I can't believe I hadn't posted this. So for Jepad who wanted to know what I thought of it - here's the review. :)
The Turning tells the story of Dr. Carrie Ames who is turned into a vampire following a vicious attack in the hospital morgue. As a vampire she now has the choice of following her evil vampiric sire Cyrus, or joining the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement. Nathan, a VVEM sanctioned executioner attempts to help her make a decision regarding her new life. But she only has a short time before the VVEM will add her to their hitlist.
This is perhaps one of the more realistic takes on vampirism I have read. It's gory, upsetting and violent. And whilst it's probably not for those readers who prefer a more romantic story I found it a refreshing change to some of the defanged heroes around at the moment. From the horrific scene where Carrie is attacked, to the brutality she witnesses at Cyrus's mansion. It's a good job there are some lighter moments to balance the darkness. Indeed for a short while we have an endearing dysfunctional vampire family.
The problem I think Jennifer Armintrout has is convincing the reader that Carrie is equally drawn to both Cyrus (her sire) and Nathan (her rescuer). It's easy to accept she is attracted to Nathan - who wouldn't be. Cyrus is more problematic - given all that he is and does - and I don't think JA quite pulls it off. This is where I think The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein works slightly better, though it's not really fair to compare the two as they are telling different stories. But in The Becoming you can see why the heroine would fall for a vampire, only realising he's a sociopath when it's too late. In The Turning we see the callous disregard Cyrus has for human life and it's harder to understand why Carrie doesn't walk away, or do something.
Cyrus's magnetism almost has to be experienced rather than read about, and I didn't get far enough into Carrie's head to share it with her. In the end I just had to accept that the instinctive, animalistic pull towards Cyrus enhanced by the blood tie is as compelling as the pull towards Nathan.
As someone who is plunged into a world they don't understand Carrie inevitably makes mistakes - some with higher consequences than others. She is an independent heroine, determined to see shades of grey in a world where she is told there is only black and white.
Possession (Book 2) is available now.
Ashes to Ashes (Book 3) is released August 2007