by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Vance is a quetzal shapeshifter who lives with the vampires of Midnight in the 19th century. He has had everything he could want, but when a man visits the vampires and speaks with Vance, his dreamlike life starts to crack as Vance begins to question the actions of his beloved guardians and rulers of Midnight.
Vance has good conflicts, and even when he starts doubting, the vampires don’t change their characters. The consistency is nice because it makes it harder for Vance and easier for the reader to understand him. I did not like Vance as a character, though, and I felt that a lot of his thoughts and doubts were forced. He would arrive at a state of mind suddenly and then sit there for a while instead of gradually coming to realizations, and, given what happened to him throughout the book, I’m not sure Vance really would have gotten to where he ended up mentally at the end.
The world it is set in is well developed with indications of other countries and the depth of an entire world, not just the city it takes place in. The relations between the different types of shapeshifters are interesting, as are the different talents they all have. The characters represented different types of thought to make Vance think about what was best and what needed to be fixed.
This is a 4.2. There was a good plot, solid writing, and I liked all the characters except for Vance. It is a soft, dense cookie, with nothing in it to interrupt the texture. Things happened as expected without much surprise. It is not large, but it is filling and afterwards, you feel satisfied with what you’ve eaten.