I’ve got some slightly more gruesome fare than my usual choice of book today, as I review Gothic horror, Daylight’s Deadly Kiss by Jay Raven. Many thanks to Jay, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.
In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…
It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.
Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.
But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.
In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies.
Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is the least of the his problems – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.
As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.
Whilst I am not averse to the occasional vampire book, my tastes are definitely more Twilight than Dracula, so this book was a little outside my comfort zone. That said, I had previously read and enjoyed a collection of short stories by Jay Raven, and once I had been assured by fellow blogger KT Robson that this book was not too high high on our “Caspar” scale, I jumped straight in.
Daylight’s Deadly Kiss is a multi-faceted tale with all roads seemingly leading to the same destination. The cast of characters are, if not entirely villainous, at least in possession of a somewhat wonky moral compass, leaving me a little unsure exactly who I should be rooting for, and even who I really shouldn’t. Even the supposed hero of the hour was keeping enough secrets for me to have one or two doubts about his true motivations. That said, the characters each drew me to them in their own ways and left me wanting to know more about them.
As you would expect in a book from this genre, there is plenty of violence and intrigue. Whilst this violence is detailed enough to be satisfyingly gruesome, it is not so graphic as to put you off your dinner (with the exception perhaps of a particular tea service, but I will leave you to discover that titbit for yourself).
Although this is book two in the Blood Riders series, I hadn’t read book one and found that this works perfectly well as a standalone. There was sufficient detail surrounding each of the characters’ histories to ensure that you were never confused by their connections to each other or left wondering why certain things were happening.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.
If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at http://www.jayraven.com
Don’t forgot to have a look at the other blogs taking part in this tour for more details on this book.