Length: Approximately 131,000 words
Oh man, this book. I'm not going to say too much about it here because I'd keep gushing for hours started on it. There's a lot of sentimental history behind it that I don't even know where to really begin to get into it. Back when I was writing it, I was going through some significant health issues. Because of that, I was on some prescription cocktails, the side effects of which included depression and mild psychosis (interesting side note: at least one of the drugs that I had been on isn't even sold anymore, although the side effects that it was removed for weren't ones that I'd experienced). That whole ordeal got me interested in learning more about mental conditions and personality disorders, and between that research and my own experiences, I found the groundwork for most of the characters in this book.
Of course, I exaggerated some aspects of that groundwork, since that's just what fiction does, so don't go worrying that I'm actually a serial killer.
As for what the book is actually about, I think the best way to sum it up is to say that it's basically a slice of life work about a sociopathic war veteran vampire assassin (and part-time dominatrix, since as I'd mentioned in my review of Orphan X, the assassin/dominatrix Femme Fatale is an archetype that I like) in a post-apocalyptic world trying to deal with losing something important to her. Unlike with Deceit, vampires are an open part of this setting, along with lycanthropes (which are not limited to just wolves, but I simply prefer that term to something like "shapeshifters") and mutants. Humans also have some magic powers. It all stems from a history that isn't detailed anywhere outside of my head.
Compared to Deceit, the narrative in this book has a much tighter focus. Aside from one small part, the entire story is told from a third person limited point of view locked onto Saraphel's perspective. Since I like to have some fun with things, though, despite that it has a more limited scope structurally, the plot has a grander scale, in that the implications (both explicit and Fridge) reach all around the world. That doesn't really mean much of anything, of course, but I just thought it was a curious note of contrast between the two books.
I'm sure some people will read too much into the use of Spanish words as names for certain characters, so I'll just say that there's no deeper meaning to that. I'd needed another language aside from English to act as some Theme Naming/Bilingual Bonus, and Spanish was something that I could do easily enough with my keyboard. If the book is ever translated into Spanish, I would just have the names translated directly into English (i.e. Cazador Forastero would just become Hunter Outsider, regardless of that not sounding like a real name, because "Cazador Forastero" isn't meant to really be a real name either).
I'm sure some people will also read too much values judgment into my depictions of some of the mental conditions for the characters. This will likely be a smaller number than the previous point, since I don't try to identify their conditions explicitly for the most part (and thus, I'm sure much of that will go over most people's heads), but nevertheless, I'll mention that most of what they display is based on stuff that I've done myself, so if I'm hating on anyone subconsciously, it's much more likely to be myself than anyone else.
Beyond that, honestly, I don't want to say too much more about it here, for fear of spoiling your fun. Trying to put my biases aside as best as I can, I'd say it's at least in my top 5 favorite books that I've read, with a real shot of contending for the top spot (and the friends that I'd shared the original rough draft with all loved it, too, so there must be some merit to it). The gore isn't quite as graphic as in Deceit, but there's probably still enough to turn some soft stomachs, and there's a fair bit of sexual content, but as long as those aren't breaking points, I'd recommend it to anyone who'd like dark fantasy.
Length: Approximately 131,000 words