Author: Elle Jasper
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: November 2nd 2010 by Signet
The Dupres have been Savannah's guardians, appointed by a band of root doctors and hoodooists, for nearly two hundred years. They've all grown...complacent. Now, the Arcos brothers, who've long been entombed at Bonaventure, have been inadvertently freed by a group of teenagers horsing around in the cemetery. Determined to take revenge on the city who entombed them, the Arcos' gather strength in the city's youth. Within the moon's full cycle, the gang's quickening will be complete--they'll become vampires. Newlings, out of control and craving human blood will ravage the city. The one thing the Arcos' didn't count on was the powerful love of a sister. Riley Poe will stop at nothing to get her brother back. The one thing Riley didn't count on was the powerful love of a vampire. Eli Dupre will do anything to get her. Follow Riley, Eli, and the vampires of the Dupre House into the shadowy, underside of Savannah.
This is one of those books where I instantly fell in love with the cover. You know me, I´m that shallow. :) You can imagine my excitement when I finally held a copy in my hands. It was even more beautiful in the flesh.
Then I started reading. The story of Afterlight is a little bit like the cover: dark, atmospheric, and utterly intriguing. After the first few pages, I was completly absorbed by Ellen Jasper´s Savannah with all its creepy, seedy and repulsive sides.
I loved to read about Preacher and Estelle and the Gullah way of life and magic. To me, something totally new and fascinating. I seriously wish people like them would live next to me as well. They came across kind-hearted and caring, just the way you would wish your surrogate grandparents to be.
Riley Poe (is her name a hommage to Edgar Allen Poe whom Elle Jasper seems to admire? I can only guess!) is a woman right after my taste: independent yet caring, sexy without being trashy, sassy, savy, stubborn and too reckless for her own good. I pretty much loved everything about her. She´s had a violent and dangerous past and does everything to protect her youger brother from anything evil.
Seth is the victim of the story. His change from the nice guy to what he becomes at the end of the book is very emotional for Riley and I could totally feel with her (there are few things I wouldn´t do if my sister were in trouble).
Furtunatly, Riley finds help with the Gullah community and new, unusaul allies and she discovers things that turn her world upside down. One of them being the enigmatic, mysterious Eligius Dupré, who becomes her protector and a constant temptation. The sexual tension between Riley and him is incredibly strong and some scenes between them made me consider a cold shower.
The story´s pace is masterfully designed: you´re thrown right into Savannah´s underground and the world Elle Jasper has so talently created. I loved all the details about it: be it the wicked cool (you see, it rubs off!) name of Rileys tattoo studio Inksomnia, the descriptions of the tattoo designs she makes or the Urban/Goth clubs they visit.
The real threat in the book, the two Arcos brothers and the gang, as Riley sometimes refers to them are more of an invisible threat, but none the less evil and creepy. Even though Riley and the Duprés have only seldom contact and mostly deal with the victims, the danger that they present is frightingly clear.
To describe the book, I use Riley´s word: wicked cool. I loved it so much, even though vampires are not too different from what we already know about them. In the case of Afterlight, I seriously didn´t care.
As far as I´m concerned, I´m ready for Everdark, the sequel to this book. Like, now.
My verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stras for Elle Jasper´s debut Afterlight.
To learn more about Elle Jasper and her books, visit her hompage here.
For more teaser for Afterlight, watch the trailer below. And join me in the wait for Everdark, #2 in the Dark Ink Chronicles, coming in June 2011