Sunday, March 15, 2015

Review: Belong to the Night by Bridget Blackwood

Title: Belong to the Night (Book #3 in The World in Shadows series)
Author: Bridget Blackwood
Released: Feb. 24, 2014
Source: ARC from Author
Buy Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon


Humans can’t be made into Vampires. 
Elisavet Katsaros defied this belief by becoming the first human turned vampire in over three hundred years. Her transformation was an accident, but there’s no going back now. As an agent with the Interspecies Relations board, she’s better equipped than most to navigate the political world run by The Regis, Manias Artorias. 

Questions surround Elisavet after this change. Why her? How did it happen? Who is responsible? Above all, how does this affect the rest of the Shadow World? To find peace, Elisavet must look for answers. In digging for the truth, Elisavet uncovers long-buried secrets and the keys to unraveling a murder. Together, she and Manias must attempt to right the wrongs of others and start a new chapter in history.

Working side by side, powerful emotions flare. Manias finds himself wanting to claim Elisavet for his own despite the consequences. Elisavet yearns to capture Manias' heart, to be more than just another vampire under his rule. To have a chance they must put their love on the line and risk it all.

My Review: 

First, let me note that you MUST read these books in order.  I cannot express how much better of a reading experience you will get when you read the series in full, properly in order.  

In the first couple of books a lot of the focus is on the shifters of the Shadow community, though we've gotten to see a bit of the happenings of the Fae world, and the vampires, they have not been a direct focus. That changes greatly with this book.  Manias is what you would call the President of the vampire community.  Not only does he act in that capacity but he also has worked in collusion with the therians.  We get to see Manias from a greater angle in this story, mostly because he is directly involved in the story, but also because Blackwood is building up the story leading us even further on the journey that encompasses each book as the story grows. There is an endgame involved here and each character, species, etc has its role in it.  The things from Manias' past have to come to a head to alter the paths of many characters which further changes some outcomes and brings other things to light all with the great purpose of expanding the story as a whole. 

Elisavet is a wonderful character, arriving on the scene for the first time in this story, we see her as a loving young woman who desires more out of her job and has a wish in her heart to understand the Shadow World better.  Unfortunately she gets what she wants in an unexpected and somewhat horrifying way.  After an attack leaves her changed, Elisavet isn't sure how to proceed with her new life, she only knows she isn't human anymore.  She feels lost, alone, and afraid, but also determined to find out who she is now and be that person. 

While Elisavet adjusts to being a Sang, human turned vampire, she struggles both within herself and to find her place in the new world she's been thrust in.  Luckily for her, she finds herself with a helpful teacher/protector. None other than Manias.  As she comes to terms with her new place in life, Elisavet uncovers answers to a mystery from Manias' past and the keys to bringing things to light. 

Manias and Elisavet both fall for each other, but both are afraid of what such a relationship will mean, its kind of nice to watch a big strong Alpha man sort of fall all over himself for a woman.  While he's nothing but professional in his role as Regis, Elisavet is able to bring out a playful side to Manias and take a little bit of weight off his shoulders.  She brings a nice sort of balance to his life in a totally adorable way, no spoilers here, but they share some fun moments. 

Belong to the Night brings to light many interesting things that not only affect our characters in this installment, but things that will be brought further out in future stories.  What I love about this series is how each story builds onto an even larger back story and foreshadows things to come in future books, so while there is a definite couple focus, there is also a grander scheme to all the smaller elements.   

Manias is totally swoon worthy, showing off his Alpha side as well as the lesser known/not often seen sensitive side.  Elisavet comes through as the sweet girl we meet briefly as a human, but also shows a greater depth of change in that she finds her place in the world, albeit not in the way she expected.  

This story brings us adventure, mystery, secrets, lies, and tears.   Each element adds up to a larger, grander plan for our vampire royal couple and those surrounding them.  Things just keep getting interesting and the future books are sure to bring us more pieces to the masterpiece that is the World in Shadows.  

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