Vampire Watchmen

 It’s been a year since Samantha Carter blasted back to 1888, barely escaping with her life. Now, returned to present-day London with only her nymphomaniac flatmate for company, she’s starting to believe that everything – the blood-curdling vampires, her strange and sudden skills with a gun, even her mysterious lover Harry – was nothing but a dream.

Just when Sammy is about to lose all hope that her friends and memories were real, it finally happens again. This time she’s pulled back to a city she does not recognise: a London in the grip of a terrible plague, where death haunts the night and a deeper, darker threat lurks underground, waiting for its chance . . .

Fighting side by side with her friends once again, Sammy encounters horrors beyond her imagining; yet what really terrifies her are the endless questions, one most of all: who is she really? Torn between the life she longs for and the life she can believe in, Sammy must decide whether she’s brave enough to risk everything, even her heart . . .

Well, I have to say I enjoyed this book more than I did the first.  The writing was smoother although I still found it a little on the immature side, and while the story still jumped around from scene to scene without much transition it was easier to follow this time.

I warmed up more to the characters and Sammy in particular but I still found the connections hard – especially between Sammy and Harry.  Their sex scenes were much more readable but there still doesn’t seem to have been anywhere near enough interaction between them to make it seem real rather than a bit tawdry or meaningless.  Also the multiple references to listening to her nymphomaniac flatmate having sex (or Preacher and Louise) was a bit off-putting.

The plot makes a bit more sense in that it’s obviously going to be a recurring theme for Sammy to time travel but have no idea why or remember where, and the groundwork that should have been in the first book was finally present in the second one.  There are still some moments where Sammy does idiotic things for the plot’s sake and I find that hard to take – she is not a stupid woman yet does stupid things.  For example, she gets warned not to do something and with very good reasons and then she goes and does them anyway.  It just makes me facepalm.

By the end I did want to know more and Sammy and a couple of the other characters were starting to grow on me but overall, it was not a book I found gripping or exciting, and was just an OK read.  I will read the next book because the big picture plot is quite interesting, but I strongly hope the series continues to improve as much as this book did.

Book Information
  • Author: Tim O'Rourke
  • Series: Samantha Carter (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Vampire Seeker

 Samantha Carter believes a vampire is responsible for the brutal deaths of four women in London and finally she has the chance to catch him. Desperate to prove the killer’s identity, she chases him onto a late night tube train. But Samantha doesn’t reach the next station – instead she’s pulled into a very different journey, back in time to the Wild West – where friendship, desire and even love all come hand in hand with deadly danger.

To stay alive she’ll have to work out who to trust – and when to resist temptation. For Sammy’s nightmares are about to come true – vampires are real and more lethal than she ever imagined…

I’d heard a lot of good things about Tim O’Rourke so was quite looking forward to discovering his work.  Having just finished Vampire Seeker, I’ll be honest, I’m quite disappointed.

The story is written in a first person perspective, from the point of view of the female protagonist, Sammy.  Overall, the writing felt immature to me and in too many places it did not flow well at all.  The action felt very jumpy, and I just couldn’t settle into it.  At times, despite the perspective being Sammy’s, the author made assertions about what the other people were feeling, which broke the illusion of first person.

I think the hook of any book is to have characters you love or love to hate, someone you can root for and in all honesty, there was just no-one in Vampire Seeker that I felt this way about.  Even the main character was irritating, thinking one thing then doing the exact opposite the next minute.  If Sammy had been 18 and a bit starry eyed, it might have worked but she was supposed to be 22 and a smart girl.

The plot was convoluted for no apparent reason.  Things just came at you without any groundwork being laid, so it felt as if the author was just throwing things in to make it more interesting but without taking the time to blend it.  There were a couple of attempts at foreshadowing but they ended up being just obvious and clumsy.

I felt the masturbation leading into the only sex scene was actually quite cringe-worthy and on reflection, because there was no groundwork laid for this, apart from a few thoughts from Sammy thinking ‘he’ was a bit hot and some mild flirting, it made me slightly uncomfortable.  That’s on top of it being hurried and unrealistic.

There are some positives, it was a short book so it was easy to read and there were a few moments that made me chuckle.  I am going to read the second book because I’m hoping it might explain what the heck happened in the first one!

I’m sad because I really wanted to enjoy this book but it just didn’t do it for me at all.

Book Information
  • Author: Tim O'Rourke
  • Series: Samantha Carter (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★½☆☆☆