Scions: Resurrection, by Patrice Michelle
First in the “Scions” trilogy put out by Silhouette Nocturne, it is a novel take on vampires and werewolves. The second installment, Scions: Insurrection, comes out in May, and the third, Scions: Revelation, in the Fall.
Back cover blurb:
Everyone believed vampires were extinct. Everyone was wrong.
When Ariel Swanson wrote a novel about vampires, she hoped it would exorcise fear of the creatures that had, not so long ago, terrorized the human population.
Instead, it brought her to their attention.
And to the attention of Jachin Black—a man banished from the Sanguinas, a vampire pack, and forced to hunt among the despised humans. For he clung to the prophecy given years ago, of a better way for his kind to live—a prophecy Ariel unknowingly used as the basis of her novel.
Ariel hates and fears vampires. Jachin despises humanity. But the prophecy—and passion—binds them in ways they could never have imagined. Ways that may heal the past, and change the future.
Scions: A prophecy reveals hidden secrets and holds the key to fulfilling their ultimate desires.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect to get sucked into this book as quickly as I was. I have read so many paranormal novels (vampires, shapeshifters, Fae, wizards and witches, and so on and so forth) in the last few years, that I thought there was little chance of something truly different left in the genre. Can’t tell you how glad I am to be proven wrong.
In this universe, which seems to be set either far in the future, or in the present but in an alternate universe, vampires were genetically engineered by ‘the government’ at some point in the past. They were supposed to be soldiers and survivors, capable of superhuman feats of strength, speed and endurance, and capable of accelerated healing from wounds that would kill a human being. Science and politics in an unholy combination.
No magic, no demonic intervention, no religion. How cool is that?
Of course, eventually the vampires rebel against their creators and wreak havoc on the human population. In due time, though, things change again: human blood becomes poisonous to vampires, and a human militia known as Garotteers, hunts and exterminates them all as they grow sick. Or so they thought. For a small population of vampires has survived, hidden away in the forest, increasingly weaker, their numbers dwindling.
And here is where a hint of the supernatural comes to play—a prophecy that foretells a new life for vampires.
Jachin Black is the son of the vampire who died before relating the end of the prophecy. He has been banished from the Sanguinas mansion and the pack’s territory for over a decade, but he has managed to survive, holding on to ever more dim hope of finding the key to fulfilling the terms of the prophecy. And then, one night, he does.
The key is Ariel Swanson, a human. She has written a novel, what she believes is a wholly fictionalized account of vampire life, and ended it by quoting the known part of the prophecy. To Jachin, this is enough of a sign. He must take Ariel to Braeden, the pack’s leader, for the good of his people—even if he’s not altogether sure how that will work.
Without giving too much away, the next 48 hours or so are a roller coaster of chases, narrow escapes, more chases, more escapes, chases… The writing shines during the action sequences, and kept me racing ahead, turning the pages to see what, exactly, would happen next.
There are a few awkward instances of info dumping—in fact, there’s a bit of it during almost every conversation between Ariel and everyone else, but mostly Jachin—and I am having a few issues with the world building.
I felt that Jachin’s brusque and rough treatment of Ariel during a good third of the novel was very well realized, and appropriate for what his character felt and believed up to that point. The change in their interactions, however, doesn’t feel as organic for a while, but eventually it gels.
On the world building, for example, I am not sure that the timeline, as mentioned here and there almost like an afterthought, works well with the main premise of the universe (i.e., only some 25 years have passed since it was decided to eliminate vampires, yet there’s talk of certain genetic characteristics being ‘bred out’ of humans—shouldn’t it be close to centuries for this to make sense if humans have a normal lifespan?) Later we are told that the leader position is hereditary—which brings back the question of how long these vampires have been hidden.
And while vampires and werewolves were created strictly through science, and its abuse, there’s a climactic scene involving an altar and a chalice, with the words ‘sacrificial ceremonies’ used. Huh?
I also have a few quibbles with the plot itself. Apparently not all the Sanguinas believe that the prophecy is real, yet Jachin seems convinced that other vampires will try to take Ariel to Braeden. At the same time, he’s convinced that those other vampires would hurt her. Why? Either they believe the prophecy and would take her to the pack, or they don’t, in which case why would they bother even locating her, no? Turns out Jachin is right, and the other vampires want to hurt Ariel—but they also want to take her to Braeden. Why, again? And how does Jachin know this?
Finally, I stared at the last page wondering what happened to the Garotteers, and what exactly the deal with them was.
But since this is the first book in a trilogy, I am sure to find out more in the next installment, and hopefully have all the questions answered by the time I finish the third one.
7.5 out of 10