Reviewed by Katy O’Dowd
What they say: Judgement of Souls is a Gothic horror in which a naïve pure-blood Vampire is tossed into the mortal world. Rachel meets Daniel, a nightclub owner and his group of friends and after Daniel’s best friend is murdered by Max, becomes embroiled in the search. Rachel tries to fight off her feelings for Daniel, even siding with her Vampire friend Arun to think again about Daniel’s involvement, but he’s her love and she’s going to protect him, no matter what.
What I say: This book is also being marketed as paranormal romance – but it would also do well in a young adult capacity. Even though there are a couple of sex scenes, they are over quickly (if you’ll excuse the pun) so Teens These Days would be fine.
The premise is neat, vampire meets mortal with rather interesting family history, vampire falls in love with mortal and mortal with vampire. Rival vampire factions fight to gain control over a relic – in this case a scroll and then a book – which will in turn give whoever has said relic control over more or less everyone.
Set mainly in Cardiff, and action rather than plot driven, the writing is sparse and goes at a steady whack. It has an intriguing opening, and readers who prefer their vampires in a modern-day setting and coming out fighting should enjoy this book.
I don’t say this lightly, nor do I wish to detract from the author’s hard work – the copy I was sent for review was riddled with mistakes, and in my opinion what Judgement of Souls: The Kiss of Dawn really needs is an edit to turn it from a good book into a great book. The grammatical errors are annoying for the reader, and take away from the enjoyment of the book. Other reviews that I have come across on the internet, on the whole, are good, so perhaps the Kindle release is an edited version. I really hope so, and if not they should be easy to fix.
Having said the above, all of the elements are there, and the last third of the book is superb and very engaging. It’s so very nearly there it’s tantalising. The fight scenes are well written, and Arun in particular is a stand-out character. A good debut, which I would have enjoyed more had it been error-free.
Editor’s note: The review copy was in fact an uncorrected proof. We have since been assured by the author that the final version was heavily edited.