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Friday, January 29, 2010
Review - The Abraxas Series - Cinsearae Santiago
Title: The Abraxas Series: books 1-3
Author: Cinsearae Santiago
Publisher: Cinsearae Santiago
Rating: You Want to Read
Christine Vargas is an independent, young working class-girl violently swept into another world--a world deemed unrealistic and impossible by many, a world under the mundane one she is so used to. During her physical transition, she has to come to grips with new powers she has been bestowed, and join up with her new 'Lord', Ryan Price, a gentleman of high social status, and twice her age. Her “new family” is a motley crew of young vampires, and among the family are two rebellious twins trying to dethrone Ryan and take over the clan with their own legion of bloodthirsty (and drug-hungry), zombie-like vamps. Only Christine can determine the outcome of the oncoming battle and must chose quickly before the unthinkable happens.
Usually, when I see that an author has self-published, I have some concern with regard to the quality of the writing, but Santiago’s offering was a pleasant surprise. It is clear that she invests much time and energy to produce a product she can be proud of.
Overall, Santiago’s storytelling is clear and flows well, providing a seamless transition between dialogue and narrative, which kept me engaged. She notices small details and the dialogue between some of the characters was fully of snappy comebacks, which often had me smiling to myself.
The story moves quickly, from Christine’s change and transition into the murky world of supernatural beings, to her burgeoning relationship with Ryan as they face a number of challenges standing in the way of their love. The novel is divided into three books containing definite story arcs that are concluded, with enough follow-through to the next section to keep the pages turning. However, although entertaining, I felt each story arc concluded with too little effort or development on the characters’ parts, but still provided enough entertainment to continue reading.
Often-willful Christine Vargas embarks upon her Cinderella-like rise to good fortune with many misgivings, and I enjoyed her conflict at being thrust into a completely different, if rather opulent, world. What I appreciated about her as the viewpoint character was her working-girl humor. She never loses her naïveté, which is a definite endearing quality. Christine’s story is supported by a host of varied, quirky characters, whose interactions often result in often amusing interchanges and somewhat unpredictable situations.
My inner editor, on the other hand, kept wanting to reach out for a red pen. The only major criticism I can level at this work is that it could have used a tighter edit to push an already promising story past the small grammatical gremlins that occasionally leapt out at me.
If vampires and involved emotional interchanges are your thing, you’ll enjoy Santiago’s writing. Highly inventive, she’s successfully taken the vampire mythos away from the usual direction I see all too often in the urban fantasy genre. This one’s a Gothic Cinderella, with some bite.