This fall I borrowed Crimson City by Liz Maverick read by Rebecca Rogers from the library. Crimson City is the new name for Los Angeles after a bloody war between vampires and werewolves. A tentative truce has come into existence, and it is threatened by assassinations of high level members of the vampires.
Once, this was the City of Angels. The angels are no longer in charge. From the extravagant appetites of the vampire world above, to the gritty defiance of the werewolves below, the specter of darkness lives around every corner, the hope of paradise in every heart. All walk freely with humans in a tentative peace, but to live in Los Angeles is to balance on the edge of a knife. One woman knows better than most that death lurks here in nights of bliss or hails of UV bullets. She’s about to be tested, to taste true thirst. She’s about to regain the power she’s long been denied. And Fleur Dumont is about to meet the one man who may understand her: a tormented protector who’s lost his way and all he loved.
The story is told from two points of view. Fleur is vampire royalty, but has less ranking than she should in her community because of a youthful indiscretion. Dain is a human investigator who is assigned to the case and must work with Fleur to figure out who is targeting the Vampires and by extension the truce. What I thought started out as a really good concept, ground to a halt for me as the story and romance progressed. Fleur and Dain are rather one dimensional characters that can’t step off of their stereotype soap boxes and with some very overtly misogynistic tendencies thrown in there, without any hit of mutually agreed upon bondage contractual relationships or internal reflection on whether it is right or wrong, what I was hoping was a fun urban fantasy romance disappointingly sizzles away to nothing.
It is possible future books explore the characters in more depth and their relationship comes under scrutiny, but without a solid foundation to work from I am not that interested in finding out. Though future books are written by different authors, so maybe I should.
Rebecca Rogers was a decent narrator/ voice over actor. Her voices were not all that different, but as long as I don’t hate the sound of a narrators voice, I don’t really care about voices so much. It’s not one I would go out and buy the audiobook of to listen to again and again like some of my other books, but it is hard to tell if that is because of the author or the narrator.
There were some minor characters that I actually found more engaging and the entire premise is right up my ally, so there were enough interesting things happening that I finished the book. The case solving aspect was definitely a better plot than the romance aspect was. It’s an easy read, but not campy enough to overlook the plot holes and not engaging enough to want to find out if the characters develop into anything more than stereotypes. Which is sad, because UV bullets to kill vampires and fight scenes with creatures that can basically fly should be a story that I can wholeheartedly endorse. If you are looking for an easy read that is more about brain resting than deep analysis Crimson City is a decently written urban fantasy novel.
Read a review from Likes Books.