Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney, published by Corgi on 27th September 2012
Trapped between two very different worlds, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her strict Irish-Catholic Dad, but her over-protective maker, Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them...
Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time (Jace = cat; Moth = mouse). But when the teenagers of Boston’s wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances—before someone winds up undead?
I enjoyed Karen Mahoney's two previous books (The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen) so I jumped at the chance to read and review her newest offering, the first title in a brand new series about vampires. The cover is gorgeous and the story sounded brilliant, just the kind of thing that appeals to my reading tastes, but unfortunately it didn't turn out to be quite as good as I was expecting. I normally love vampire stories but 'Falling to Ash' didn't tick all the boxes for me.
The story is about Moth, or Marie as she was previously known. A teenage girl turned vampire who is still coming to terms with her new existence and struggling to adapt to her relationship with her Maker, Theo. I didn't particularly like Moth and felt little connection to her as a character. I immediately wanted to know more about her back story so that I could understand why she is how she is. This was gradually revealed through flashbacks to how she was turned into a vampire but I would have liked to have seen this dealt with much earlier on in the book. There is a prequel to this title called 'Moth', so maybe it would have helped me if I'd read that first.
I felt uneasy in the scenes between her and Theo and I wasn't feeling the growing romance between her and Jace a.k.a vampire hunter in training, either. For me to really love a book, I have to feel that I care about the characters and what happens to them but sadly this wasn't the case with any of the main protagonists in the story.
One aspect of the book I did like was the family bond between Moth and her sisters which I would have liked to have seen developed even more than it was. Although she's now a vampire, she still feels enormous love for her family members, particularly her little sister and she's willing to protect her whatever the cost.
I know there are a lot of Karen Mahoney fans out there and I've already read a number of positive reviews of this book, so although it didn't necessarily appeal to me, I'm sure many others will enjoy it. All that aside, it is refreshing to read something by a British author for a change who has definitely brought something different to the vampire genre.