Grave Illusions by Lina Gardiner
Jess Vandermire Vampire Hunter, Book One
Imajinn Books
ISBN: 978-1-933417-95-0
Reviewed by Indy



Paying the penance for the murder of his ex-partner, shamed cop John Brittain never expects to be given a second chance. Especially not with an elite special ops unit that happens to be headed up by Jess Vandermire, a vampire with a partial soul working to keep the streets safe from vampires who take their pleasure in feeding on unsuspecting humans. Though hesitant, Britt understands he needs to be on the inside to figure out why his apartment building has suddenly become the dropping ground for drained bodies.  With Jessís help he will have to learn how to survive against vampires who are stronger and quicker than he. With gut instincts as his guide, Britt and Jess just may have a chance to help clear up the vampire infestation, thatís if they both can make it through the fight still in one piece. 

I canít tell you how long I waited to get Grave Illusions in my hands, vampires and danger are two subjects I salivate over and this one looked to be just the fix I needed. From the start Britt, the human lead in the story, makes himself an invaluable ingredient, from his firm principles to just knowing how heíd survived a time in his life that would have crushed weaker men. Jess, tortured vampire attempting to make up for the wrongs of her brethren by becoming what amounts to a woman-led army turns out to be an engaging heroine. Tougher than most male heroes, I wondered at times if she would ever soften up and allow herself a little bit of joy. Overall I think this is a good beginning to a series that could become groundbreaking with a few changes. Like speed up some of the action, it took too long for certain parts of the story to come together which leaves Lina Gardiner with the risk of losing readers if they arenít willing to wait out the lull periods.  Also letís see more action between Britt and Jess; if others around her can find love so can she. I canít wait to see whatís in store for Jess next because if the ending was an indication she wonít be resting for long.


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