jorick has been understandably…insane. The interesting thing is that he’s not the only one, and there’s been a flurry of activity centered on retrieving his human. In fact, there was such an army that it made progress incredibly slow. It’s difficult moving more than four or five vampires at a time unless you have a van. And since we’re cut off from civilization, we don’t.
Since arriving in Indonesia, have you considered just cutting ties and heading back home? I mean, Jorick has asked a lot of you, do you think that he might be asking too much sometimes?
It’s nice that someone has noticed how demanding he is, but when it comes to fighting Malick we are in accord. It was Malick who controlled Senya and Bren, and so ultimately Malick that is to blame for…for what happened. Killing him is essentially finishing what I began by attacking the Citadel – it’s the completion of a war Jorick refused to participate in. Interesting that he suddenly thinks it’s his idea.
Once that’s finished, though, we are returning to the States, whether Jorick comes with us or not.
Let’s say once the war is over, the council says ‘Hey Oren, we’ve seen your drive and we want you to come work for us.’ Do you think you would ever be able to willingly work at the Citadel or anything like that?
An emphatic no. I can’t believe that Jorick would ever consent to work for the hypocrites. Malick may not be in charge anymore, but I doubt the new regime will be any better. If this war, or quest, if you prefer, has taught me anything it’s that the ancients are insane power-hungry children. Their wisdom is weak and their rule tyrannical. I would no more be a part of their monstrosity than I would become a vampire hunter.
Your after life has definitely been a roller coaster, wouldn’t you say? You went from losing your wife and children in one fell swoop (and I am very sorry for your loss), to traveling across the globe with your maker. What kind of affect do you feel that that’s had on you?
Erm…thank you for the…sympathies. If you don’t mind though we’ll…erm…move along. Globe hopping. It’s tiresome. I was never one for travel, and we were quite content to live most of our afterlives on the plantation in Virginia, until…Ahem. Of course I have traveled before. I had a few makeshift dens near Claudius’ hangouts so that we could keep an eye on him, but we didn’t travel like this. I’m looking forward to going home. Not that we have a den prepared. I suppose that’s something we’ll need to consider.
You have had a very “humans cause trouble” stance when it comes to Katelina. Would you say that you are starting to come around to her and her ability to hold her own, or do you still think that her remaining human is still a hindrance?
Ah yes. Jorick’s…human. My opinion of her is, unfortunately, tied into the reaction she causes in Jorick. Were she not associated with him, perhaps she would have been…fine as a human servant. Despite my reputation I don’t dislike humans on principle, provided they know their place. I had human servants for well over a hundred years. The problem with this particular human, as I said, is what she does to Jorick. He is over protective of her, constantly concerned for her welfare, and determined to leave her on a silk cushion – only then he won’t *leave* her – he drags her with us. If he wants her as an equal, fine, then make her an equal and stop all the aggravating fretting, and if he wants to play her knight in shining armor and protect her from the demons, then leave her home where she’s safe. He needs to make his mind up once and for all.
Once you have finally defeated Malick, do you think that you’ll return to the quiet life? Find a new home somewhere a settle down for a while?
Yes, that’s my plan. I imagine we’ll need to purchase a house legally, if we want the idiotic humans to leave us in peace. As for who will be settling down with me, I can’t say. I imagine my sister will, and Etsuko, but for the others; Micah, Loren, his new friend Ume…I assume they will go back to whatever they were doing before
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you’ve been warming up to Etsuko. I know that more than a few readers are hoping for a blossoming romance between the two of you. Do you think that there potential for a relationship there, or do you want people to just leave it alone?
Erm…Ahem…Etsuko. Ah. Yes. Well. Etsuko is…She, erm. I-I don’t quite know how to handle her. I’m afraid I’m rather used to more…aggressive women, for lack of a better term. Etsuko is very…She’s…accommodating. Almost subservient. I expected such behavior when she was a human – as I said humans should know their place, and she did that adequately, but now that she’s immortal…On the other hand it’s refreshing to see someone with the proper deference to their master for a change. Yes. It is nice. As for romance I…Erm…Yes…Well…Romance…That’s…That’s another topic. Ahem.
It looks like we’re just about out of time. Is there anything that you would like to add before you go?
Thank you for having me. It’s nice to converse with someone who understands proper respect rather than pushing horrifying questions in their visitors’ face regarding their undergarments, or other such nonsense. I hope that readers who pick up the newest installment are able to enjoy it, despite our author’s limited capacity for telling an interesting story. Then again, I may be bitter towards her for her poor plot choices.
I hope that she forgives you for saying that. Thank you so much for joining us today, Oren. And thank you to Joleene for letting you come by. I’m looking forward to reading more about you and the others in the upcoming release of Clash of Legends, which will be out March 31st, 2015.
For those of you interested in pre-ordering a copy, please check out the links below. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog!
Check out the video review for Children of Shadows, the latest novel in the Amaranthine Series by Joleene Naylor.
My mother had surgery this week, and so I am staying with her for a little while. I want to make sure that she’s okay, you know? Anyway, I am kind of upset with myself because I left all of my work on my desktop in my office back at my house. I didn’t bring a backup, nor did I think to put it on my Dropbox. This means that I am not getting any work done on any of my novels. That really sucks. I am, however, working to pass the time by doing a LOT of reading. As you can see, I have caught up on all of the Amaranthine novels and a bulk of the shorts. Since I read so many shorts, I didn’t want to do individual reviews, I wanted to do one bulk review for you guys.
