Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
Mark Hansen thought working as artist’s assistant would be glamorous, especially if that artist was a vampire. Black tie events, witty repartee, gracing the pages of the local style section…. Didn’t happen. Not even once.
Jonathan Varga is an enigma. True, he’s quiet, generous, and scrupulously polite. But he has zero social life, refuses to be interviewed or photographed, and insists he can only consume feline blood.
Why supermarket blood won't suffice, Mark hasn’t asked. He’s rarely at a loss for words—he can dish an insult and follow it with a snap as quick as you can say “Miss Thang.” But one look at Jonathan’s black-as-sin gypsy eyes, and Mark’s objections drain away.
So he endures the perpetual grind of their routine: Jonathan hiding in his studio, swiping black paint onto black canvases. Mark hurling insults while he buffs the office to a shine with antiviral wipes. Each of them avoiding the other in a careful choreography…until a blurb in Art in America unleashes a chain of harrowing events.
As secrets from Jonathan’s past are brought to light, it becomes clear that all his precautions weren’t nearly enough.
I received this book via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Mark works as the office assistant for Jonathan, a reclusive vampire that only likes to paint and drink cat blood. It's an odd life, but Mark is figuring it out. Until Jonathan's past comes back to bite them both.
The world building in this story is some of the best I've ever read. The intricate details of everything Mark has to go through to ensure he's safe from the vampire virus, from cleaning everything before he touches it to special ways he has to wash his gloves and his clothing. It was all so interesting and each new detail the author added to the story only served to impress me more.
The characterizations in this story are a bit harder to explain. Both Mark and Jonathan are utterly ordinary people, even though Jonathan is a vampire painter with a difficult past. They go about their ordinary day doing ordinary things and that, quite frankly, is unbelievably boring. Yet, at the same time it shows a lot of skill on the author's part because making a vampire's extraordinary life feel so simple definitely takes talent. The problem with that is boring characters slow the story down and make it very difficult for the reader to identify with them and therefore want to read more. I needed more foreshadowing for what was going to come in the first few chapters of the story because that would have helped me keep my interest.
I do recommend this story just as I would recommend pretty much everything Jordan Castillo Price writes. The world building in this story was magnificent, but I found the main characters to be very boring which dragged on the plot until I struggled to keep my interest.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.