Early Book Review: Dead of Night by Lynn Viehl

Dead of Night by Lynn Viehl is a young adult novel set for release on July 8 2012. It is also the second book in the Youngbloods series, the first book is After Midnight, which I have not read. I somehow missed the fact that it was a part of a series until I started reading, but I was quickly up to speed. Catlyn Youngblood has vampire blood and the blood of vampire hunters, or Van Helsings, running through her veins. Her unique heritage gives her many gifts, like the ability to draw cats to her side when she needs help. Her older brothers are extremely protective and have their own secrets, concerns, and gifts. Her brothers do not think that she remembers what happened in After Midnight, mainly falling in love with Jesse and the fact that her oldest brother has the ability to alter memories. In Dead of Night Cat gets a job cataloging the inventory of the town's bookstore, and a collection of rare books left to the owner when a local recluse dies. Meanwhile, someone is kidnapping girls from town that bear a striking resemblance to Cat, and the family's new mare is still very skittish and ready to foal. Can Cat and Jesse find the missing girls and stop the kidnapper while keeping their relationship from their families?

Dead of Night does not have oodles of romance, though there is significant how huge their love is and the problems that their relationship causes. I think the majority of the love story is in After Midnight. Catlyn is a strong female character, determined to stand on her own two feet rather than waiting for others to fix her life. Although there are a few times where she puts herself in danger, it is not done in a careless fashion, she goes in eyes wide open rather than just jumping in to situations without planning. Jesse is a complex character, despite some revelations into his inner life, I do not feel like we got to see very much of him or come to understand him much more through this storyline.

Cat's brothers, Patrick and Grayson (or Trick and Gray) are complex characters in their own right. They each have their own challenges and obviously love their little sister, in fact it is that love that causes them to make very painful decisions. Despite all the paranormal or mystical aspects to their lives, and the world they live in, the have a very believable and heart-felt relationship. As someone who has a big brother of her own, although none of the gifts Cat possesses, I am well versed in the love hate relationship between big brothers and little sisters. It rings true in the story. The only brother related thing that bothered me happened only because I was reading an ARC, and I expect the problem to have been fixed by final publication. There were a couple spots in the text where Gray was called Grim. At first I thought it was a joke about his attitude, but think it was an auto correct or spell check glitch instead.

I typically dislike starting a series anywhere other than with book one. However, sometimes I get a little trigger happy on NetGalley and request books that are part of a series I do not know. Thankfully, Dead of Night is written well, giving new readers the information needed to understand what is going on, without giving away everything that happened in the first book. I am interested enough if what came before to go and read the first book, knowing that although I know the final outcome there will be surprises on the way. That makes me like Dead of Night even more.

I recommend Dead of Night to readers that like new twists on vampire legend, enjoy paranormal or urban fantasy, or are coming back to the paranormal genre after burning out. Readers that enjoy mysteries as much as their paranormal plot lines will particularly enjoy this book. Although, I do suggest breaking from my example and reading the first book, After Midnight, first. I am hoping to pick up a copy and fill my knowledge gaps as soon as possible. I also plan on getting my hands on Dark of Heart, a novella about two of the secondary characters in the series which takes place in the same time frame as After Midnight.
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