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bookmarked: Vampire Shift

My apologies about jumping back into things with writing reviews, but I’ve been doing a lot more reading recently. It could have something to do with my new Kindle… I’m just saying…

I should have some more variety in posts coming to you soon!

Vampire Shift Cover


Title: Vampire Shift
Series: Kiera Hudson::#1
Author: Tim O’Rourke
Format: Kindle eBook
Overall rating: 3 (out of 5)

Color me intrigued. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn’t exactly your everyday, trite vampire love story. Sure, our main protagonist Kiera Hudson does fall in love with her supernatural hero, but that’s not all there is. This book has more going for it.

First and foremost, O’Rourke presents an intriguing take on the vampire genre. Stories of debonair night-walkers à la Anne Rice seem to be a dime-a-dozen these days (a dime I’m most certainly willing to shill out, mind you), which makes O’Rourke’s take on the genre a welcome and interesting change. I’m not going to give it away here, though; you’ll have to read Vampire Shift to find out.

Second, Vampire Shift is also a well constructed mystery novella. O’Rourke drops hints to the reader and leads them along the path of discovery and deduction through the eyes of Kiera; however, be forewarned that things aren’t always what they seem and the most obvious answer isn’t always the right one. I’m a reader who loves to figure things out before the reveal and, still, Vampire Shift threw me for some loops. You may think that you have it all figured out, but don’t get too full of yourself… I can assure you it’ll lead to disappointment.

Finally in the plus column, the reader is introduced to many major plot lines that I assume will run throughout the series. While it is somewhat frustrating to have a substantial number of plot lines and mysteries not solved by the end of the novella, this is a calculated plan of action on the part of the author. A sufficient number of mysteries are resolved to leave the reader satisfied with the story, but enough are left unresolved to spur interest in future installments of the series. I know that I’m hooked, at least enough to move on to number two in the series.

So, you may be asking yourself: If Vampire Shift has all these things going for it, why didn’t you give it five stars?

Well, the writing feels like it’s missing some necessary polish. There are pronounced pacing/time issues in this novella. While I know that I’m dealing with fantasy here, I’m not presented with a world whose time scale is noted to be vastly different from my normal waking world. The events I’m presented with in the novella, though, sometimes seem like they could take up 40 hour days… Also, the pacing of the writing seems to be out of sync with the pacing of the events at some parts in the book. It’s not horrible, but it’s not wonderful, either.

All of this, though, is nothing compared to the editing!  There are quite a number of typos/grammatical errors for such a short piece; they’re distracting. Also distracting, formatting issues, uneven indenting being the biggest offender. Quite frankly, the grammatical errors and formatting anomalies were enough to drive me batty (pun intended) at times… I’m all for self publishing, but not as an excuse for poor editing and presentation.

Overall, while the concepts, plot lines and structure of the story are all fantastic, the prose and presentation feel unpolished. Hopefully these will come with a bit more time. In the meantime – Tim, if you’re reading this – I’d be willing to lend a hand with the editing!

The cover art that appears as part of this review remains under the protection of the original copyright owner.  It is used here in accordance with fair use guidelines.  If you are the copyright owner and you would like this image removed, please contact me.