Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Sunrise

Sunrise by Arshad Ahsanuddin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: I originally read and reviewed this book in August of 2011. I have since become a beta-reader for Arshad Ahsanuddin and the book I just re-read is the prospective 3rd edition for the paperback edition. Minimal changes to the review are designed to bring this into line with my current reviewing standards.

Disclosure: The original review was done on an ebook edition (1st edition) that I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Sunrise, the action-packed second book in the groundbreaking vampire saga by Arshad Ahsanuddin, again amps up the bloodlust, desire, supernatural powers, and conflicting passions that converge—and clash—in this world torn by warring factions of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans. This inventive foray into the homoerotic world of humans and vampires is certain to stir the senses of those enthralled by the genre. This prequel to Sunset charts the rise of the Armistice, as Takeshi, Anaba, and Rory realize their supernatural destinies and embark upon a fantastical foray into a netherworld where vampires and vampire hunters war by night.

It is the year 2015 in San Francisco, and three musicians of the band Nightfall are out celebrating the long-awaited triumph of their debut album. Their fates are forever changed when a sudden attack in a deserted alley propels them into a millennia-old battle that tries their allegiances and changes the very nature of their beings. After the attack, Takeshi, Anaba, and Rory are thrust unwillingly into a nightmarish world of metahuman predators as each has been chosen to play a pivotal role in this supernatural skirmish for global dominance. Takeshi is born to be the Wind of Earth, leader of the Sentinels, mystical soldiers in an endless war of extermination against the Nightwalkers who prey upon humanity. Anaba is transformed into the Wind of Fire, the strongest spellcaster of her generation. Rory wields the unparalleled psychic power of the Wind of Air, and who should have been their strongest ally, is taken by their enemies and forged into a weapon to bring them down. Can the three put aside their differences to defeat the bloodthirsty evil they face, or will their fledgling alliance be destroyed by the dark forces that have aligned against them? All the while, hidden longings and crises of conscience come together in a vampire tale of intrigue and romance certain to get your blood pumping and your heart racing.

My thoughts: This second book in the Pact Arcanum is a prequel to Sunset, providing us a more in-depth look at many of the events that led to the events in that novel. We see the origination of the Armistice, the early days of Nick’s career, his budding friendships and relationships that exist later in his life, his descent in the darkness of addiction and his friends’ attempts to help him rise back up again. We also get a bit more of a look at some of the players in the Court of Shadows, the Nightwalkers. The addition of the information from the novella Radiant Burn adds the background information that was formerly missing, and provides much additional action that I found particularly compelling.

The Pact Arcanum is becoming a friend – the world and character-building that Arshad has put into this story is so amazing, I can’t even explain properly. You have to read it – it is so many things, so much more than a gay sci-fi vampire story. I won’t repeat the gushing from my review of Sunset - I can hope that you have read that review as well (and if not, you can find it here if you are viewing this where links will show) – but will say that this book is a worthy continuation of the series, and that it also comes with my highest recommendation.

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  1. I agree, Arshad's world is fantastic and the short stories add a lot the development.

    1. He mostly wrote those at the instigation of us, his fans, clamoring for more ... :-) I like what he did with the first two books for the 3rd edition, but apparently the addition of the novella into this 3rd book in the series, Moonlight, doesn't work as well. We'll see - I haven't reached that point yet, and since I'm editing this weekend, I might not even finish the book for awhile *le sigh*


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