Title: The King of the Winter
Series: In The Absence of Light
Author: Andy Monk
Published Date: 9/9/2012
Publisher: author self-published
Copy provided by: author
Genre: historical paranormal fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Synopsis: The road has brought him home.
Running from a broken heart and the hangman’s noose he followed the road across Europe; searching for happiness in a pretty girl’s smile, the turn of a card and the depths of a brandy glass. Instead he became a womaniser, and then a thief living behind a charmer’s mask until, finally, the road ensnared him in insanity and murder.
It is 1708, the Age of The Enlightenment, and, in the shadow of the nearly completed St Paul’s Cathedral, Caleb Cade has returned to London a broken man; incapable of love and terrified of the grave, his only friend the half imagined ghost of his dead brother.
The road has now brought him home for there is nowhere left to run and his only hope of redemption is to find the man he might have been.
Haunted by his own ghosts and demons, he relives the events that led to him fleeing England twenty years before whilst trying to make sense of the selfish wasted life he has lived.
He is befriended by a fellow libertine who shows him that not only is it still possible for him to feel love, but that he could also free him from the grave and the clutches of The King of the Winter who has been waiting patiently for him for so many years.
When love and immortality are snatched from his grasp his friend is revealed to be a monster even more broken by love than Caleb. Although he knows what he felt was just a vampire’s trick, what price would he pay to feel such love again…
My Review: I was given a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Caleb....poor Caleb, he's such a tool! What a manipulating user of women! Gambling, drinking, womanizing tool. That's what he is. And yet I like him. I want him to be better, to get better, to be more than he is. I think I would have disliked him more if he was going after more than one woman at a time, thankfully he wasn't, because I would have cheered at some of the bad stuff that happened to him.
This was a really long book, but the detail that was put into it was amazing. I liked it because you could tell a guy had written it. It was a paranormal book about vampires, but that wasn't the focus of the book entirely. The vampires weren't the normal sparkly, romantic, seductive swoon-over types of vampires that we've become used to through Twilight and Lestat. No, the vampires were what they most likely really should be: hunters and users. This book portrays them closer to the original Dracula and yet, not quite so romanticized.
The whole book had a very dark feel to it. This isn't the Age of Enlightenment that I'm used to reading about in romance novels, where all the "bad stuff" like bad hygiene and the lack of proper sewerage containment and thievery is just ignored. No, this book brings it all to the forefront, so if you can't handle the dark side of what life was like back then, don't read the book.
The twists in it I couldn't foresee and they completely took me by surprise. Overall, its a great book, just very very long.