Summary from BN.com: Centuries ago, Raphael was a blasphemous knight who fought in the Crusades purely for his own mercenary benefit, and to satisfy his taste for killing. Now, condemned for his evil passions and hypocrisy, he wanders the earth a vampire, cursed with first-hand knowledge of the supernatural world he once denied existed. The powerful relic he still possesses from his days as a Crusader has been stolen by a rival vampire who has recruited an army of soulless underlings to aid him in spreading evil. At the time he learns this, Raphael has been hunting this vampire for nearly a century, and it seems the final battle is destined to take place in Prague.
For help in this quest, Raphael must enlist the aid of two humans, David and Susan, who suddenly find themselves immersed in a world they never imagined, entangled with supernatural forces they can't control. Susan, in particular, finds herself conflicted as she struggles with her inexplicable attraction to Raphael. In the end, both Susan and Raphael will be called upon to exercise courage and faith, and in the process, the question 'What would happen if a vampire truly accepted God?" is answered.
I don't normally read vampire stories though I have been intrigued with all the vampires that have been popping up in Christian fiction lately. Some of the books have been written well, others seem like the author was just trying to latch onto the latest trend. This new book from Debbie Viguie is one that has caught my eye because I know that she has written several YA paranormal books in the general market. Therefore she knows how to write for both audiences and I was looking forward to seeing how she would be able to skillfully blend vampires and faith together.
In order to read this book, I feel that one has to remove themselves from reality and place themselves into the world that Viguie has created. It's an alternate world, one where vampires and Jesus both exist. That itself could be highly controversial so it's best to not over think the story and just read it for enjoyment.
The vampires in this book are those that have been punished because of the abhorrent and evil behavior. They are not sparkly by any means. I was surprised at the references to all the traditional stereotypes of warding off vampires used in the book, apparently garlic and crosses are lethal. Romance and sexual tension play a role in this book. I feel like there's a lot of smoldering being done with some of the characters.
When it comes to the faith issue, I found the concept of vampires and Christianity intriguing though I will admit I didn't ponder it too much. To me this is a story to escape in and not to make me feel like I need to analyze it. I didn't find the religious references to be overly dominant. There are Bible verses at the beginning of each chapter that all reference blood in them. Other than this, there is also talk about the Crusades as well as a vampire monk. However I felt that this all fit with the story and didn't seem out of place in the world Viguie has created. I will be interested to see if non Christian fiction readers think there is too much religious emphasis and if Christian fiction readers think there is too little.
Overall, I have to say it's an intriguing read. To me, it reads more like paranormal romance than anything with some faith aspects thrown in. I wonder how those Bible verses at the beginning of each chapter were chosen. Did someone go on Biblegateway.com and search for all verses containing the word blood in it? I feel like the story has potential especially with how it just felt like it abruptly ended and we need to wait for the next book. I found it to be an entertaining read. Others who read more vampire fiction books that me probably will have more in depth things to say but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
BTW I swear the guy on the cover is Johnny Depp's twin.
Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie is published by Faithwords (2011)
This ARC was provided by the publisher
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