Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Night Haven by Fiona Jayde

TITLE: Night Haven
AUTHOR: Fiona Jayde
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 12k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $2.50

Bloodwolf Dina can’t get the vampire she should’ve killed out of her mind. But three months after she kissed him, her blood still goes hot at the sight of him…

The allure of this short story is not the plot. It rests in the author’s voice, one I am increasingly coming to love. Bloodwolf Dina has one purpose – to kill vampires. But when she comes face to face with the one she made out with three months earlier, she finds herself unable to do it, and worse, unable to shift into her wolf form, either. Vampire Luke lacks the courage to kill himself, but he can’t stand what he’s become, either, devoting his existence to his art and to saving humans when they ask for help. Neither can get the other out of his/her head. Neither really wants the other there, either.

To say anything more would end up telling the whole story, and when it’s this short, it’s just not worth it. Dina makes a fine heroine, strong and determined not to let her brokenness get in her way, though Luke is the stereotypical vampire who hates his existence and feels the need to atone. The world building leaves a lot to be desired, because outside of a brief explanation of why the two species were created, there isn’t much sense of what else is going on, or how it all works. The pack scene, especially, feels hastily sketched in, lacking the crispness to make it all understandable.

But I don’t love this short for its characters or world building. I love it for the author’s voice and the sense of melancholy desperation that permeates every page. Both Dina and Luke are in this gray limbo until the other comes along, and they’re fighting it, Luke with his inertia, Dina with her blinders. I fell for the mood the author evoked long before I realized the types she was using to placehold her leads, which makes it much easier to tolerate the lack of originality. The uniqueness comes in the way she strings words together, to create pacing, to paint a mood. It was mesmerizing, and I have no qualms admitting that was what sucked me in.


8/10 – The pack scene had too many people and not enough distinction to make it interesting, but I love this author’s voice


6/10 – It’s the tortured vampire stereotype to the millionth degree


7/10 – The broken glue that holds the story together

Entertainment value

9/10 – Somehow, in the midst of things I recognize drive me crazy, I tumbled for the mood of this

World building

6/10 – It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and doesn’t adequately explain what it should, most likely due to its brevity



No comments: