Friday, January 7, 2011

Review - Darkened Hills by Gary Lee Vincent

TITLE:    Darkened Hills
AUTHOR:    Gary Lee Vincent
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 248 pages
PUBLISHED:   Burning Bulb Publishing, 2010
ISBN#:   978-1-4538-4485-4
HOW I GOT IT:   Won from LibraryThing Early Reviewers program

FROM GOODREADS:  When evil descends on a small West Virginia town, who will survive? 
Jonathan did not start out his life to become a rambler, it just worked out that way. William was a troubled youth with something to hide. Both were from Melas, a small town tucked away in the West Virginia hills… a town where disappearances are happening more and more frequently.

After the suicide of a wanted serial killer, the townsfolk thought the nightmare was over. But when a centuries-old vampire is discovered they find out the hard way it’s just getting started.

Dark secrets can only stay hidden for so long and when the devil comes to collect, there will be hell to pay. Can Jonathan and William find a way to stop the vampire before it’s too late?  Find out in Darkened Hills!

Darkened Hills is a Gothic vampire novel written in the spirit of Dracula with much more sinister characters and much more eroticism then the old Victorian classic.

** Warning: this book contains violence, sex, adult language and is intended for a mature audience. Reader discretion is advised. **

MY TAKE:   I'm sorry that I just couldn't get into this book. I was very excited to have won it from LibraryThing and looked forward to the review. But I had several issues that kept me from enjoying the story. 
First of all, the character names really threw me for a loop as they are the same from Bram Stoker's "Dracula": Jonathan Harker, Mina (Wilhelmina), Lucy and Raymond Renfield.  It was distracting as I kept picturing the characters from the original vampire saga.
This is definitely NOT a book for young readers.  It is very violent and gory and there are a lot of gratuitous sex scenes.  I'm not squeamish by any means, but there was a section regarding torturing cats that I found extremely offensive.  That part pretty much overshadowed the rest of the book for me. 
This is not one of the glittery, sparkly teen angst vampire novels.  The storyline is a much darker, monster story that is what nightmares are made of.   I think that if the author had used original character names and hadn't gone as much for the bloody shock value, his plot could have really made for a much better and longer story.  The basic bones are there but I just couldn't get past the points I mentioned above. 
I do want to note that I LOVE the cover and that several readers on Goodreads  and LibraryThing had a completely different response to the book.  This review is strictly MY personal reaction to it and I hope you'll check out what others thought of it.  I appreciate the author and LibraryThing giving me a chance to read the book.   

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

WHERE TO BUY IT:    Amazon, IndieBound
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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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