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Review - Blood Shackles: Rebel Vampires Book Two by Rosemary A Johns

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Some months ago I read and reviewed Blood Dragons, the first book in the Rebel Vampires series so when I got a chance to read the sequel I was happy to do so. As with the first novel, there was a lot of slang and it felt like too much. For the first few chapters I found it very distracting – especially when M.C. speaks. After a while however I got involved enough in the story that I didn’t notice it so much, except for the scenes with M.C.

The book shares the same narrative form as the first – Light addresses his words to ‘you’, the ‘you’ in question being another character. In the first novel that was Kathy, with Light giving her tales from his early life and recounting how they met. In this second volume, ‘you’ is Grayse Cain, Light’s mistress, and the story is given in the form of a journal that Light keeps, directing his words to Grayse. I was skeptical at first that this narrative form would work a second time but I actually ended up enjoying it more in this novel.

Light recounts how he became enslaved by the Blood Club, the Cain family business. As can perhaps be expected, there are scenes of violence and torture, as well as sexual violence, which some may find difficult to read. These issues are dealt with tactfully and add to the work. Defanged and broken down by his captors, Light tries to hold onto himself and find a way to save his family – all while falling for his mistress.

Reading a sequel is always a bit nerve-wracking; will it be as good as the first? Will you still care enough about the characters to follow them through another novel? In this case, I actually ended up enjoying the sequel more than the first book, not an easy thing for the author to have accomplished!

Note – you do not need to be familiar with the events of Blood Dragons in order to read and enjoy Blood Shackles but the second volume does contain spoilers for the first.