God damn. God damn. That was awesome! I'm so glad I gave this story a second chance because it really did deliver.
Blue was a wonderful character. She has a sharp wit and a deep sense of honor. She's never had it easy, so she's become a pro at pulling herself up by her bootstraps and getting the job done. And all without becoming a jaded bitch, too. Jack was... interesting. I understood his reservations towards a relationship, but unless there is some prophesy that says their getting together would bring on Armageddon, I don't agree that there is a problem. His feelings towards Blue were loving and getting to see his POV was a nice escape from Blue's mind and a welcome glimpse at Jack's. I think they would/will make a lovely couple. But I don't know anything about him really.
The vampire mythology that Lilo Abernathy came up with was really interesting. It made sense - if vampires and demons and all that were real, this mythology would be entirely believable. I would have liked a little more information on the physical and behavioral differences between Daylight Vampires and Night Crawlers, but beggars can't be choosers. As for the Illustrissima... I desperately wanted to know what this was about and though I have a few ideas, I'm anxious to find out Blue's"true purpose".
As for the romance, there isn't a whole lot of it but the flip to Jack's POV keeps it interesting. It gets super hot and steamy for a bit, then simmers slowly before a surprising 180 at the end. I'm not sure where Jack and Blue stand now, but I hope they're together.
Now, onto the drama... dun dun dunnn! Lilo Abernathy gives us some seriously gritty crimes. This isn't just some wicked vamp ripping out throats - the villain is truly villainous and motherfucking evil. The bloody scenes are described very well, giving us a true sense of horror and blood without being salacious and overly done. I knew who the villain was immediately after they were introduced, but I wasn't sure if they were working alone or with a partner. So I was still anxious to get to the climax even when I knew who Blue would be confronting. Besides, they were seriously evil. You just knew shit was gonna be bad. No way to not look forward to that.
On the writing/grammar/editing front - I didn't notice any mistakes or issues. I stumbled over a few sentences that I felt were worded oddly, but I think that was related to it being written in present tense and I'm just not used to it. As for the present tense, it's something I've always had problems with. I literally read the first few sentences of this book, skimmed a paragraph to double check and then shut it down because it was written in first person. After speaking to the author, I felt it deserved another chance and I'm so, so glad I decided to read it. Reading quickly, my brain kind of glanced past the present tense and the story was so engaging, I was too involved to care if it didn't.
The story felt kinda slow at times, but then I realized it's not that the story slowing down, it just stays at the same pace. It's a steady road instead of a rollercoaster, which I ended up liking. Obviously, since I stayed up until 4am to finish it in one sitting. Pretty sure my feet are asleep.
My only real complaint is a dangling plot thread that I assume will be picked up in the next book. Blue is attacked by somebody and agrees not to press charges if he leaves her be. He agrees, but is then seen... "cavorting with Blue's enemy"... for lack of a better phrase. After that, he's never mentioned again. Honestly, I was really hoping for a resolution that resulted in a major triumphant moment for Blue and an entirely humiliating and possibly life-ending loss for the bad guy. Alas, the most immediate threat of the villain was taken care of, leaving the bad guy to cause havoc down the road while Blue tries to save the world for ungrateful humans.
I look forward to it!