Blood Shackles is the second book of the Rebel Vampires by Rosemary A. Johns. I got this ARC through Library Thing. I started reading Blood Dragons, book one of the series, but did not finish it because I did not have enough time left to be able to read Blood Shackles. I will find time to finish it. I promise. I went ahead and skipped to book two hoping that the book will be coherent enough for me to understand the story even if I was not able to finish book one. Fortunately, Blood Shackles could pass for a stand alone. I was able to comprehend the flow of the story. There was enough explanation for the events in this book that prevented any confusion.
Blood Shackles is a story of vampires in London who were enslaved by humans. They were treated as property and objects of pleasure. I remember stories when I was younger about London being full of vampires. I remember my mom wanted to work there as a chambermaid but we refused to allow her to go because of those vampire rumors. I am not sure how that story came about. Being a person who has not been to London and being a Filipino who has grown up to a lot of stories about the occult and superstitions, this book has sort of explained that rumor. I was thinking maybe, in some way, this is how those stories were born. Part imagination and probably, there was some event in history that would help explain it. In as much as supernatural beings are part of the Filipino culture, I guess, vampires kind of trace its origins in London.
The book is narrated in first person. At first, it was a bit hard to follow because of the language. Obviously, the story being set in London equals the Queen's English. I have to keep the thesaurus handy so I can look up a lot unfamiliar words. But as I continued to read on, I have become used to the voice of the book and was starting to enjoy it. I admit, I was almost tempted to put it down like the first book. Thankfully, the story did not take too long to develop like the first one. I actually surprised myself for enjoying it and was rooting for Light and Grayse Cain. I was made happier because of how the rest of the book turned out and how it ended. I would not want it to end any other way. Good job Light! Thank you Miss Johns.
I give this book 3/5 shackles. I think there were a lot of times when Light has to talk about himself and was just narrating events. I would have preferred if there were more dialogues or speaking voices. I was afraid the book was just a narrative throughout. As I said, I almost wanted to stop reading because it seemed like it was all narration and sounded a lot like Light's monologue. The best parts of the story were in the later part and I had to endure a lot of the monologue before coming to the meat of the story. I guess, for those who are not patient enough, they would have probably given up and they would never know that the real action happened in the later chapters. I am just glad that I pushed on and I was rewarded for my perseverance. The last parts should not be missed and totally made up for all the monotone in the first few chapters.
I would definitely want to read the next book. The last events of the story were very interesting and I would want to find out what would be the next challenges and ordeals Light has to endure and surpass. I think Light is the most martyr of all vampires I have encountered. I am finding myself becoming fond of him and if I were in the story, I would have helped him throughout. My heart just melts for him. The best thing about the book is it was not about a vampire fighting for love but fighting for his freedom and right to live which is what everyone of us is really doing everyday. We are all fighting to keep our freedom till our last breath. Whether, it be freedom from debt, from health issues and emotional turmoil. We are all trying to stay alive.
My world has shrunk. But the real one? Outside the front door of this apartment? It was still vast, infuriating and sublime.
- Rosemary A. Johns, Blood Shackles -
Release Date: November 1, 2016