Title: Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun (The Guardians of Gaia #2)
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 4th 2018 (first published July 2nd 2014)
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 278 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.63 stars out of 5
Tyger tyger, burning bright…
As theriomorphs in the service of Gaia, Tyr Gustavson and his lover Aaron fought against the vampires aiding the Third Reich during WWII. But even the fierceness of Tyr’s tiger form couldn’t save Aaron from being torn apart when a mission went horribly wrong. Lost in his pain, Tyr remained feral until he was unwillingly recalled to Gaia’s service seventy years later.
In the forests of the night…
When fighter pilot Adam Carson’s plane was shot down, he thought the worst that could happen was being sent to a Nazi prison camp. Little did he know there were other monsters in the shadows, and one of them wanted to claim him. But refusing Elizabeth Bathory had a price. Adam was turned against his will and trapped in a coffin as punishment for his resistance.
What immortal hand or eye…
While hunting ghouls, Tyr and his colleagues discover Adam’s prison. Believing he could be an asset, Marielle Du Lac frees him. Adam joins the team and is drawn to Tyr, despite Tyr’s hatred of vampires. When Tyr rejects Adam out of fear, Adam accepts a suicidal mission to find Thrace, the original nosferatu. If their desperate plan works, the theriomorphs could destroy not only Elizabeth, but the sire of all vampires as well. But if it fails, they could unleash a force leading to the destruction of them all… and perhaps of Gaia herself.
Absence of the Sun starts in 1945, it’s WWII and Adam Carson is shot down and captured by the Germans. This is where he meets Tyr before everything goes to hell. I pretty much loved big parts of this book. The angst of Tyr, his and Adam’s developing feelings, the way we were still getting Will and Evan’s perspective – giving me a sense of closeness toward these characters even though the main focus is on Adam and Tyr. This time I could sense the chemistry between the two from the start.
Tyr is dedicated both to his former lover and his role as a Guardian of Gaia. A good man with a lot of guilt trying to fit into a world he’d withdrawn from seventy years ago because of his grief, who’s scared of taking the second chance he’s given at happiness since he doesn’t want to go through that kind of loss again.
Adam is a strong-willed compassionate man who falls for Tyr knowing he doesn’t stand a chance but still does his best to draw Tyr out of his shell and comfort him even though they get off to a rocky start, with Tyr having a very difficult time trusting and accepting the two vampires. Those two are so good for each other, I can’t but love them. The angst, the hurt and comfort between them – just liked it a lot. The characters are well rounded and I want to find out more about them. I liked Adam and Tyr a lot.
I felt it got a bit much with the whole understanding and giving advice that will solve everything. Because that’s how it felt to me. Will, Evan, Adam, Antonio and Matthew all gave good advise on how Tyr should solve his issues and live on to become happy. They are so understanding and knows what he has gone/is going through and they pity Tyr . I just find it a little disconcerting how they all give such awesome advice and knows just what he’s going through because they have gone through the same, and Tyr accepts it.
On the other hand Adam who is good at telling Tyr he’s not to blame for his lover’s death and it’s not his fault, goes on his own self doubt and guilt trip which I got a little bored of reading because what he had to do, he couldn’t have done otherwise and he thought the others would turn away from him and it was like I wanted to just say get over it. Take your own advice. It wasn’t like he caused it anyway, it would still have happened. So, yes I found the characters a little too good, too understanding in the end and Adam’s angst over what happened to him a little off, he’s a soldier and pilot in the war he knows things happens and you have to let it go.
I still didn’t feel like the vampires had an urge for, or hunger for blood. Even though it’s mentioned somewhere in the book about them resisting the hunger.
The way it ended I don’t really see how they are supposed to be able to win against the enemy but the book leaves off with a rather uplifting atmosphere except for Adam going on his personal blame trip. Personally I felt the end dragged on a bit and I finished reading with a sense of ‘was this it for nothing?’ I know many will love the book, and there are many things about Absence of the Sun that just spoke to me and I got invested in the story and the characters from the start.