Two WordPress posts in one day! This is unheard of!
Maybe I should embrace snow days more often as it appears they render me more productive than usual 😉
Anyway it’s time for me to review. As you know I’m guilty of not doing these as much as I should and this is certainly the case with Dance on Fire by James Garcia Jr. I read this book probably back in September of last year and have promised Jimmy a review ever since. To be honest, I think he’s probably given up hoping I might finally put words to page in honour of his first novel, but a promise is a promise.
And also, of course, when you read something you enjoy, it’s only right you give it a damn good shout-out.
Dance on Fire takes place in the small town of Kingsburg, California and centres around Detective Michael Lopez, his wife Barbara and their children; ten year old Jerod and infant twins Robbie and Rebekah. The town and its residents are preparing for the annual Swedish festival, only this year, it’s not just the tourists heading into town. Darkness has arrived in Kingsburg, and quickly makes its presence known by brutally attacking and killing two police officers.
Soon, more bodies turn up and Detective Lopez and his colleagues fear they have a serial killer on the loose…albeit one who drains his victims dry and decapitates them. This is definitely no relative of the Cullen clan. Hailing from Romania and from the very castle built by Vlad Tepes himself, Vincent is the vampire we all learned to fear when we were children. He is, quite simply, the beast of our nightmares; cruel, merciless, violent and evil. Drawn to Kingsburg in search of his ‘son’, Nathaniel, Vincent leaves nothing but mutilated bodies in his path as he seeks to find the man he imprisoned as a boy and whom he eventually turned into a vampire; so desperate he was for a companion.
The hunt is on and Jimmy does a great job of sowing those seeds of doubt in your mind where Nathaniel is concerned. With dead bodies turning up left, right and centre and the police force in a state of panic, you’re never really sure whether the beautiful Nathaniel is part of the murder trail or whether he just happens to be in the wrong town at the wrong time.
With edge-of-your-seat action and nail-biting events, Jimmy leads you on a chase around town, where you’re desperate to find out where the evil will strike next, and is it turns out, the danger is always much closer than you think.
Okay, let me just point out this is a vampire novel with a difference. These days when you can’t turn the page without bumping into a hot sparkly vampire or a bit of paranormal erotica, it’s refreshing to find a novel without either. Okay, so I’m lying a little bit as tortured-soul vampire Nathaniel is pretty hot, but what I liked about Dance on Fire is that it does lean towards original vampire legend where the vampires are more likely to drain you dry and rip your head off, rather than sleep with you.
Yes, I know, vampire erotic fiction is incredibly popular, but surely there are still readers out there who just want a damn good vampire novel without anyone messing too much with the traditional myth?
One thing I must admit I was never sure about, was the religious element to Dance on Fire. Jimmy refers to the novel as a ‘Christian/horror crossover’ and prior to reading it, I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to work or whether I would even like it, not being overly religious myself. The Christian thread focuses around Barbara Lopez and is mostly concerned with how she uses her faith to pull her through certain situations. Surprisingly, this didn’t bother me at all and I would urge it not to put you off either as it certainly isn’t done in a way where you feel religion or Christianity is being shoved down your throat.
Instead, overall, I was left with a sense of family, a sense of belonging, of finding oneself, of love and sacrifice. And some bloody suspenseful good-versus-evil battles and a few more casualties along the way 🙂
Okay, so if you’re only into vampire erotica, this probably isn’t the book for you, but if you remember the myth before vampires got all sexy, then I would definitely recommend this as something different and refreshing to read amidst a sea of sparkly vamps.
Great work Jimmy and apologies for taking way too long to tell you how much I enjoyed it!