Review by Amethyst21 -- Chasing The Red Queen

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Review by Amethyst21 -- Chasing The Red Queen

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[Following is a volunteer review of "Chasing The Red Queen" by Karen Glista.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Chasing the Red Queen is a paranormal romance, mystery, crime book filled with action, family drama, friendship, self-discovery and healing. It is the tale of two families becoming one, discovering the secrets of the Chippewa heritage and the revelation that vampires exist.

Donja Bellanger turns to the world of goth as she tries to cope with the death of her father. Six years later her mom falls in love, changing the dynamics of her family yet again. Donja battles with an internal conflict: she is grateful that her mom and brother are happy, but she can not help long for the past and resent this change. However, she begrudgingly adjusts to her new future. Leaving the only home she has ever known, with the memories of her late father imprinted in the walls, she starts a new life with her mom, Lisa; brother, Frankie; step-sister, Makayla and her step-dad, Carson. They move to a creepy mansion in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Makayla Hampton could not appear more different from Donja. Running in elite circles with the rich and glamorous, their worlds seemed far apart. Forced to room together as their new home undergoes renovations, they discover that they have both suffered and struggled with the death of a parent. Confessing their tragic past to each other creates a sisterly bond that grows as they become each other's "Prozac and Shield".

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; the twin city of Michigan, has seen a sudden rise in murders. Torin Mancini, lead detective and Gage LeBlanc, a forensic investigator with the police, investigates the brutal killings of young Chippewa women. Torin and Gage are Iridescents, ancient beings that inspired the tales of vampires. Charged with protecting their existence from humans, and bound by a promise made to his dead wife to save her Chippewa lineage, Torin with the help of his partner Gage races to capture this rogue Iridescent before his rash behaviour exposes their secrets to the world.

As Donja and Makayla’s bond grows, they learn to accept and complement each other’s lifestyle. Donja introduces Makayla to the world of goth while Makayla exposes Donja to the glamorous life and her beau Gage. This encounter leads Donja into the mysterious world of the paranormal as she gains the attention of both the sadist rogue Iridescent and an Iridescent Affiliate, Torin. Seduced by the tantalising allure of her rare blood type, they fight to make her their own. Who will win this game of love, war and hunger; the sadist or the protector?

This book was amazing. I love paranormal books, especially vampire-human romance. If you enjoyed the Twilight Saga, you will enjoy this just as much. I have read a lot of vampire books and I am always thrilled when the author takes a new spin on the typical vampire characteristics. Karen Glista does this splendidly: no pale skin, aversion to daylight or garlic to speak of. These vampires originate from one of seven Miigis Spirits called forth by Chippewas of the past to grant them knowledge. The seventh spirit broke from the group and preyed upon Chippewa women of a certain bloodline. Their blood strengthened him. He fed on some males which transformed them into Iridescents. One of the Iridescent took a Chippewa bride who bore him a child. He drank of the child’s blood becoming a Sirun, an elite Iridescent with power to turn others.

Like most societies, the Iridescents have a hierarchy system. The council, made of Siruns and lesser Iridescents, governs and protects the existence of their kind. Similar to most governing bodies; deceit, politics, deceptions and plots to gain control are rampant in the council.

This book starts very mundanely. It begins by introducing Donja and her family, their life and relationship dynamics. Then everything changes when they start a new chapter in their lives. Ms. Glista eases you into the paranormal world before the drama explodes rapidly.

Donja gets thrown unknowingly into this secret world by her new sister. Her first night out exploring the world of the glamorous becomes a pivotal moment in her life. Her alluring blood and heritage get her in big trouble. In one night Donja goes from enjoying a night clubbing to being tracked by the sadist killer, introduced to Torin, witnessing vampires in battle and fearing for her life and that of her family. As events unfold her family goes through another major shift that permanently alters their lives. Unearthed secrets, plots for power and vengeance climax in a war among Iridescents and a battle to save the ones you love.

Fair warning this book contains erotic scenes, profanity and violence. The crime scenes of the victims of rogue Iridescent are descriptive and there is mention of sexual assault. The language is coarse and might not be suitable for young teens. The sexual scenes are descriptive but not overly explicit.

Karen Glista uses third-person narrative, allowing the author and audience to be all-knowing, creating a more objective point of view. This is great because it allows the reader to form their own opinions about the characters. Her descriptive style of writing allowed me to enjoy the sceneries in the book: “Instantly swallowed by a creepy forest with gnarled limbs that blocked the sun...”.

I enthusiastically recommend this book to readers interesting in vampires, romance, mystery and crime. This book is well-edited with a few typos that do not detract from the flow of the story. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because I felt like some plots needed more development. For instance, the romance between Torin and Donja. She was so confused about him in the beginning: angry at him for ripping her family apart, yet seduced by his sensual allure. Then everything changes as soon as they have sex. Too fast. Despite this, I enjoyed the book and I am re-reading it.

Chasing The Red Queen
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