Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Choc Lit (7 Aug 2012)
Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee.
To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York. But when a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together, and when Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world it puts a very different slant on their relationship.
The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them, even on the vampire that she’s rather afraid she s falling in love with…
Vampire State of Mind has a rather unique way of beginning … instead of a prologue, the story opens with a ‘Wikipedia’ page detailing the history of the vampires. The ‘Theories’ section is quite profound!
Chapter One we have a brief sojourn into February 1914 as Jonathon Wilberforce is reading the Yorkshire Herald while walking along. Unbelieving of vampires, he’s tricked into a dark alleyway …
Chapter Two finds us in York in 2012. Straight away we’re introduced to Jessie’s job as she’s fighting a vampire and bringing him down. There are only 5% of the population who have the ability of sussing out who is an Otherworlder and who is human and Jessie is particularly good at this. The demon of the vampire she takes down has a message for her. Jessie starts to think of Sil but quickly pulls her thoughts away – Sil can feel when she’s thinking about him. This is our first introduction into the connection they have between them.
From the time that the enigmatic Malfaire arrives into Jessie’s life, things start to happen that are obstructive and dangerous – like being the first human to be entered into the Dead Run (which is a competition held in an alternate reality). Not an Otherworld creature she can detect, he leaves her with a nasty feeling.
As the story progresses we find out more about the vampires who are hosts to demons who live off the adrenalin and highs of emotions. Lovering explores a variety of emotions linked in with this.
Although there are some very dramatic and ‘dark’ scenes, Jessie has such a tongue-in-cheek wit … coming out with some very funny quips, that this lightens the mood. One scene in particular, when she is being hunted in the chemists had me laughing with the jokes linked to the ammunition she had to fight back with.
This world that Lovering has created is quite fascinating. On the surface, Otherworlders are accepted but under the surface is still the alienation and preconceived ideas of people who are afraid of those who are different to them. This is quite a strong theme in the story and added more depth.
The love between Jessie and Sil is spiritual as well as physical. Sil has his own history to overcome to become whole and Jessie learns things she needs to come to terms with as well. I enjoyed watching them battle it out with each other. The scene in the storm drain is beautifully portrayed.
There is much to hold your interest in Vampire State of Mind. Action packed with plenty of suspense and as well as the paranormal/romance you’ll find humour, a spectrum of emotions, intrigue and a couple of surprises (that I didn’t see coming). An engrossing read!
*Note* There is swearing in places but for me this fit in with the scenes and was not a problem.
I would like to thank the publishers, Choc Lit, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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