Companion of the Night
by Vivian Vande Velde
This book was...well, kind of a let down. But not because it was a bad book, I want to be clear on that. The issue was that I went into it expecting something very different.Summary: When Kerry's little brother forgets his stuffed bear at the laundry, Kerry ventures out at 11th p.m. to retrieve it for him. The laundry is deserted and kind of spooky, and while she's there three men burst in, dragging a bound and bloodied young man they insist is a vampire. Kerry helps him escape, only to be caught up in a desperate game between vampire hunters and their prey.
Basically, a booktuber I'm subscribed to mentioned that this book was one of her favourite romance stories. And I was in the mood for a good romance, so I thought I'd pick this one up and...well, as far as that went: total let down.
The story itself is good. It was addictive and fun and had that really good pre-Twilight, 90's vampire vibe to it that I loved. If you want to read a vampire story that has more gory, bad/morally ambiguous vampires, this is a good quick read.
But as a romance? I didn't see it as that at all. 90% of the story was basically spent with the dude threatening and manipulating her and aside from the fact she comments on him being hot, there was nothing romantic about it at all. And when it did actually become a romance, it was really quite abrupt -- she literally goes from 0 to "I love you" in a matter of hours and they've only known each other for 2 days total (at least some of it was spent sleeping). She barely knows anything about him because all he does is lie.
Had she said she cared about him, against her better judgements, that I could buy because of the intensity of the situation and all but not love. Because it was so abrupt with no real build up, the scene it all leads to is as bland as reading a shopping list -- like "then he kissed me" and "I love you" would fit right in between eggs, milk, bread and toilet roll.
And the ending... I don't need everything to be neatly tied up but endings that don't have much closure bug me. We find out maybe one or two true things about him in the last few pages and we don't get to see much of the aftermath really. It was just an unsatisfying ending and just in general really.
I don't know if I'd have felt differently had it been recommended differently (i.e. as a supernatural thriller/vampire story rather than a book with a good romance) or if I'd read it when I was much younger before I had so much to compare it to. It was entertaining...just disappointing. And I'm being repetitive so, to wrap this up: I'd rate it 2.5 stars out of 5. Very good read if you're looking for some 90's vampire book nostalgia...just don't go into it with the expectations I had.