Jenna Black,
Guardians of the Night #3: Shadows on the Soul
(Tor, 2007)

In Jenna Black's vampire world there are two kinds of vampires; those that kill mortals to survive, known as Killers, and those that live off of animal blood for survival. Eli, a powerful old vampire, leads a group of vampires and at least one mortal known as the Guardians, whose job is to protect the city from ruthless Killers.

Gabriel is a 500-year-old vampire, one of the only two vampires born with that condition. He is also a very powerful Killer. He comes to Philadelphia looking to entice his father, Eli, in a battle to the death. Gabriel has a long history with his father, and the majority of it isn't pleasant.

Three months ago Gabriel found Jezebel as she was being gang-raped and torn apart by a group of fledgling vampires, young vamps that belong to older vamps. He saved her that night and in the process made her his fledging. Since then Jezebel has been living as a spy of sorts amongst Eli and the Guardians. Gabriel plans on retrieving his fledgling while in Philly.

Since this is the third book in a series I hadn't read, I thought I would be lost while reading this one -- but that wasn't the case. The author did a fabulous job of connecting this story to the first two books and characters, but still making it clear enough for the new reader that it could have easily stood alone.

This book is marketed as a paranormal romance, but I really found it to be so much more. This isn't a fluffy vampire tale; the vampires in this book, even the good ones, have very real and dark sides. Shadows on the Soul has a little bit of everything in it and I could see it appealing to many different readers. This is a surprisingly deep and emotional tale filled with action, revenge, moral conflict, loyalty, betrayal and a healthy dose of lust and sex. With so much happening on each page, it really made it hard for me to set it down and walk away. I enjoyed it so much that I am rushing out to buy the first two, Watchers in the Night and Secrets in Shadows.

review by
Cherise Everhard

23 February 2008

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