I’ve been unreasonably annoyed by the whole ‘vampire as romantic figure’ ever since “Interview With a Vampire” was a thing back in the day. It got even worse with the “Twilight” series. We are, after all, talking about humanoid mosquitoes. It doesn’t scream romance to me.
Thankfully, with Declan Finn’s “Honor at Stake” we have a vampire book that not only hearkens back to the old school, it adds some interesting new twists on the science and mythology of the vampire plague while still remaining firmly focused on the cast of characters who inhabit Mr. Finn’s world.
My only real quibbles are the overall shortness of the book and certain aspects of the main character. In regards to the length, that’s something to be disregarded as a personal preference, because I am very much a ‘curl up by the fire with a doorstop’ type of reader. So what I want and enjoy is not necessarily what the average reader wants.
As far as the main character goes, Marco has a bit of Mary Sue syndrome to him at first, though Finn does an excellent job of slowly drawing out deeper aspects of his personality, and leaves us with an interesting cliffhanger at the end that will leave you wondering what lies beneath in terms of the character.
Also of note is the secondary character Merle. We are shown just enough of his world to whet our appetites, and I hope that we get more of him in the sequel.
If you’re looking for a great entry point in a new series, ‘Honor at Stake’ is highly recommended. Five stars.