This is a terrible book. Two days have gone by since it began. In that time:
- Orlando and Alain met.
- Orlando told Alain he would trust him if Alain would let him taste his blood. Alain agreed to let him. There was no indication that this act generally had any emotional significance for vampires - it was done for purely pragmatic reasons.
- Magical connection! Alain's blood allows Orlando to safely be exposed to sunlight. They literally spend chapters testing this. They technically haven't finished their tests yet.
- Another wizard arrives. Alain doesn't trust him and
tells Orlando to taste his blood to see if he's telling the truth. Even though this is exactly what Orlando did to Alain when they first met, suddenly Orlando feels betrayed. Drinking blood is like sex! Alain is whoring him out! How could he!
- Alain wants to make it up to Orlando and asks what he can do to make things right. Orlando says "Accept my mark." Meaning, "let me brand your neck." (I think it was his neck. I don't feel like going back to check.)
- Orlando hadn't actually expected Alain to allow himself to be branded, even though it had basically been framed like an ultimatum. He is beside himself at this evidence of Alain's trust in him.
- Alain thought that by accepting Orlando's brand he was marking himself as a submissive in their relationship. Orlando is shocked and dismayed. No, no, he never meant that!
- Whoa, wait. In reality, Orlando just put himself under Alain's power by branding him. Alain can now kill him simply by withholding his own blood, since Orlando can no longer tolerate anyone else's.
- Do any of these characters remember that Thierry's wife died less than 24 hours ago?
After one last big push, I finally managed to finish this.
Unfortunately, it kind of sucked. Not only was it massively boring, I managed to figure out who was most likely the murderer well before the ending. Not because I'd actually figured out how the murders had been committed, but because there was one glaringly obvious motive. I figured that maybe it was a red herring, but nope. And the moai puzzle itself required enormous leaps of logic.
I turned in these and a bunch of other library books today, unfinished. I still have The Moai Island Puzzle and Ichi-F checked out. Let's see if I can manage to finish and review them in time. I still haven't made a decision about The Ginza Ghost.
It looks like I might not get that second Bingo before the end of Halloween Bingo, although I still plan to finish the book I was reading for my Vampires square, Alliance in Blood. At the moment it's highly unlikely to get more than 2 stars from me, and I can practically feel the review writing itself. I'm still shaking my head at the author's decision to have one of the characters tell another character everything that just happened. The entire convo was included on-page, even though readers had just seen it all themselves and didn't need it repeated back to them. No wonder this book is just the first part of what was originally one enormous book.