Book: Afterlight by Elle Jasper
Series or Stand-Alone: Series - The Dark Ink Chronicles
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2010
Description (From Goodreads): The Dupres have been Savannah's guardians, appointed by a band of root doctors and hoodooists, for nearly two hundred years. They've all grown...complacent. Now, the Arcos brothers, who've long been entombed at Bonaventure, have been inadvertently freed by a group of teenagers horsing around in the cemetery. Determined to take revenge on the city who entombed them, the Arcos' gather strength in the city's youth. Within the moon's full cycle, the gang's quickening will be complete--they'll become vampires. Newlings, out of control and craving human blood will ravage the city. The one thing the Arcos' didn't count on was the powerful love of a sister. Riley Poe will stop at nothing to get her brother back. The one thing Riley didn't count on was the powerful love of a vampire. Eli Dupre will do anything to get her. Follow Riley, Eli, and the vampires of the Dupre House into the shadowy, underside of Savannah.
I have had Afterlight on my radar for quite sometime. When it finally came out I trekked over to my local bookstore and thankfully, because Schulers is completely awesome - they had it in stock. In fact, it was on display right inside the door. Don't Indie bookstores rock? Anyways, because I am a geek (and I am sure you all understand this), I ran right home and began reading it.
Because I was so excited for this release, it had a lot to live up to. I hadn't seen any reviews before I began reading - so I didn't really know what to expect as far as quality went. Thankfully, Afterlight was fabulous and I had no problem plowing right through it.
The story is about Riley - a tattoo artist from Savannah and an absolute pistol. She was a real wild child during her teen years and has been through the ringer so to speak. She has dealt with a lot of difficult things and as a result has a tough exterior and thick skin. There are a select few who worm their way into her heart, but she is fiercely loyal to those individuals. Seth, her brother means the absolute world to her. Riley supports him; their mother was murdered when Riley was a teenager and their father is a real deadbeat.
When Seth gets involved in some dark stuff and begins transforming into a vampire, Riley's world is turned upside down. She is introduced to a world she never knew existed, a world with the Dupre family. The Dupre's are family of vampires who protect Savannah from the horrors of the night. They are originally from France; Gillies (the head of the family) turned his family into vampires when he himself was turned. Riley enlists the Dupre family's help and they work together to help Riley get her brother back.
The Dupre's were easily my favorite part of the book. All of the characters were well done, but the Dupre's take the cake. There is Giles, the unabashed father - who frequently "cuts the crap". He is a straight shooter, but he still treats everyone respectfully. His wife, Elise, is a dainty french woman - who I have a deal, can scrap with the best of them. Then there are the Dupre brothers, Seraphin, Jean-Luc and Eligius or Phin, Luc and Eli. Luc is a complete goofball and an utter hoot, while Phin is a bit more reserved. Eli, Riley's love interest, is reminiscent of Edward Cullen (sorry for this reference but 95% of the female population will understand) - but much more badass. He is super protective of Riley and has a good sense of humor. My only wish is that Phin and Luc were fleshed out a bit more - they kind of ran together for me. The youngest Dupre, Josephine (Josie), is probably my favorite. She is a two hundred plus year old vampire trapped in the pubescent body of a fourteen-year-old. She has wicked style and a no-nonsense attitude. She, like her mother, is a firecraker in a barbie-doll package.
The plotline was well developed and the setting was expertly painted out. Riley's tattoo parlor is beautifully described, as is the Dupre house and the rest of Savannah. The only real problem I had with the book was that Riley sometimes got on my nerves. While, I appreciate a strong heroine, she sometimes went a bit to far. But, that goes with her character - like I said before, she has put up a wall around herself and sometimes she tends to get a bit out of control with her attitude. She is determined to prove she can handle herself and repeatedly enters into situations in which she is outmatched. She acts without thinking and often finds herself in life and death situations. The Dupre's are constantly warning her to be careful, yet she pushes time and time again. It's not tough, it's stupid.
But, besides an occasional annoyance with Riley, I found myself enthralled with Afterlight. I am excited to see where the story goes next and am anticipating the next book in the series!