101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire; Tales of the Executioners: Aine ; Vampire Morsels (Short Story Collection) ((I specifically read Adam, Alexander, Arowenia, Ashton, Benjamin, Bethina, Claudius, Elsa, Herrick, Jesslynn, Kariss); Heart of the Raven Mini Prologue Collection; Tales from the Island- Children of Shadows Prologue Collection
If you’re like me and you’ve read the Amaranthine main series (Shades of Gray, Legacy of Ghosts, Ties of Blood, Ashes of Deceit, Heart of the Raven, Children of Shadows) then you’re just dying for Clash of Legends. Since that won’t be out until late 2014, you might want to know what to read to fill the time. Joleene Naylor has taken the time to provide you with a wide range of short stories to choose from.
Was there a vampire you came across that didn’t get their time to shine? Try reading Vampire Morsels! It’s a collection of 17 short stories about those other wise unknown vampires. They answer some of those burning questions, like what made Jesslynn turn the children? How about who Velnya, Jorick’s first wife, was? These shorts keep you wrapped in the universe and make you feel more like a part of their world.
Tales of the Executioners: Aine is the first short in this collection, and from what I could find, the only short available right now. It’s just a fun little story about one of the “lesser” Executioners on one of his arrests. To me this was on a “vampire bounty hunter” level.
If you read Heart of the Raven, you have to read the prologue collection. You get to see those moments up to the beginning of the book from the eyes of Wolfe, Sidhara, Cyprus, Neil and a few others. If you haven’t read Heart of the Raven yet, I would recommend reading this first, because why not?
Tales from the Island was a fun little collection from the eyes of Micah, Loren, Verchiel, Oren, and Torina on their island vacation before the beginning of Children of Shadows. This gives you a chance to look at what vampires do during their down time on the beach.
The Citadel is still recovering from the attack by Malick and his followers. Everyone is working to establish normalcy and get back to work, and Jorick is no exception. Katelina just wants to take some time to relax and deal with what happened. Unfortunately, there is no time. She, Jorick and their band of merry vampires head to Munick to testify against Malick for his betrayal. The trip gets diverted when Jorick figures out what Malick is after; the Heart of the Raven.
This series keeps getting better and better. I do appreciate the fact that we get to see real jealousy out of Jorick when it comes to Verchiel and I felt that it really has added another demision to Jorick as a character. I truly enjoyed the change of scenery and the fact that they are traveling the world. The new characters we got to meet and some of the surprising relations to our cast of well known heroes was very awesome! I would say that thus far, this book had the most action, mystery and intrigue. I was hanging on to every page in a bigger and better way.
Returning from the nightmare of battle against Kateesha, Katelina begins to think more and more about the life she led before Jorick. After deciding that a trip to visit her grief stricken mother was probably for the best, she begins to realize how much her life has changed in just a few short months. They have a run-in with a bright haired, overenthusiastic vampire, Jorrick gets arrested for Katelina’s kidnapping, it seems like things couldn’t get worse… right? Of course they could! The Guild wants Katelina and her raven haired vampire for questioning regarding Kateesha’s death. Katelina is taken against her will to the Citadel, to come face to face with Jorick’s master, Malick. Fear of what her punishment might be and a newer threat popping up in the mean time, it seems like Jorick and Katelina can’t catch a break
I am so glad I found this series. These books have me hooked and wanting to do little else but be sucked into their world. The heartache and triumph of these characters is really enjoyable. Of course, as you can probably tell by now, I am OBSESSED with this series. Something that I have really appreciated is the symbolism of taking a shower. When something awful happens, the characters go take a shower to wash away the horrors of what has recently taken place. Even Katelina remarked about showers being able to get the outside clean while, of course, leaving the inside marred and dirty. I liked that Joleene took the time to really describe the Citadel in this book. I could picture the glass elevator and the atrium, the scar covered waitress and the lounge for humans. It was quiet awesome.
Once again, Joleene, job VERY well done.
Two weeks after the show down with Claudius, Katelina is trying to settle into her stay a Jorick’s quaint little home by the beach. Surrounded by stacks upon stacks of books, no modern technology to speak of, and her savior constantly disappearing behind a mysterious white door, Katelina soon finds herself wondering about her situation more and more. With a battle on the horizon, Katelina finds herself staring down the battle of that age old sentiment, “Don’t ask questions that you’re not ready to hear the answer to.”
It is very rare to find a book series that has a good sequel. They’re typically boring, long winded, and are never your favorite. Finding myself in the midst of writing a sequel, I worry about those very things. However, Joleene Naylor did NOT disappoint with this exciting sequel to Shades of Gray. Legacy of Ghosts was definitely a book that was full of action, romance, and drama!
Once again, Naylor was able to display the care she has for her characters across well written pages and heartfelt moments. Very rarely do I find myself tearing up in a sequel, but I definitely was with this one. The pain and triumph of the characters was palpable, and I couldn’t put the book down. I literally finished it in a couple of days. All I really have left to say is that I cannot wait to start Ties of Blood.