Author: Mikayla Elliot
Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy/ YA
Favourite Quote: “Death was what I had expected, not rebirth to the night”
I decided to join NetGalley and review books that will help bring new authors and their work into light rather than finding recommendations on Goodreads. Mikayla Elliot was the first to allow me to review her work and I want to personally thank her for the opportunity.
I’ve been trying to come up with a world that describes ‘Snow’ and honestly, just Wow. Straight away I was blown away by the detailed graphic transition in our protagonist, Neva, becoming a vampire in the first chapter. It was intense. For a completely fictional experience, it felt like Mikayla was reliving the torment to bring the thoroughness in the narrative. It’s been a while since a book has managed to grip me so quickly the way that this one did. I read it in one sitting which kept me up until 3am. It was worth it.
‘My body was an offering to the sadist as his bite rooted itself firmly into my veins. My heart became a cage filled with hummingbirds suffering from rabies; the fluttering and beating was going to break through my sternum and leave a beautiful display of my remaining life, an artist expression covering the room from ceiling to floor. My mind was a blistering of sensors; everything was lighting across my brain, and if seen from the inside, would have held such an array of colours it could have lit the world on fire.’
Neva, or rather Lady Neva as she is now known, is pulled into the world of vampires within the first gripping chapter. With flashbacks into the past, you discover that she was a widow who had lost her unborn child after her knight perished in battle. She has spent her years living at her family’s bakery with her parents, sisters, brothers and nieces all under one roof. When Neva suddenly became singled out to be the next to court Lord Argenal, she knew that nothing would ever be the same as she made her way to his castle. Little did she realise how true that would be.
Waiting for her in the castle was the last woman Lord Argenal courted, Rose, before he had her thrown back into the streets when she suggested marriage. Nothing repulsed him more than to be tied down to one woman forever. Rose had transformed into a creature that through uncontrollable jealously, attacked Neva to kill her in front of Lord Argenal as punishment.
We’re quickly introduced to Thedryk, a 1200 year old vampire who was commanded to keep watch of Neva. As she was at the brink of death by Rose’s hand, Thedryk made the decision to change her into an immortal being in order to save her, as well as other things. It turns out that Neva has been part of this world before, as well as many other lives she has lived since then. Returning back to the world of vampires, she is the key to ending the war with demons.
It’s a lot for Neva to take in, but she doesn’t fight it. Her unique abilities allow her to see into the past, to witness the lives of others as well as her own past lives. It’s enough to convince her that for now she needs to follow Thedryk to the ‘House’, home of the council of vampires and their queen; Lazy Eliza.
‘His touch felt like pure energy coursing through my veins, and memories surged into my mind. I had remembered but a few pieces from previous lives, previous memories of seeing Thedryk at different times. My mouth opened slightly as the memories burned my heart and mind revealing different ears I had lived; Thedryk had been either an image in those memories or actively engaging my different selves. In each memory, those eyes, always trying to be hard and unyielding, could not hide the sadness that emanated between our souls.’
The book overall was fantastic, I loved the detail in the scenery both inside and out. Every time Neva walked into a room, you felt like you were there with her with the amount of detail laced into the writing. The characters were well written, Neva handles everything her new life throws at her as any person would. She gets scared, she feels ill when she’s pushed herself and her abilities too far, she asks questions only to discover more unanswered truths to the new world around her. I find her relationship with Thedryk intriguing, his love for her has lasted 1200 years from when she was known as Kareese, he’s witnessed every life she’s every had, even with other men, and his heart remained true. Even though Neva can see through her visions that Thedryk has always been there in one way or another, she’s feels the connection but can’t help but sometimes feel angry at him. He’s the one that transformed her into a vampire in this life and told her she could see her family again, which wasn’t possible at all.
‘”I recognise you do not trust me, I cannot blame you for that. I hope, with time, you will come to trust me.”
“As Kareese did?”
Pain touched the corners of Thedryk’s mouth; the muscles tightened ever so slightly across the facade of his face.’
I even found Zachariah fascinating as the bad guy. You know he’s up to something and it’s difficult to read the way he treats Eliza, but when he’s around his adopted daughter Amelia, you feel that there is more to him than the shady vampire he’s made himself out to be. Add his new identity as our very own Lord Vlad and you’ve got yourself a lovely spin to our already distinctive character.
I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
Taken from all she has ever known and loved, Neva finds herself swept into a world of vampires where she learns she will determine their future. Yet she quickly discovers she is the target of a vampire, Zachariah, seeking to stop her from altering the vampire lineage. She must decide which path she will take while trying to protect the family she left behind, and discovering a past she cannot escape.