Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Embraced by the Shadows

Title: Embraced by the Shadows
Series: Standalone (as far as I’m aware)
Author: Mayra Calvani
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Publication Date: October 5, 2011
Reviewed Format: Kindle Edition (revised edition)
Source: Bought
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Get it @: Amazon | Book Depository

Alana Piovanetti was 10 years old when, at a family vacation in Istanbul, she saw a man with fangs in his mouth. Since that day Alana has been having the strangest of dreams, all surrounding creatures of the night taking her into wild rides. Fast-Forward twelve years and Alana is a recent college grad looking for a job, just like any other person in her beloved Puerto Rico. Landing the job as manager of La Cueva del Vampiro, (a hip, new vampire-themed restaurant/nightclub in San Juan) turns Alana’s dreams into nightmares; but when she meets a mysterious man named Sadash those nightmares turn into reality. Now Alana must face the ultimate decision between logic and love; one brings the safety and comfort of loved ones, the other brings unstoppable death.

The main reason I picked this book was because of its setting, being a Puerto Rican that have lived my entire life here on the Island I was beyond happy to see a story take place within my well known roads and I just love it. I am very visual and I have little problems imagining the places that authors describe in their tales, however there is such a great feeling to read about the cobblestone streets with its sometimes extremely steep inclines of Old San Juan and know that I have walked them up and down many times myself.

Word of advice to the female population, if you ever come here and visit Old San Juan leave you spiked heels at the hotel or whichever place you are staying. If you want high heeled shoes, opt for some pretty wedges or at least have a pair of those convenient bendable ballerina flats that you can keep in your purse; trust me on this, by night’s end you’ll want to throw them to the ocean.

Now, I already said that I loved the setting, I just wish there was a bit more of it. The story takes place primarily in San Juan and just a bit in El Yunke. What I wasn’t too happy about was the main character, Alana; yet I have to say that for the story her character works.

Alana is a 21-year-old woman who’s always felt like she doesn’t quite belongs anywhere, even though she is surrounded by people that love her. Among this Small group of people are Alana’s best friends Valerie, Humberto and her uncle (her only remaining blood relative). Alana’s personality is very gloomy, cold and distant, yet shy and introverted and sometimes impulsive. Something that irked me was that she enjoyed hurting Valerie’s feelings, even though she loves her and considers her to be her twin soul. The bottom line is that Alana behaves like a teenager throughout most of the book without the excuse of being one as a buffer.

In books, specially–but not exclusively–in Paranormal Romance (PNR), you find that for every female lead there is an equally strong male lead with whom the female lead finds her Happily Ever After (HEA), vice-versa or whichever couple combination is your favorite read; Calvani’s tale is no exception to this norm. In comes Sadash, the mysterious man that has recently made its way into Alana’s life, who turns out to be a couple-of-hundred-year-old master vampire. Now, be aware the Calvani’s vampires are not the typical sexed up characters that can make the most puritanical of women reach her all time high with a couple of well-placed kisses, oh no! In fact, Calvani’s vamps are completely impotent–they are dead after all–yet they have beating hearts:

He walked toward her table feeling quite breathless, keenly aware of the relentless beat of his heart, throbbing steadily in his chest.” – Sadash; [Calvani, Mayra (2011-10-05). Embraced by the Shadows (Kindle Locations 1360-1361). Twilight Times Books. Kindle Edition.]
That twist thrown in by Calvani was very unexpected but amusing nonetheless; Alana’s reaction to this bit of news made me smile. Still, that twist is not the only one, the whole feeding for the vampires and its co-relation with intimacy was a completely new concept (at least for me) and I found it very fascinating.

Back to Sadash, I cannot say much about him without giving away major plot points; I will say this, his attitude for more than half the book resembled that of a stalker, which I didn’t like at all, but by the time the book turned around he had grown on me a little.

Over all I am conflicted with this story, there were some aspects of it that drove me mad as I was reading it; including the pace which was a little slow at times and it made it drag a bit, which in turn made me put the book down more than once. However at some point after I was around 65%–70% into the story it picked up really well and I was hooked one more time. The moody characters work within the setting they've been placed, i guess they just weren't my style of characters.

Do you like this post? Please link back to this article by copying one of the codes below.

URL: HTML link code: BB (forum) link code:


Post a Comment

I love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below!


I believe in honesty and I appreciate the trust that you, as followers, place on me when you visit my blog. As such, a policy has been develop to comply with the FTC Guidelines, on the basis of my recent incursion in Blog Affiliations. To read the site policy follow THIS LINK.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...