Title: Dead Camp
Series: Dead Camp Book One
Author: Sean Kerr
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Reviewer: Melissa Brus, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
Eli is an ancient vampire with an ego the size of a planet and a sex drive to match, but his tumultuous past left him broken, so he hides from humanity and cowers from love, left to endure the crushing guilt that haunts his every waking moment. Even his best friend, Malachi, a ghost who is hopelessly in love with Eli, remains unaware of all that transpired in London. Malachi can never know the truth.
When the Angel Daniyyel pays an unwelcome visit, Eli must face his secrets, secrets that he has tried so long to hide. To make matters worse, a chance encounter with the most beautiful man he has ever seen shatters his beloved isolation, pushing him into the world of the living once more. Something about this strange man seems so familiar, but Eli can’t even remember who he was before he became a vampire, never mind explain the unwanted emotions the enigmatic stranger ignites in his dead heart. So Eli has a choice – return to the world that ruined him, or continue his self-imposed exile with no hope of salvation.
This is certainly not an easy book to review. Part of the issue is that it took quite a while to become invested in the main character of the vampire, Eli. He is arrogant and aggravating. It also starts out with a pretty graphic and horrific scene. The writing was intriguing and I plowed through. I’m so glad I did. Kerr takes on angels, demons, vampires, ghosts, and sets it all in a historical context to include Victorian England and the rise of Hitler in WW2. Wow right? This is a lot to take on by any author, and this is a debut novel. Kerr has a unique style that incorporates narrative, flashbacks, and diary entries. And it works. It works so well. There were moments I was pulled out of the story by terms and phrases that felt anachronistic, but the overall premise kept me going. By the end of the book, I was invested in finding out how the crazy confluence of a ghost, vampire, and angel are going to save themselves, let alone anyone else.
There are scenes that were hard to read. The horror of them was overwhelming. And when put in context of the horrors of the history they were set in, it created a visceral reaction. This is a good thing. The horror elements would normally cause me to put down a book. The skill of Kerr and his well written characters have caused me to re-think that. I am looking forward to seeing how this series evolves.
In writing this bio I am taking a rare break from reading! I always have a book on hand just in case there is time to sneak in a chapter or two. As a military spouse and a mom of two boys, it is amazing how often I am hurrying up to wait. Luckily for me I don’t have a favorite genre so I get lots of fun authors to choose from. My education was in sociology and mental health counseling, so stories with strong character development are my favorites. Happily Ever After is the best part of romance for me because real life is hard enough.
The Paranormal Romance Guild, AKA (“PRG”), was formed by the banding together of paranormal romance genre readers and writers, through the internet, with the sole purpose of supporting and promoting authors of the paranormal romance genre through the organization’s website and special events. The Paranormal Romance Guild (PRG) was officially organized and recognized on October 31,2009. The PRG is a non-profit organization. All fees and dues collected are to sustain operations of the PRG. No assets of the corporation are to benefit the officers or members.