This week we welcome the release of a new paranormal series, beginning with C.J. Pinard‘s LOTUS. Lotus is one of four ‘daughters of darkness’, with the other three daughters being written about by authors Chrissy Peebles, Kristen Middleton and W.J. May. Today we review Lotus’s Journey Part I, while we eagerly await the second part – due out at the end of October!
Title: Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I
Author: C.J. Pinard
Genre: Paranormal mystery, crime, thriller
Release date: September 6th, 2015
Length: 51 pages
4 authors will each take a different daughter born from the Prince of Darkness, Vlad Montour. (Also known as Vlad the Impaler, an evil villain from history).
Blair – Chrissy Peebles
Jezebel – Kristen Middleton
Victoria – W.J. May
Lotus – C.J. Pinard
The Daughters of Darkness is a series of female heroines who may or may not know each other, but all have the same father, Vlad Montour.
Don’t let the pretty name fool you. This daughter is no delicate flower.
Lotus grew up orphaned. Having no idea who her real parents were, she’s been drifting around the U.S. for over 100 years moving every 15 years or so since she just doesn’t seem to age. She’d figured out on her own that she had to be at least part vampire, as she needs to suck on a few blood bags a month to survive.
Working as a detective with the Denver P.D., Lotus is searching desperately for a serial killer who is murdering the homeless of the city. Except these are not ritualistic or thrill killings. These victims have been drained of blood and Lotus knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have been committed by a vampire.
Her search will take her to Las Vegas, and that is where the true adventure will begin, when she finds out who has been searching for her.
This is part I of Lotus’s journey. Part II will be out in late October 2015.
REVIEW ***** (5* rating)
Lotus’s Journey is a fantastic combination of the paranormal, mystery and crime. This is a talent of C.J. Pinard that is also shown in her Enchanted Immortals series and Rebel Riders series. It is the darkness of the vampires and the eerie mystery of the crime/s that build up a great atmospheric sense and truly captivate the reader until the end.
Lotus Arden Smith is half vampire and half faery. Her human detective partner, Stephan, has no idea that she isn’t human. It is her half faery, she suspects, that allows her to walk around in the daylight, and provides her with the need to eat ‘normal’ food, as well as to suck on the occasional blood bag.
The story opens up at a murder scene, and from this very beginning an unpleasant atmosphere has been created as the author describes the scene of a warehouse in which the homeless human has died. Lotus’s senses are sharp, just as a vamp, and her sense of smell is no exception. The description of the stench is very real as the reader can almost smell the putrid stink. But, Lotus can also smell more than this – cologne, possibly belonging to the killer.
We learn that this is the fifth body found with a similar MO; a homeless human drained of blood, and Lotus is aware of the puncture marks on the victim’s neck. Stephan is aware they have a serial killer on their hands, but doesn’t notice the puncture wounds, and is unaware of the supernatural. But, Lotus is only too certain that it is the work of a vampire.
“The body was decaying, and therefore, beginning to wrinkle and prune, but that did not stop me from seeing the two faded puncture wounds in the victim’s neck. They’d never had the chance to heal since the dumbass vampire killed his victims immediately after feeding. If he was smart, he’d let them live for a few minutes, hypnotize them into forgetting about it, let their body heal – and then kill them. Then the puncture wounds would be gone. But no, this jackass was either very new or very, very stupid. My guess was a combination of both.”
There is an eerie moment as Lotus becomes aware that someone has been following her. Someone is outside the window of her third floor apartment. And she is certain it is a vamp due to their speed and height from the ground. As she goes to investigate further, forgetting her nakedness, she loses them and after an awkward, and comical moment for the reader, Lotus goes back inside.
This scene, along with mentions of her hot, muscled, blue-eyed neighbour, Drew, creates some refreshing, lighter moments. I love his character. Lotus enjoys a tiny flirting moment with him here and there, but knows that she cannot get involved. Although, I am secretly hoping this can change!
The darkest aspect of the story for me is the evil, vampire character, Vlad Montour, Lotus’s father. Lotus never met her parents, was brought up in foster homes, and has the sense to look after herself. After all, who else will? Believing her mother died, possibly at the hands of her father, she knows she’ll never get to know her mother. When she starts dreaming of her father beckoning to her she experiences an eerie, surreal feeling which both excites her and frightens her; excited at the prospect of finally meeting him, but fear of what he may say or do.
After another killing, the same smell of cologne and an almost face-to-face confrontation Lotus decides she needs to track the killer down alone. The one lead she has to go on is the cologne, but that’s not a likely lead for her partner, Stephan, who isn’t even aware of the scent. Lotus takes a vacation to Las Vegas after finding out a source, and once there she begins to get ready for action.
“I slid on the soft leather pants and a loose top, finally throwing on the leather jacket over it. I had attached my Lotus body holster under my jacket. Finding my ‘special’ handcuffs in my bag. I folded them and shoved them into the tiny canvas cuff holder I wore on my belt. Those and the gun had been fun getting through security at the airport…”
The first part of Lotus’s Journey leaves you on a cliff-hanger that you won’t want to wait to read. The good news is that part II will be released at the end of October!
A copy of Lotus’s Journey Part I was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker