Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bathory's Secret - Romina Nicolaides

The year is 1609 and fourteen year old Kati is taken to work at Csejthe Castle in Hungary, the home of Countess Erzsébet Báthory. Though fearsome rumors surround the Castle and its residents, she must take the job in order to keep the moneylenders at bay. 

Once there Kati is given the task of binding a series of old journals which hide a powerful secret about the Countess. As the months progress she discovers that her new mistress is cruel and dangerous but she is unable to leave without fear of retribution. She believes that the key to escaping the Countess hides within the diaries so with risk to her life she begins to read them. As a result, she is inadvertently thrust into an occult world of supernatural beings filled with romance, mystery, death and dogma and which threatens everything she holds dear unless she takes action... 

REVIEW: The story itself is a good one. It jumps between the protagonist Kati and her service to Erzsebet Bathory, and Theodora's journal entries. I think the introduction as a virus is a fresh spin on an old Vampire tale, and the author does a great job moving the story along. I was whisked away to Hungary, Venice, and Vienna—and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

This book would be five stars without its glaring issues with sentence structure, wording, and some confusing jumps between journal entries and the actual book chapters. I also had a problem believing Theodora would start a relationship with Vyktor after/during a series of violent rapes that occur. Had there been a smoother, longer progression to their relationship it might have been believable after some time—but not right out of the gate. I just cannot buy into a virginal rape victim getting into a romantic, sexual relationship while violent assaults are still occurring.

The flow of the story is hampered by overused words, oftentimes in the same sentences (which are never ending). For example: “Initially a grasping chill sets in, only it gets worse and worse until it permanently settles the body's core temperature to about thirty five degrees centigrade and leaves it permanently cold to the touch and extremely pale.” There we have permanently twice in a sentence that reads like a paragraph--and there are many, many more. Also, the body is normally 37.2C--so 35C isn't terribly convincing as a dramatic change in temperature, at least not to a lay reader.

There are a lot of these issues throughout, but I found it (mostly) forgivable in the context of a good story. I enjoyed reading well outside my usual genre and comfort zone, and thank the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.


Amazon Link:  Bathory's Secret: When All The Time In The World Is Not Enough (Affliction Vampires Book 1)

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