After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all–but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him – a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.
Oh, where to begin. I absolutely LOVED this book! I am already a big nerdy fan of everything else that I have read by Jeaniene Frost and Vlad happens to be one of my favorite characters from the Night Huntress Series. I was RIDONKULOUSLY excited to find out that he was getting his own series!
The first thing that I want to make note of is the fact that I felt Vlad was different somehow in this book. In the Night Huntress series, he’s shown to the readers as Vlad, friend of Cat and not-so-friendly acquaintance of Bones. He’s strong. He’s dangerous. Most of all though, he’s almost a bit of comic relief in that series. His interactions with Bones are HILARIOUS. Granted, his interactions with Cat give us a glimpse of his chivalrous side. We just dont see a whole lot of “Vlad the Impaler” in the series. Well, brace yourselves girls. Vlad is here.
In Once Burned, the first installment in the Night Prince series, we get a much different view of Vlad. He’s not just Vlad, the vamp who actually happens to be the guy that Mr. Stoker’s little novel that could is based on. We see WHY Bram felt the need to base an entire novel on him. His “lordly” presence in this book is unmatched. Everyone around him genuinely fears him, with GOOD reason, and that fear breeds extreme levels of loyalty. His character in this book have a strong feeling of “majesty” to him that you just dont get to see in the Night Huntress series. It”s rather eye opening as far as the character goes.
We get to score a very detailed look at Vlad’s “house” (if that’s really what you want to call it) in Romania and can I just say I WANT THAT HOUSE!!!!!!!!! Or at least to just go on a vacation there. For a few decades. Ok, maybe forever.
Ok, even though he is the star of the series (and I kind of cant believe I’m saying this), enough about Vlad. Let’s talk about Leila!
I am a HUGE Cat fan. Out of all the women that we’ve met in this juggernaut of a vamp fiction world, Cat has always been my favorite. Well, Leila doesn’t bump her out of that spot but she came dangerously close to doing so! Our new starlet from Jeaniene Frost is a raging bad ass! She’s sassy and snarky and just running over the brim with sarcasm! I love it! On top of that, she’s got a pretty freaky powers that make her a dead-on perfect match for our boy Vlad.
One of the things that I love most about Jeaniene Frost’s work is that although the men in the books are strong, broody knight-in-shiny-black=armor types, the women in her books are far from playing the damsel-in-distress part. Leile is no exception to that rule. She’s fully capable of assisting in the saving of her ass and sometimes, saving the asses of others. She really is a fantastically awesome character and I cant wait to read more of her.
Some long time readers here at Pure Textuality can probably tell you that I am a die hard Buffy/Angel series fan. One of the first things that struck me about Laila was her similarities to Gwen Raiden. Does anyone here remember Gwen Raiden from the Angel series? She was AWESOME. All attitude and a nasty habit of shocking people with her hands.
The mystery of the day in this book was perfectly executed as well. Between the Vlad/Leila story arc and the whodunnit story arc, this book was highly entertaining from one end to the other! And the ending is left WIDE OPEN!!! Massive cliff hanger that will leave you wanting to through your eReader. Just a warning.
Ugh! And TAVIA GILBERT!!!!!! The narrator of this series for the audio books is simply AMAZING! She’s by far the most talented audio book narrator I have ever listened to. If you were to sit down and write list of each and every character between Night Huntress, Night Huntress World and Night Price, you would shit frisbies when you realized that Tavia Gilbert not only narrates the books but she has created an unmistakably distinct voice for each and every single one of those characters. The talent it takes to do that is awe inspiring. So much so that I actually nominated her yesterday for The Texties. Click here to check out the nomination.
Overall, I am giving Once Burned 5 incredibly enthusiastic stars! Jeaniene Frost is clawing her way to the top of my favorite authors list at a heart stopping rate! She’s got a talent for writing characters with depth while still maintaining a fast flowing storyline. I love it!
OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I am happy to announce that at the very tale end of the Kindle book is a little announcement stating that book 2 in this series will be out in Sping 2013. I promise to diligently STALK Jeaniene Frost’s website and I will post a release date just as soon as she does!