Title: Night Vision
Author: Amelia Bishop
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 131 Pages
At a Glance: This could have been a highly charged and passionate story that turned out to simply not have the oomph needed to make it spark.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Theron Antonopolis, a strige, feeds on human emotion. In a tranquil suburban neighborhood, his best meals come from a quiet systems administrator who’s become more than a source of nourishment for Theron—Alex Rowler is an obsession. Theron can no longer remain in the shadows. When they meet, any attraction Alex feels toward the sexy monster is overshadowed by his anxiety and distrust of Theron’s supernatural powers. But sensing the underlying arousal, Theron begins courting his human.
As months pass, Theron falls deeply in love, and the need to complete the strige bonding ceremony with his human lover becomes overwhelming. But a permanent commitment is too much, too soon for Alex, and he delays the joining, despite Theron’s insistence they are running out of time. As an unbonded pair, however, Theron and Alex draw the attention of the Midnight Parliament, and the lovers are brought to trial to determine their fate.
Review: Theron watches his little corner of the world very carefully, protecting his humans for they are his life’s blood, so to speak. He needs them to survive, he needs their passion and anger, those being the most powerful, with their love and joy running a close second. For a strige, a type of vampire that feeds off of emotions, a quiet neighborhood offers all it needs to survive. But this strige wants more than to just survive, he is nearing the end of his life, and now he wants a bond mate as well.
Alex Rowler has seen the end of his current relationship coming for some time but has always allowed himself to cave in at the last moment, giving his lover one more chance. However, this time the die is cast, and Alex finds himself once more single. Unaware that he is essentially being stalked by Theron, Alex is rudely awakened to the fact one evening when Theron appears from the shadows and begins a strange sort of relationship with Alex that will change his life completely.
But Theron has lots of secrets, and while he seems to be respectful of the fact that Alex is just not ready for a heavy commitment, he pursues the man incessantly, finally confessing to him that they are indeed bond mates. Not only that but time is running out. An unbonded strige and his human are in danger of being forced by the overarching council to either be found worthy of bonding or face the consequences, which, in this case, is death.
Author Amelia Bishop has an uncanny knack for writing complex characters woven within a dark and mysterious story. Theron is not really a vampire, yet he lives extraordinarily long, avoids the sun as it makes him uncomfortable, and feeds off human emotion. However, he eats, his heart beats, and he is capable of profoundly deep emotions and loyalties, all very human qualities. Alex is, for all appearances, a wishy-washy kind of man. Constantly seeking some perfect relationship, he moves from partner to partner, holding out for some rare ideal that is never attainable. Yet, beneath this seeming flimsy façade lays a warrior’s fierceness, an ability to stand on his own, and a rigid internal standard that will not settle for second best.
When these two characters collide there is bound to be a bit of angst, and indeed, there is—small snippets here and there. But the only flaw in an otherwise interesting and well-written paranormal story such as this is that we never really see a strong connection between these two men. Theron, in particular, comes off as cold and non-emotional and yet the author is continually expressing his inner pain at Alex’s reluctance to bond. Something was just slightly off kilter in this story where a passion that should have flared between these two merely seemed to be lukewarm and thereby, diminished the sense of urgency over bonding and the eventual trial they were called to that could mean their deaths.
Night Vision has all the pieces of an outstanding paranormal story and, indeed, was entertaining and well written. However, this could have been a highly charged and passionate story that turned out to simply not have the oomph needed to make it spark.
You can buy Night Vision here: