by Holly Barrington
This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
“The Substitute” is set in an alternate Britain, where Vampires and Mortals co-exist more or less in harmony. However, that may soon be about to change . . .
Emily Brown starts her new job at Pathway Software, and at first everything goes well. She makes new friends there and her bosses are impressed so things are really looking up for Emily. Until her friend is killed. Murdered. The official account said it was a gang hit gone bad, and rumours suggest she had drugs in her possession.
However another, unofficial, report suggests that the bullet wounds were all post-mortem, and the drugs were planted on her in the morgue. It also says that she suffered multiple broken bones, cuts, contusions and…vampire bites. Everything suggests that her friend died a brutal and vicious death at the hands of a number of vampires.
Vampire and Mortal relations are, on the whole, very good. Ever since The Compact, there have been eighty five years of unprecedented peace between the two worlds. But there are some dissenters, the foremost of which are the sinister Circle of Ixiom. And Emily is about to become their bitterest enemy . . .
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This was a really great twist on the vampire theme. I loved the way vampires were able to live "normal" lives, working and living alongside humans.
I think my favorite part of this book was the spy story. Yes, it's a vampire spy book. Where else are you going to get that? I'm a sucker for spy stories.
The characters were well-developed, and interesting. I loved all the Doctor Who references. (Seriously, though, who wouldn't?)
I have to say, though, that there was one drawback to this book for me. Intermixed with the actual story, there were history lessons and flashbacks. While the information was great, I would have loved to see it worked in with the story a bit more instead of being removed from the storyline to be given the information.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. Ms. Barrington has a lot going for her, and I look forward to watching her career develop.