“Her hands began to shake as she looked down wide-eyed at the blood-soaked cotton that covered her.”
London emerges from the Blitz, and every corner of the city bears the scars. In the East End—a corner fairing worse than most—thirteen year-old Beth Wade endures this new way of life with her adoptive family. She also suffers the prejudice against her appearance, an abiding loneliness and now the trials of adolescence. But with this new burden comes a persisting fatigue and an unquenchable thirst that ultimately steals her into unconsciousness . . .
What happens next is the start of something Beth will fear more than the war itself. She begins to change in ways that can’t be explained by her coming-of-age, none more frightening than her need to consume blood. The family who took her in and the former best friend who’s taken refuge in their house can never know. Aware of the danger she poses to everyone around her, Beth has never felt more alone. But someone else knows Beth’s secret . . . someone who understands just how different she really is. He alone can decrypt her past and explain her future. But he’s been sworn to destroy her kind, and as Beth grows ever more dangerous, he’s forced to take sides.
Can Beth keep all of the secrets? Can she trust a man sworn to kill her? And can she stop the vampire within from taking her humanity?
About the Author:
MARK D. EVANS was born near London, England. He graduated university with a degree in something not even remotely connected with writing and went on to become a successful consultant. Then he threw it all away to chase his dream of being an author, via a considerable amount of travelling. Today, his life largely resembles that of a nomad, and he can currently be found typing away in a tiny flat in north London, sustained by coffee.
He is the author of two short stories, one of which made it into a Kindle Top Ten.
His latest work is his debut novel, No Shelter from Darkness, which is the first book in his series, The Cruentus Saga.
Visit Mark online:
I loved the concept of this book. To have a coming of age vampire novel set against the backdrop of the Blitz, certainly an interesting premise.
From a writer’s perspective, I really have to ask, why third person narrative? I felt that the story and emotion would have filtered through better if it were from Beth’s perspective only. Although this brings up the age old writer’s question of gender narrative. I personally find it very difficult to write first person from a male’s point view for too long, and even what I have written, tends to be full of cliches and more my ideal of what a man might think, that the harsh reality.
There was obviously a lot of research done on the era – which adds to the reality of the whole story – even though we all know vampires are not real – or at least we believe them not to be…The feel of it was very authentic and even slightly claustrophobic in places which goes to show the quality of writing style.
The front cover really lets it down for me. The importance of an expressive and pretty front cover is paramount in book sales. We all know this, although some of us might be ashamed to admit that we are drawn to pretty, shiny things. Perhaps something with Beth on, more detail that makes it more obvious of the time period, and its attraction level will rocket. As it stands, it kind of looks like an autobiography cover – not the classy piece of paranormal historic fiction it is.
Overall I’d give ‘No Shelter from Darkness’ 3 out of 5 stars. I was drawn to it because of the setting and the vampire theme, but stayed for the writing style.