BFTA Review: Elle Jasper – Afterlight


Title: Afterlight
Series: Dark Ink Chronicles #1
Author: Elle Jasper
Signet Eclipse
Rating: 3/5

Savannah’s most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe, lives on the edge. Now she’s put over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires. Her only ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley’s beauty and rare blood type. To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley faces dangers she’s never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour it all…(

This is one of those books I picked up just for the cover. I really like the blue background, though I’m trying to figure out the buildings in the background. I don’t recall seeing any buildings like that outside possibly New Orleans, but it’s possible. Savannah is an old Southern city, too.

I have a lot of books with the heroine on the cover, standing with her back facing out. A. Lot. But I really like that she’s standing in the foreground; there’s no washing over her with blue tones. Her tattoo stands out, bright against her skin, and her hair stands out, too. I’m still trying to figure out the dagger she’s holding, because I don’t remember it being in the story. She looks like a bad ass, like Riley Poe is supposed to be. (Okay, so I picked the book up because of the girl’s tattoo.)

At first, I really liked this book. I did. I could look past just how not-bad ass Riley was, though she tried to be. I even liked Eli, Riley’s vampire protection.

I liked him until he admitted he was sneaking into Riley’s room to watch her sleep, and my stalker alert went off in my head. What is with this trend in urban fantasy that it’s somehow okay for the male lead to sneak into the female’s house, into her room, and watch her sleep? That’s not okay, no matter how it’s handled.

Riley, as a main character, is very frustrating. She’s one of those people that can’t keep her mouth shut, has to be first, and does whatever she wants, to the detriment of herself (and sometimes others). For once, I just wanted her to listen to Eli, or Preacher. Just once. The other problem I had was that everyone just loved Riley. Eli’s family, Preacher, even one of the bad guys. Her tattoo is bad-ass, she dresses kind of like a goth or a punker… It came across as too much of a Mary Sue to be likable.

The “sinister cult” her brother is taken by is a group of his own friends. I was mis-lead by the cover blurb; I thought it would be an actual group of bad guys. Instead, I get two bad guys and a bunch of crazy teenagers. Nothing too scary about that.

Jasper’s vampires, though, are original. They’re not the sparkly vampires of daydreams, they are definitely the stuff of nightmares. They hide their vampire faces, but Riley describes them pretty well, and I got this weird picture in my head, like Pennywise the Clown’s face in the sewer, except without the clown makeup and big red hair.

“I blinked in surprise, and just that fast his face grew close and sickly distorted, his jaw unhinged, and every tooth in his mouth grew long, sharp, jagged, his eyes no longer blue but pure white, with only a pinpoint bloodred pupil.” (p. 99)

I’m looking forward to catching the next installment in June of 2011.

Originally posted 14 December 2010.
Note: Since I posted this, book two came out. I read that. Since then, books three and four in the series have come out. I haven’t yet managed to read three and four, but five is expected out this year, so I guess I better get crackin’!


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