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Dissension by Adrienne Monson – Book Review

For fans that enjoy a bit of paranormal suspense, romance, and adventure blending into a tale of blood-thirsty vampires, Adrienne Monson is sure to please. The book starts horrifyingly enough with the typical club scene and a vampire selecting its next meal. We learn soon enough this isn’t any ordinary vamp. Leisha is a vampire with relationship problems. To complicate things, a young, teenage psychic name Samantha, with a full set of problems of her own, becomes entangled with the life of Leisha.

Dissension was difficult to get into at the beginning. Because of conflicts facing each of the main characters, it takes time to understand them. As pieces of the backstory are filled in, they become more real as characters, enabling the reader to sympathize and even like (or hate) them. The main plot revolves around Leisha, one of the first vampires to walk the earth 2,000 years ago. Her maker, Ptah, is a control freak who obsesses over her and enjoys dishing out torture and abuse.

A group of immortals are presented as a force to destroy the vamps. After explaining how the vampires were created in the first place, the author leaves the reader hanging as to how the immortals were created. But there they are, immortal and pledged to destroy vampires. War between the immortals and the vicious, blood-sucking vampires is on the horizon. One of the immortals has an unexpected personal relationship with the vampire Leisha from their past that adds extra layers of interest to resolving the crisis.

The main interest in this first book in the trilogy is the growing relationship between Samantha and the vampire, Leisha. Samantha first saves the vampire from being tortured and exploited by the government, then goes on the run with Leisha, escaping life with a cold-hearted father Samantha barely knows. A compelling bond forms which drives the story forward and keeps the pages turning as Leisha turns to her sworn enemies to protect the girl.

This is an excellent start for a first novel by Adrienne Monson. Some of the plot was a bit too coincidental to swallow, but still a fun, easy read full of adventure and daring. The book may be first of a trilogy, but it had a satisfying ending of its own while leaving the reader engaged in the characters and wanting more. There isn’t enough blood, gore, and hair-raising scares for a true fan of horror but for a paranormal suspense, it made for a fun adventure delving into the mind of a conflicted vampire. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Jolly Fish Press, the publisher, provided an early release of the novel for this review. The novel will become available for purchase on February 23, 2013.

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