I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Well, I finally did it! I read a vampire book!
Since I’m new to this entire sub genre, I’m going to be reviewing it from that point a view. I have nothing to compare it to other than a few television shows and movies, but Sunkissed wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought that it was going to be a light read, but it was very dark and gritty at times. When our story begins, Dawn is at death’s door and her fiance Thomas is beside hisself with grief and willing to do anything to keep her alive, including asking the mysterious town doctor who only practises at night for help. However, once Dawn has been “saved” it’s not enough for Thomas and he insist that the doctor turn him as well.
Even after she becomes a vampire, Dawn is a gentle creature who cries at the thought of harming a chicken, but Thomas takes to being a vampire immediately and turns into a monster with a thirst for both blood and destruction so Dawn flees as far from him as she can, and never looks back.
The first half of Sunkissed takes place 150 years in the past, and I really enjoyed that part . The language that the author uses is better suited for that century, plus there was just something creepier about a vampire running amok in that day and age. I didn’t dislike the last half of the book, I just really enjoyed the first half. It felt like reading a classic Horror novel, and I missed that later. Once we do catch up with Dawn and Thomas 150 years later we find Dawn in love with a human named Ryan, and Thomas both reveling in being a sadistic, hedonistic murderer and wallowing in his grief over losing Dawn. In 150 years he has never once stopped searching for her, and he is determined to find her and have her again at any cost.
I personally liked the way these vampires were written. They had a choice about who and what they became. Most chose to be monsters, but there are others like Dawn who are able to live without killing.
Dawn is a special type of vampire who is capable of walking in the light. She is a hybrid who has all of the best characteristics of both humans and vampires, and that makes her someone who Thomas and others like him want to get their hands on. She was so unbelievably sweet, and I really did like her. All she wanted was to be free and kind to others so it was the easiest thing in the world to root for her. If Snow White was a vampire she would be Dawn!
The romance in this story was lacking for me because it happened while I wasn’t around. This was my first vampire novel, and I was actually looking forward to the moment where Dawn revealed what she was to Ryan, but I never got that so I was a little disappointed. Ryan and Dawn had some cute moments, but I just didn’t connect with them as a couple. I knew they loved each other because I was told that they did not because I experienced it, but romance was a very small aspect of the story so that’s not a huge complaint.
If I’m honest, my favorite character of the novel was Thomas. He was wretched and evil, but he was also one of the most well-developed villains that I’ve ever read. We see him transform from a sweet farm boy who just wants to live happily ever after with the woman he loves, into a horrible monster who is driven by lust and revenge. But the author makes it clear that the evil was somewhere deep inside when Thomas was human and that the farm boy is somewhere deep inside now. I’m not saying that he could possibly be redeemed in the future, I’m saying that I don’t know if he could be and I like it that way.
The ending made it clear that there will be other books in the future, but it also left me with a sense of hope for Dawn and Ryan so I was satisfied with it.
So that’s it for my first ever vampire novel, and I still don’t know if vampires are my thing, but I do know that this author is! I enjoyed myself quite a bit! I was frightened at times, was constantly guessing what was going to happen next, and look forward to continuing the series!
I would recommend this book for fans of vampires, well written fun reads, dark reads, and those who are new to the genre.
I would recommend this book for ages 16 and up because of language, violence, and one sex scene.