Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Crimson City

by Liz Maverick


Once known as Los Angeles, Crimson City is now overrun with vampires and werewolves. Following an inter-species war a new hierarchy has developed, with vampires at the top, both figuratively and literally. Werewolves live mostly underground, and humans are sandwiched between the two supernatural species like a juicy slice of fresh meat.

Fleur Dumont is a vampire of some status, itching to take her place as a leader in vampire affairs. She regularly hones her fighting skills, with the help of her cousins. But she is tainted by a mistake she made years ago, when she allowed her feelings to get the better of her in a moment of weakness. This stain on her character keeps her out of the war-room and excluded from high-level decision making. Fleur doesn't covet power, but she does want the chance to serve her people and to regain their trust and respect. Living the life of an idle heiress, no matter how cosy it can be, does not suit Fleur.

Dain Reston is a human, and a senior intelligence officer in the police force. His wife was killed by vampires, but he struggles with his total amnesia of the event. With his partner, Cyd, he patrols the city and attempts to keep inter-species conflict from erupting into further violence. The odds are stacked against him. Cyd has problems of her own. Whilst Dain is bothered by what he has forgotten, she is traumatised by what she remembers.

When a "mech", a kind of mechanised human with enhanced fighting powers and suppressed free will, attacks the vampire hierarchy, Dain sets out to investigate. He is ambivalent about helping the very people he believes he should despise, but he wants to get to the bottom of things before the crisis escalates and war breaks out.

What follows is part mystery, part romance, with a dash of martial arts thrown in for good measure. In some ways the plot is secondary, a means to set up some intense scenes of passion. If all you're after is some escapist, steamy lovin' with a supernatural twist, then Crimson City does the job in a workmanlike manner.

The vampires and werewolves are fairly standard-issue, with a typical set of weaknesses, powers and style preferences. It's a stock setting, of the sort that has become all too common in the wake of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Underworld films. Don't look here for a new take on the vampire or werewolf legends, or for a thoughtful and in-depth analysis of the human condition. Crimson City is a rush of emotions, sensual and adrenaline-rich by turns, yet a quick read with no lasting impact.

Book Details

Year: 2005

Categories: Books

    Female Protagonist  

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson