Title: Dhampir Passions
Author: Mary Corrales
Publisher: Eternal Press, 2009
Buy Link: Buy Dhampir Passions Here!
Rating: You Could Read
Reviewer: Nerine Dorman
Can everlasting love be found in a paranormal cauldron of greed, bloodlust, passion and murder?
Living in the post-war American Western Barrans, Linea Kamiya is in danger of becoming a vamp master's minion. While she hides Desmondi's evil mark from the townsfolk of Whickeup, the town council intends to take her farmland for themselves. Linea's only hope lies with an enigmatic stranger.
Raduslav Dracula is hunting for the vampire who stole the Draculesti Bloodstone from his family's gravesite. When Radu's attraction to Linea turns physical, he knows he will have to battle with his heart as well as the demon Desmondi.
Is the half-blood Dhampir strong enough to embrace his own cursed nature to defeat Desmondi?
Dhampir Passions presents an intriguing premise in its dystopian futuristic setting but misses the mark when it comes to solid world-building and overall execution. For one, I feel that there's a lot of "tell" but not enough "show". It's all fine and well to have mutant "Mammoth Wheat" but I wanted to see this; know more about the mechanics and sociology of this post-apocalyptic world. The villagers seem to react with mob mentality, as an example. A lot of intriguing threads are presented, but are not fully developed.
The pacing also needed attention, progressing often in a very haphazard fashion. As a reader I felt rushed, the characters not given enough space to develop their motivations, which were murky, at best. At times the text felt awkward and some of the word choices out of place. Linea comes across as a bit of a Mary Sue, Radu idealized and a bit too stoic for his own good. I wanted to connect with them, but couldn't.
I felt that the author was holding me at arm's length, as though I were reading the script for a TV programme. In fact, I felt that distance of a viewer, rather than reader, who emotionally engages with a story. I really wanted to like Dhampir Passions but, to be quite honest, it needed a lot more work before publication. This is very much a case of "almost, but not quite there" for author Mary Corrales.