Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire’s Daughter by Shayne Leighton (Decadent Publishing Company, 2011, 292pp.)
Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire’s Daughter is a love story that takes place against the background of genocide. The titular “vampire’s daughter” is Charlotte Ruzikova, a mortal teenager living among the witches, shapeshifters, elves, and vampires that make up the hidden town of the Bohemian Occult. Abandoned as a baby on the streets of Prague, she was rescued by Valek, a lonely, kind-hearted vampire who has since raised her as his own daughter. Now in her late teens, Charlotte confronts the undeniable attraction she feels for her adoptive father just as the Regime, a group of high wizards, takes over the supernatural community and seeks to eradicate the vampire species.
Overall, the novel carries through as an interesting story, but I felt there were some flaws in the characters and plot worth pointing out. While I can accept the premise of an adopted daughter falling for her guardian, Charlotte didn’t seem mature enough for me to classify her affections as anything other than a schoolgirl crush. And while the novel starts out original and fresh with Harry Potteresque atmosphere, it inevitably drifts towards some more well-worn plot points: a trusted friend becomes bitter and turns to betrayal after the object of his affection eludes him; the hero crashes a wedding in order to rescue his love interest from a forced marriage to the villain, etc.
As a writer, I’d have to say: it could have been much better with a few plot/character tweaks, but as a reviewer, I’d say: another interesting--though somewhat flawed--addition to the YA paranormal canon. Recommended for Ages 16-Up.
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