Saskia de la Cruz is a Verity Witch – her only magic being that she can tell the truth from a lie.
As an investigative reporter for The Blood Web Chronicle, the biggest news outlet on the paranormal dark Blood Web, Saskia spends her days cracking twisted para cases hoping that someday, some case, will bring her closer to finding her missing sister.
In snowy Moscow drained corpses of illegal workers have begun to turn up, with hundreds more reported missing. When Saskia is sent on assignment to investigate an oligarch Vampire crime ring that might be behind the deaths, she plans to get in out of the city’s frozen grasp quickly…preferably with her neck intact.
But beautiful ballet dancer Konstantin Volkov and his wildcard brother Lukka complicate things. The vampire brothers have their own reasons for solving the string of murders, reasons that conflict with Saskia’s mission. Soon, Saskia finds herself enmeshed in the city’s glittering web of crime, passion, and violence, where truths and lies are one and the same.
The Blood Web Chronicles – Vampires of Moscow by Caedis Knight Review
The Rebirth of the Vampire & The Rise of the Neck Munchers (no glitter allowed)
Note from the Editor:
Halloween is one of our favourite holidays here at The Glass House, so we’re very excited to get to review a bloody vampire novel bursting with passion, gore and addictive thrills. Yes, that’s right, vampires are back and this time they mean business.
Vampires are nothing new. In fact, they are the very personification of old. We’ve already had the wrinkled Dracula kind, the bad boy 80s vamps, and the 90s emo sensitive ones – but now, as we teeter on the edge of a brave new world, we are finally ready for unflinchingly complex, sensual vampires with bite.
Welcome to the Blood Web Chronicles!
The Blood Web Chronicles is a new paranormal romance series by Caedis Knight (pen name of fantasy authors Jacqueline Silvester and N J Simmonds). With six books across six European cities, plus two accompanying novellas, these co-authors are doing something that has never been done before. They have built a paranormal community residing in cities where the authors have both lived, adding a new twist to our favourite monsters. In this dangerous world hidden among our own, crimes are reported on the Blood Web, a supernatural and gruesome corner of our very own dark web, and Verity Witch reporter Saskia de la Cruz is sent to investigate each one. Starting with Vampires in Moscow.
Before I begin this review, I would like to thank the writing duo that is Caedis Knight for introducing me to the phrase neck muncher. Since reading this description in their novel Vampires of Moscow I have made the executive decision that all vampires should henceforth be renamed as neck munchers.
No Glitter Allowed
I am sick of the Twilight vampire, and I can’t be the only one?
For most of my teenage years I was stuck in the ‘Twilight generation’ of the vampire novel. Broody, whiny (sorry, not sorry, Edward) vampires who get off on stalking their love interest but never drink from them because they are a big bad monster who might lose control. Gasp!
I understand the appeal, don’t get me wrong. Sensitive males have a special place in my heart. But it’s like that Bruce Willis crying scene in Friends, good to see but parodied in such a way I wish the writers would just stop. Get a new template and stop copying Stephanie Meyer.
It was fine when I was younger, I devoured those novels and had many a vampire husband. But now I’m over it. I want something darker … richer and more complex. I need a bit of grit.
That’s what I loved about Knight’s Vampires of Moscow – sizzling and sassy, I couldn’t put it down!
That’s not a siren call for writers to use the other tired template of the vampire; the sadistic monster. I am not in the market for torture porn or gratuitous violence, thank you. But I want a side of blood and gore with that brooding vulnerability. These men are vampires for crying out loud.
Don’t ignore their predatory undertone because that’s what makes vampires so darkly delectable.
That’s what I loved about Knight’s Vampires of Moscow – sizzling and sassy, I couldn’t put it down! Here we have two sinfully seductive vampire siblings who are so nuanced you can’t help but fall in love with one of them. Or both… both is good.
First, you have dark dreamy Konstantin the Ice King. He is ambitious and power-driven yet seems to care about his workers and his crazy little brother Lukka.
He is cultured, sophisticated, and sleek. A true vampire in his predatory grace and seductive ways. Yet underneath the ice is fire … desire. He yearns and he will stop at nothing to take what he wants from the world.
Then you have Lukka. Sweet crazy complex Lukka. (He’s mine ladies. Sorry, I call dibs.)
For years, I have searched for a book that unleashes the true, unfiltered version of a vampire. One who doesn’t hold back. Vampires who don’t reign in their darkness or their vulnerability.
Lukka is described as a hybrid cross between the Joker and The Mad Hatter. Here is someone who loves fun, wants to live every day like it may be his last, yet at the same time is hiding from the truth of the world. There is just something about him that makes you want to reach out and hug him close. He has a dangerous mix of vulnerability and viscousness that you can’t help but be drawn to.
For years, I have searched for a book that unleashes the true, unfiltered version of a vampire. One who doesn’t hold back. Vampires who don’t reign in their darkness or their vulnerability. I think I have finally found that book. Konstantin and Lukka are apex predators, sure, but they also have backstories that make them relatable. It is refreshing to see that this new writing duo have ripped up the old template, overused by the YA genre, and created a new, fresh, and dynamic type of neck muncher.
Down with sadistic monsters. Down with teenagers dipped in glitter. Down with authors who follow tried and tested templates. Your vampires suck and not in a good way. Give me Konstantin and Lukka. Give me a writing partnership that goes full throttle and serves me up bittersweet babies made of gore and sex; who have darkness and humour aplenty but have vulnerable backstories that make me cry. This is the paranormal romance series I have been searching for.
If you want to know more about this fabulous series, and this review is not enough to whet your appetite, take a look at the #BlogTour arranged to showcase the very best this book has to offer.
Vampires of Moscow is out 15th Oct 2020 on Kindle, accompanied by the prequel novella Sirens of Los Angeles (which is currently on special offer). Paperbacks of both are available from Friday 13th November 2020.