The Amethyst Curse – Chantelle Thomson
Self published, 2014
It has been nearly a hundred years since Alexandra Taylor became one of the undead. In all that time, she has never met another vampire – until the one who turned her in the first place, and subsequently abandoned her, shows up on the doorstep demanding to be allowed into her life. He brings with him a previously unimagined world of rules and expectations, throwing Alex’s understanding of herself into total disarray. Then a dead vampire shows up in her neighbourhood, and Alex realises just how far out of her depth she really is.
This is Brisbane writer Chantelle Thomson’s first novel, a copy of which was sent to me for review. It’s rare to see a vampire story set in Australia, let alone one that focusses so closely on vampiric culture. Alex is a difficult protagonist to like and sometimes to understand – she has no qualms about embracing her vampire nature, in fact it’s human reactions she struggles with – while the supporting cast (most of whom are also vampires) are very limited. There’s a tendency towards telling rather than showing and some awkward phrasing that made me double back a few times, but the vampire world is well thought out and it’s a nice touch how Australian conditions are consistently acknowledged as an extra difficulty for sun-phobic creatures to navigate. This is the beginning of a planned paranormal romance series.