Author: K. J. Wignall
Publication: EgmontUSA (September 27, 2011)
Description: Will is a vampire in danger. Heir to the Earl of Mercia, he was brutally attacked and buried in the thirteenth century before he was able to assume his title. Perpetually sixteen, Will’s life has been lonely. He leaves his tomb every so often, adapts to the present day, feeds his bloodlust, and never gets close to anyone.
Waking from a twenty-year slumber, hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath, he meets Eloise—but can’t bear to make her his next victim. Drawn to a girl he can never have, but whose fate seems bound with his own, he feels the need to protect her. But Will has an enemy who will stop at nothing to find him . . . and he’s closing in. . . .
My Thoughts: This was a curious book. I am not really sure what I thought about it. The story is pretty simple. A young nobleman becomes a vampire at the age of sixteen in the year 1256. He has periods of wakefulness and periods of hibernation. When awake, he craves blood and kills for it. He also keeps track of his family's descendants until they all die out. He feels that he is the rightful Earl of Mercia even though Mercia no longer exists. He has never met another of his kind and it is centuries before he even finds out what he is. All he knows is that he fell ill after attending the burning a some witches and woke up in a grave years later. He has spent his time adapting to each new time in which he awakes and trying to find out who turned him and why.
This time when he wakes up he feeds his hunger on the life of a vagrant who seems to know that he is coming. He calls him by name and has a book with some prophecies surrounded by other random writing. He also tells will that he will meet a girl who is an essential part of the prophecy. The vagrant has drawn pictures of her. Will does meet Eloise but she doesn't seem to want to know him. After he saves her from some young street kids, they do begin to get to know each other.
Eloise is reluctant at first to believe the story that Will has to tell her. But encounters with demon dogs and other unbelievable things helps convince her. She agrees to help Will find the one who made him what he is.
The problem that I had with the story was that I never really engaged with either Will or Eloise. Will seemed to me to be a pretty passive character who just drifted through 750 years. I could never really get an idea of what he was like. Eloise was a little more knowable but her motivation for leaving her school and living in a doorway just seemed really unrealistic.
The story was filled with exciting and scary scenes but I didn't care enough about Will or Eloise to worry about them. This episode resolves the question of who made Will the way he is but leaves open the whole idea of why for the next two books.
Was it possible he had a destiny to fulfill? For all these centuries he had considered himself curse, a victim, and the fantasies he had entertained on and off had been of vengeance, not of fulfillment. Even now, it was the thought of a confrontation with the creature that stirred him most, but he couldn't help being drawn to the siren call of destiny, to the suggestion that his existence had meant something.I received this eARC from NetGalley. You can get your copy here.