Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunset, Pact Arcanum: Book One by Arshad Ahsanuddin (3.5 stars)

From Amazon: Book One of the gay vampire saga Pact Arcanum.

With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive new series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.

Los Angeles, 2040. The terrorist Medusa and her followers threaten to destroy the metropolis with a nuclear bomb. One individual, the vampire Nicholas Jameson, comes forward to oppose them. As Nick takes on the terrorists, the fragile peace between the races hangs perilously in the balance as the supernatural peoples are exposed.

How many awards shows have you watched? How stunned would you be if one was taken over by a terrorist on live television? But that’s only the beginning… who saves the day but a space-travelling vampire.

Nick Jameson has suffered and sacrificed, both of which have hardened him to love. He’s a vampire, but of a special breed—he’s been redeemed, earning back his soul, and can walk in the day. When he steps up to be a hero, his world is revealed to humans. Can our world, particularly the United States government, find a way to peacefully coexist?

Wouldn’t you love a synopsis of how it all goes down? I’m sure. But I must admit, it’s so intricate and involved that trying to summarize it might just make my brain explode. I can tell you not one word is wasted. Everything that happens leads to the ultimate battle and conclusion. Each character is well-defined and serves a purpose. So much so that I truly believe this book could have been separated into two parts. There’s just so much going on.

Let me also address the white elephant in the room. Prior to this book, I had never read a novel with detailed homosexual love scenes. While a bit uncomfortable for me, and I would say this about overly detailed heterosexual love scenes, they provided a much-needed look into the character of Nick Jameson. His male relationships, and gradual maturation process from sleeping around to finding love, is crucial to the story.

Although I admired the story (and world) the author creates, the constant jumping around in time and the details about the vampire/Sentinel society became overwhelming. I felt bogged down reading it. About halfway through, with my brain packed to capacity, the book started really moving. From that point on, it was a great read full of twists and turns and anxious excitement.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a different take on vampires or readers who love intricately built fictional worlds. Just be prepared to constantly visit the opening glossary and the timeline at the end to keep things straight.

Rating: 3.5 stars

On GoodReads and Amazon, the rating will be listed as a 3 since I believe it’s closer to a 3 than a 4.

About the Author
According to Amazon, Arshad Ahsanuddin is a hematopathologist. The irony of a physician who specializes in blood disease writing a series of vampire novels is not lost upon him. For more information, please visit his website, Pact Arcanum Series.
Note: I received a complimentary copy to review from World Literary Café. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.