The Beauty in Darkness
by Leah Reise

"My unsteady emotions resurfaced a little more each passing day, making it harder to turn them off. There was a war inside meone side of me battling the other. Every time it got bad, I would go away somewhere nice in my mind, something I used to do when I was human. To calm my darker nature, I would close my eyes and imagine a vast world."

Twenty-nine year old Edrea is a recently turned vampire, a youngblood who longs for death from the "irrepressible cravings for blood and the urge to kill." But just as she contemplates suicide from her immortal existence she soon finds herself swept into the cryptic night to exorcise her mortal life and reluctantly embrace her vampirism. Her love for her family is perhaps what compels Edrea above all else to cling to what humanity she has left while attempting to understand and control her monstrous nature.

Befriended by her maker, Pierre, Edrea is taught the art and laws of immortality. But opposing vampire clans threaten the simultaneous existence of humans and vampires, putting Edrea in danger who harbors a special and desirable gift of sight running through her bloodline. She is also watched over and protected by her "dark guardian" and eventual lover, Alexio, sent by her great-uncle, Uri.

While Edrea uncovers her family past, her sister Rena desperately seeks answers to Edrea's inexplicable disappearance. Yet as Rena delves deeper into her search, inching ever closer to Edrea, she unwittingly puts her life in danger and Edrea must use all of her power and recourses to save her sister.

With a unique split between first and third person narratives, Reise skillfully explores the two sister's journeys as they converge together by destiny—Edrea's a journey of self-discovery and Rena's a journey of closure. Edrea and Rena are the strongest elements of Reise's writing, presenting a conflicted and soulful vampire at war with herself. Poetic and melancholic, the novel is a cross between True Blood and Interview with the Vampire. This is a coming-of-age vampire tale complete with mystery, romance and suspense that will surely entertain fans of the genre.

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