Review: Nightshade by Michelle Rowen

21 Feb

Nightshade by Michelle Rowen
Berkley Sensation (February 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 978-0-425-23982-7

Favorite Lines: “Wow. I’d just deflowered a twenty-eight-year-old dhampyr assassin. This was not a claim I could make every day.” (p. 181)

Jillian Conrad never believed in vampires. But she’s just become a living, breathing weapon against them. Attacked by a desperate scientist, she is injected with a serum that was supposed to act as a deadly poison to vampires. And when the scientist is gunned down in front of her, his secrets die with him.

Declan Reese was only half-vampire, but he hates them with all his heart. He knows that the poison in Jillian’s veins could finally destroy the undead kingdom. Also, the serum has had an unintended effect, making her blood irresistible to all vampires—including Declan, whose bloodthirsty traits are driven into a frenzy by her.

Driven by duty to protect her and by instinct to crave her, Declan takes Jillian into his shadowy world of blood and battle. But he soon realizes his increasing need for her may be a different kind of hunger…

Michelle Rowen, author of Living in Eden and Immortality Bites has created a new urban fantasy series revolving around a human whose blood kills vampires. I don’t really know what to say about the first book in the series, Nightshade. When I read it I immediately thought of Gena Showalter’s Playing with Fire. I realize the similarities are few, but when the thought popped, it popped. Both have a strong male who is forced to make a decision kill the infected girl or use her.

That’s where the similarities end. Nightshade continues by introducing a human to a world filled with vampires and the secret government facility filled with people wanting to destroy the vampires at any means. (This part reminded me of L.A. Banks’ Crimson Moon series.)

I didn’t like Declan for a long (loooooong) time. The medication he took hid his personality and even at the end I wasn’t sure he was the best choice for Jillian. I do like that he isn’t the pretty boy hero most authors write about. He’s missing an eye and is covered in scars. He’s also a virgin. Yep, you read it right. Declan our tough, killing machine, has never done the nasty. Nice…I think.

What do I really think? I don’t have strong feelings about Nightshade. I don’t dislike or love it. That may have something to do with the fact that I didn’t really get into the story until around chapter 19 when a new character was introduced. I really liked the pseudo-bad character. The character makes me question all that I learned about different factions while reading the story. The character is intriguing enough that I’ll read the next book in the series, Bloodlust which comes out July 5, 2011, to find out how it plays out.

I’ve already bought Primal which contains a short novella about Declan and Jillian set before the events in Bloodlust, so I’ll be reading that too. I’m not sure that I need Nightshade on my bookshelf. I think I’ll be alright with electronic copies. Everything hinges on whether I still ambivalent about the series after reading Bloodlust.

One Response to “Review: Nightshade by Michelle Rowen”

  1. Josè Pascal February 22, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italian writing blog I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to

    Good life and I hope to soon

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