Science fiction and fantasy
by Liz Maverick
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.
If you like this, try:The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine
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Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
A series of murders threaten the fragile peace between vampires, mages, and the other dark races. The fourth in the Sabina Kane series.