Aren’t all the oldest female vampires usually depicted as the most beautiful? In Margarita Felices’ Judgement of Souls, the typical portrayal of aged, female evil sticks to the vampire genre’s typical convention, but injects new blood into the genre. Felices’ portraiture of a female vampire protagonist attempts to subvert the genres staid conventions of gender representation with middling results.
Rachel, aforementioned protagonist, finds herself in the land of the living and in love with Daniel, a nightclub owner with his own whole box of secrets and danger. Rachel finds herself trying to fight her growing affection for Daniel as she becomes involved in his quest to find the perpetrator who murdered his best friend. But, as we all know in this type of genre, the more you fight against something, the stronger the attraction ultimately becomes.
I didn’t quite understand why Rachel, a very old vampire (as the author makes most clear) is oft-described as a ‘young spirit’ and why the reader is reminded that vampires age at a much slower rate than us humankind. That is Vamp Studies 101. In my opinion, it didn’t assist much in the ways of her character development. It’s inclusion as a major part of Rachel’s character make-up was a bit bizarre to me.
The story that unfolds is energetic and quite Vampire Diaries-laden in terms of tone and mythology. There’s a vampire who’s gone rogue which figures in prominently in Daniel’s search into his friends murderer, as well as the existence of a powerful book which has the possibility of reigning over all of vampiredom. The characters seemed a bit undercooked to me, but were effective nonetheless in moving along the plot forward towards a climax that opens up the possibility to many potential sequels.
I’d have to say that Judgement of Souls will be eaten up by those die-hard fans of Vampire stories. I guess I was just a little underwhelmed.