Formats available: ebook
Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Series: Night Runner, #3
Length: 278 pages
Date Released: November 24, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.
With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.
The story in Falling from the Light is definitely a reminder that the vampires that have become the heroes of so much of urban fantasy and paranormal romance draw their origins from the horror side of the house.
In this book, very bad vampires do bad things to bad people, and also do bad things to good people. Even good vampires spend so much energy posturing for the nastier members of their group that they spray a LOT of collateral damage among their human and vampire companions.
Also this is a “things are always darkest just before they turn completely black” kind of story. Sydney gets so far down that “bottom looks like up”. In other words, this is the story of how Sydney falls from the light into nearly permanent darkness, and then has to claw her way back. after a trauma that guarantees she’ll never be quite the same.
She’ll be okay, because she’s incredibly tough, but she won’t be the same. The story ends with Sydney and her vampire lover Mal hoping that they can escape the crap that they’ve gotten into for good. Of course, somebody has to die to make that happen. I will leave the “who” for you to find out.
The Night Runner series takes place in a world where the vampires have not just come out of the coffin, but where they seem to have their fangs into a whole lot of the criminal organizations and quite a few private companies. (When you live forever, you have lots of time to compound interest on your investments)
Sydney, and Malcolm, (sometimes it’s the other way around) are pawns in a world-wide vampire power struggle. At first, In Don’t Bite the Messenger (reviewed here) it seems as though the more nasty vamps were using Sydney to get to the vamp she worked for. In Running in the Dark (reviewed here) the more nasty vamps were using Sydney to get to Malcolm.
In Falling from the Light, both sets of vampires (let’s call them more nasty and less nasty) are using Sydney to get to Malcolm and Malcolm to get to Sydney. And since Sydney is the poor squishy human, she’s collateral damage no matter whose agenda is currently in play.
Including, unfortunately for their relationship, Malcolm’s agenda. He pretends to be worse than he is to protect her from the true villains, but nothing quite works like they planned.
The dark at the end of Sydney’s fall from the light is very dark indeed. It takes a supreme sacrifice, blind faith, and one hell of a lot of luck to reach the light at the end of this tunnel. But it’s worth it.
Escape Rating B-: It’s Sydney’s character that makes this series, which makes it very difficult (read that as gut-wrenching) when Sydney finds herself a captive of the nasty and insane vamps. What happens to her is very rough.
She’s also subjected to constant reminders that she and even Malcolm are just pawns in other vampire games, and that the vampires mostly consider her as talking food at worst or an intelligent pet at best. She has no rights, she’s physically outclassed, and her life is so worthless to most vampires that they have no comprehension of her thoughts or feelings. There are no laws that protect her except the law of the jungle, and vampires are excellent at maneuvering that to their own advantage.
Sydney only has one ace in the hole; she is immune to vampire glamour, but no one knows why. At least not until the boss vampire reveals it to her in this book, just in time for her to use those talents to save the day. Or at least the epilog.
But Sydney spends a lot of the first ⅔ of the story being beaten and beaten down, and while it was good to see her finally emerge into the light at the end, it was VERY tough to watch her suffer. The world of the Night Runners isn’t the same without Sydney’s snark, so it was great to see her recover it at the end.
Regan is giving away 4 ebook copies of Falling from the Light in the winners’ choice of format