Sunday, 10 November 2013
Pretty When She Kills by Rhiannon Frater
"Amaliya Vezorak never believed in happy endings... When Amaliya harnessed her necromancer powers to defeat her greatest enemy, she believed she had finally found a happy ending with Cian, her lover and master of Austin. That happiness is short-lived when the vampire ruling over San Antonio attempts a takeover of Austin in order to capture Amaliya and use her power for his own devices.
To make matters worse, Samantha, Cian's ex-fiancée, is seeing ghosts; the untested vampire hunters of Austin are running scared as a supernatural war looms; a mysterious man is hunting Amaliya with the help of her one time lover, Pete; and Rachon, the Summoner's favourite progeny, appears to be out for revenge.
When Amaliya's grandmother, a powerful medium, experiences terrible visions that reveal there is another necromancer vampire and she is crying out for help, Amaliya realises happy endings do not come easily..."
Quite often in trilogies, the second part is the weakest of the three. In my opinion, that isn't so in this instance. Pretty When She Kills is every bit as good as Pretty When She Dies. Amaliya has grown more powerful since the first book and her control of the dead is impressive. Being a powerful vampire is impressive. Being a powerful vampire who can control a graveyard full of zombies to do her bidding is even more impressive. Little wonder then that other vampires from around Texas and further afield want to control Amaliya. The cast has grown now to the point where Amaliya and Cian have their own Scooby Gang, made up of an eclectic group of humans and supernatural beings, just as Buffy the Vampire Slayer had. Sure, Amaliya may be the number one target of powerful outside forces but she is not on her own and her allies are quite capable of defending each other. This is one of the things that I love about these books. The interplay between the principal characters crackles with great dialogue and much humour. Amaliya is exactly the kind of heroine I'd root for in a story. In the first book, she tended to run away from her problems. Now, she'll still run but if cornered she'll fight to a standstill. You can see her developing from a fledgling vampire into a kick ass killing machine. Actually, there is a lot of character development in Pretty When She Kills. Samantha, in particular, emerges from her shell to become a much liked character in her own right. Now she is no longer as annoying as she used to be and with her ghost vision she actually becomes a useful member of the group.
The story is fast paced and full of twists and turns. New characters are introduced and developed and old characters return, some unexpectedly. Rhiannon isn't afraid of killing off major characters and Amaliya suffers a heart rending loss when someone very dear to her is killed. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the book to see who it is. As with Pretty When She Dies, as soon as I read Pretty When She Kills, I wanted to read the final part of the trilogy, Pretty When She Destroys.
Pretty When She Kills costs £7.25 if bought at Amazon.UK. Once again, I enjoyed it so much I have to award it a 10 out of 10 rating. A superb addition to a superb series.