The fast-paced Grave New Day begins a week after the events at the end of its predecessor in the exciting Jess Vandermire series. Reeling over the loss of Britt, vampire Jess decides to quit the police force and give up her command of the Black Ops team of vampire hunters. Chief Brown reminds Jess of her sworn duty to protect New York City and refuses to accept her resignation. Meanwhile, Jess’ elderly, though younger, brother, Regent, has to contend with a priest visiting to do an inspection, attempting to keep his secret activities as a vampire hunter and Jess’s protector hidden from the prying eyes of Bishop Brooks.
Though both brother and sister have the aforementioned concerns and considerations to deal with, they also have Britt’s burial to arrange, though his body has not been recovered. At the funeral, Jess talks to a mysterious man who speaks of Britt in the present tense, but no one else can see him. James, Jess’s vampire partner on the team, and his human wife, Terry, are strangely absent from the funeral. Shortly thereafter, Regent receives an odd phone call from a man who claims to have lost his memory but believes his name is Britt. Jess and Regent attempt to untangle the peculiar events while at the same time seeking to determine any connections between the incidents.
Gardiner skillfully balances the various plot threads, moving back and forth between them without missing a beat, resulting in a smooth reading experience despite the chaos depicted within the narrative. Full of action, some romance, and with even a bit of philosophical reflection thrown in, this enjoyable novel contains something for everyone. Both primary and secondary characters add heart and substance to the story.
In Gardiner’s series, “vampires are intrinsically bad” (Ch. 13), and the only factor keeping Jess (and James) from succumbing to the darkness remains the prayers and blessings of Regent. This religious, though not preachy, aspect provides a unique approach to the genre. The intriguing tease of an ending promises a sequel, and this reviewer looks forward to its arrival.
- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: ImaJinn Books (June 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933417560
- ISBN-13: 978-1933417561