Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Sunset

Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: I originally read and reviewed this book in August, 2011. Since my original reading of the trilogy, I have become a beta reader for Arshad Ahsanuddin, and my re-read was of the third edition upcoming of the paperback.

Disclaimer: My original review was done after having received a free copy of the first edition of the ebook in exchange for an honest review. This review is only slightly altered to fit in my current standard of reviewing.

Synopsis: Bloodlust, desire, supernatural powers, and conflicting passions ignite on every page of Sunset, the groundbreaking vampire drama by Arshad Ahsanuddin. With millennia-old magic, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive new series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans who battle for dominance in the not-too-distant future. In Sunset, the action starts in Los Angeles in the year 2040. The terrorist Medusa and her followers lay siege to a star-studded celebrity awards ceremony, complete with a nuclear bomb. One individual, the vampire Nicholas Jameson, must come forth in all his supernatural might to thwart the imminent mass destruction. As Nick takes on the terrorists, the fragile peace between the races hangs perilously in the balance as the supernatural peoples are exposed. It is up to Nick to uphold the Armistice formed by these tenuous factions. As conflict escalates for the imperiled Armistice, Nick must undertake whatever means necessary to secure peace for his family, friends, and the world as he knows it. Can Nick overtake the dark forces and guide the humans and metahumans into coexistence? As clashes rage and desires smolder, Sunset offers a gripping tale of fantastical political intrigue that is certain to pique the passions of vampire fans and hot-blooded romance devotees alike.

My Thoughts: If I could, I would give this 10 out of 5 stars – this is one of the most amazing things I’ve read in … a long time. I was initially intrigued by Arshad’s description in our forum that it was a “gay vampire” story – but it is SO much more than that. It is a romance of unbelievable beauty; it is an adventure, full of thrills, excitement and terror; it is a science fiction story, part space opera, and has elements of self-sacrifice for the greater good; it is about vampires, and magic-users and humans and how difficult it is for everyone to try to live together – but how wonderful it is when they do. It is about redemption, hope, love and growth. It is … AMAZING. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

The basic plot revolves around Nick Jameson, who is known as a Daywalker, or a vampire who has been redeemed and received back his soul. He is instrumental in stopping a plot that would have destroyed the greater Los Angeles area with a nuclear bomb; as a result, the metahumans are exposed to humans, and Nick is then appointed as the Ambassador to Humanity. We are introduced to the various races – the Nightwalkers, who are the vampires; the Daywalkers (already described) and the Sentinels, who are magic-users genetically programmed to hunt and kill the vampires. In North America, an unprecedented situation has been created where a truce has been put into effect – the Armistice. Opposed to the Armistice are the unaffiliated Sentinels and the Court of the Nightwalkers.

I can’t go into the plot much, because I don’t want to spoil things - I will say that I laughed many times; I cried several times, too, and that is very unusual for me. I felt like these characters had become my own friends, confidantes and enemies – Arshad is masterful at descriptions and characterizations, and you will come out of this book truly feeling like you just returned from another world.

This book is followed by Sunrise and Moonlight, which were the original trilogy. Later was Starlight as well as a number of novellas, which are being incorporated into the 3rd edition paperbacks. I absolutely love this series of books, and it is only lack of time that stops me re-reading them over and over.

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