This captivating vampire mystery proves to be an ensnaring tale.
Rich writing and a captivating plot embody the vampire essence in Lisa Dominique Machat’s engaging and exciting novel, A Walk in the Sun.
Nicholas Justine is born into a wealthy family in England in the 1800s. His mother dies in childbirth, and his father subsequently ignores him; he is cared for by a loving nanny named Charlotte. Nicholas is just barely an adult when his father dies, but the event puts him in contact with Elena, the daughter of the executor of his father’s estate, with whom he soon falls in love.
One night, while attempting to visit a small traveling fair in London, Nicholas is turned into a vampire. He takes weeks to acclimate to his new lifestyle while wrestling with what exactly it means to be a vampire. Elena, however, accepts Nicholas, and supports him and loves him more than ever. Unable to get her parents’ permission to marry and both very much in love, Nicholas and Elena move to Paris and begin a happy life there. But things take a turn for the worse when the pair meets Countess Boucher and then Count Du Fay, a master of dark magic.
Machat is the director of Vampire Vineyards, an importer of vampire-label wines, and this is her first novel. She demonstrates a keen grasp of the writing style appropriate for this genre, all while creating a feeling for the time period. “More than a century has passed since I buried my father’s ashes to rest beside my mother’s grave. The colors of time in an ever-changing world, but my immortal canvas has remained un-faded,” captures the feel of the 1800s and the conflicted thoughts of a good vampire.
Lines such as, “At that moment, I felt our energies collide like forks of lightning that lit the room,” excellently portray the emotion and action in the story. Machat also manages to display life’s profound ideas beautifully, as when she writes, “Most would have described the deep lines on his face as just plain age, but to me, they expressed a composition of his life and spirit.”
The book is packaged well with a vampire-themed font and red endpapers. The only bothersome problem involves the incorrect formatting of quotation marks; this happens just often enough to be distracting.
The plot moves at a pleasant pace. Enough character history is offered to keep the narrative interesting, but not so much so as to bog down the momentum. There are mysterious characters, such as Countess Boucher, who add to the intrigue and engage the fantasy’s forward movement. High-energy action scenes alternate with intellectual process and sections of mystery to constantly propel the story to its satisfactory end.
An action-packed mystery, the vampire novel A Walk in the Sun is an ensnaring tale. Potent and strong, Machat delivers an intriguing narrative in a rich style.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.