I am such a sucker for fantasy drama. Like many who enjoy this genre, I often find the supply is a bittersweet pill to swallow.
L.J. Smith was my high school hero. (We won’t discuss the hot mess of a series continuation that has come since the release of The Vampire Diaries show, though I have devoured that nonsense too.) I anxiously awaited each Twilight book – knowing full well the characters would remain vapid and the “heroine” would never deserve her popularity. I tuned into 50 Shades of Grey after hearing the hype and as I blushed my way through the pages, I could only think “These fans would lose their mind if they ever read Laurell K. Hamilton.” My collection of Anne Rice is dog eared at best, despite my rebellious thoughts of how pretentious her writing feels after the first few descriptions of Lestat’s importance to the world.
I love the world of fantasy, but I want it to be relatable. I want a love story between characters I want to see happy. I want conflict I care to see resolved.
Is that so much to ask?
The upside to this frequent disappointment is the true elation when a gem is found in the genre. When a vampire, a banshee, a leprechaun, or a werewolf walk into a human bar – and you are interested in the ending.
For those who feel the same frustration, allow me to introduce Lust, the first book in Malia Jacobs’ The Immortal Shadows Trilogy.
The story will sound familiar enough: Kate is a vampire who has suffered unimaginable sorrow and is trying to face the reality of being alive for eternity. She meets Lucas, a handsome human who is able to let her see the joy that exists in simply being alive.
What makes this different from so many others like it is the storyteller weaving the tale. What are the sorrows Kate has absorbed? How will her relationships withstand the collision of fantasy creatures and humanity? The answers to these secrets are teased in such a delicate manner that you are forced to live in the moment with not only Kate and Lucas, but also with every character they have contact with.
There are no disposable pass throughs in Lust. If you are introduced to a character, you will come to know them completely. They are sexy, ugly, humorous, sorrowful, ambitious, and so fully human that you can’t help but relate to even the most fantastical of the beings.
I am blown away that this is the first in Malia Jacob’s published portfolio. I am pretty sure there were times the Time To End Of Chapter at the bottom of my Kindle just said “Whoa Bitch – Slow Down!”
The only thing bittersweet about Lust is that it is the first installment in the series. The action-packed first book is only the beginning! There is more to come! But we have to wait. The teasing reveal continues… eventually.