Friday, February 22, 2008

Review: Death and the Maiden (Jonathan Barrett #2)

Death hasn't been easy for Jonathan Barrett. But aside from sleeping through the day and having to explain why e always skips his meals, things are finally starting to return to normal--or as normal as they can be, with soldiers stationed in town and an attempt on his father's life from inside their own home.

In order to find the culprit Jonathan must learn to control the new abilities his change has given him, and soon. Because if he's too late, the lives of everyone he loves could be forfeit.

Death and the Maiden, by P.N. Elrod, is the second book of the Jonathan Barrett, Gentleman Vampire Series. At the height of the American Revolutionary War (18th Century), Jonathan is a few years older and is growing accustomed to his new identity as a vampire. Unfortunately he hopes to hear from his sweetheart, Nora Jones, another vampire. The Barretts are a loyal Tory (pro-England) family who want nothing more but an end to the war. Fearing for the rest of their relatives, Marie Fonteyn invited her cousin and friends to reside in their home until the war ends. Lord James proposes to marry Elizabeth. While events seem typical, Jonathan precautiously realizes something does not seem right. So he investigates.

Although Jonathan has become an instant hero in the local area, some people have a cruel grudge against him--even to the point of murder. Someone tries to kill his father! In the meantime, Jonathan has often lost control over his emotions and abilities. Can he protect his loved ones from those who wish to collect murder rewards? Or must he unleash the demon inside him?

Originally printed in 1994, this second edition includes more than 35 pages of new material. This novel is darker, more emotional and full of constant action. Elrod pushes the Barrett family to deeper, more unknown areas of trust and stability. In addition, Jonathan must understand the strengths and limitations of his own powers if he wants his family to not fear him. He also realizes he cannot resume his old life, such as practicing law in a courtroom during the day.

He has an aversion to sunlight and wood, only drinks blood, heals quickly, must sleep on a mattress of "family earth", and has the power of mind control. He can fade into a shadow and fly in the air. Plus, he has supernatural strength physically and mentally. Overall, I really enjoyed this book because it has a very surprising ending.

Stay tuned for the next book in the Jonathan Barrett series, Death Masque.

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