"Reinke creates a vivid world"
Sara Reinke starts with the good tenant for an author:
write about what you know. Thus her setting Dark Thirst in
Kentucky is a solid move. The Kentucky writer opens this
highly original vampire tale, with a clan of vampires,
originally made up of four families. They own a huge,
isolated track of land; called "The Brethren", people give
them a wide birth. Reinke demonstrates a strong world
building in creating the hellish, throwback existence of
The Brethren. The only people permitted near their
compound are migrant illegals (a problem in Kentucky ,
actually). These poor unsuspecting souls are often used as
servants, but more generally end up as din din, killed
without a concern.
Like all vamps, they have long lives. They are strong,
heal fast, and are damn hard to kill. Very throwback, with
the men being the chest-thumping protectors of the clan;
the females are relegated to being the 'little woman',
caring for their homes and their men. Marriages are set up
with no cares to the woman's wishes, very archaic, seeing
young teenagers married to older (much older men). Women
are permitted no say in the marriages, no say in just about
anything. The males eat first; the women only are
permitted to eat after the males have finished
(intriguingly reflecting old "hills" turn-of-the-century
mentality of Kentucky and the South). The members of The
Brethren never leave the compound; they especially never
leave the clan.
But naturally, a writer lays down rules only to break
them. Brandon Noble is the grandson of the head of the
Brethren, Augustus, (ala Brando in The Godfather, only he
makes Brando appear a choirboy by measure!). Brandon has
run afoul of the strict rules set forth by the secluded
clan and it may cost his life. When he was younger, he
accidentally came upon a robbery in progress. The robbers
attacked Brandon , and nearly killed him, which left him
deaf and unable to speak. Worse even still, he shuns the
blood rituals of The Brethren. A big no no in their
world. When he finally manages to leave, he knows he will
be on the run for his life.
Brandon attempts to leave the compound, and now once more
he is on the run. He goes to his only friend, but the
friend isn't there. He meets Lina Jones, the friend's
sister, and she wants to help him, but they have a world of
problems to over come, despite their growing attraction.
Reinke creates a vivid world, mixing the vampire clan with
old country codes, gives you a hero that is white, a
heroine black, basically saying she is not going to follow
the patterns of all the writers before her. With this
impressive novel, the author boldly cuts a vivid debut
(mass-market debut, as Reinke has other books out with
smaller presses). To check the measure of this author's
talent read her The Unexpected Engagement, a Regency
I am eager to see what the author will do with the next
book in the series.
Reviewed by: Deborah MacGillivray, author
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted December 19, 2007
When Brandon Noble and Angelina Jones first met, he was an awkward teenager harboring a crush on his tutor's sister. Five years later, Angelina is a streetwise cop who's sure she's seen it all, until Brandon comes back into her life—lean, handsome, possessing a strange, powerful allure. and a terrifying secret.
Brandon is one of the Brethren, an ancient clan of ruthless vampires. Like other Brethren families, the Nobles have accumulated great wealth and prestige, never marrying outside of their kin, never leaving the isolated Kentucky farmlands where they live, undetected, among their prey. Horrified by his birthright, Brandon shunned the ritual of the first kill, earning the Brethren's lasting wrath. But the exhilarating passion he and Angelina share rouses the primitive impulses he has tried so hard to deny. And even if Brandon can protect Angelina from his enemies, can he save her from his own dark thirsts?