Vampire – In the Beginning is the first book in a series that has Gwen; or Gwendolyn to those who are not familiar to her, or are not her friends; our vampire story teller, inform us of how she came to be a vampire taking us back 500 years ago in Tudor England. We see that Gwen was a young woman who hoped to marry her beloved and yet she had that shattered when she found him and his family dead due to some vampires.
You never really got that much of a sense from Gwen before the murders happened, all you knew of her was that she wished to marry her beloved and to do that she had a fool-proof plan, she was pregnant with his child.
The tragic start to the tale does have you feeling sorry for Gwen, but then certain things don’t add up – or at least I didn’t find them adding up too well.
In Tudor times she would have been brought up as a Catholic girl, or maybe in secret practising the faith that spread across the land when Anne Bolyn took the throne alongside King Henry, so why would she agree to be a surrogate mother for a vampire child? Surely she would believe full hearted that vampires were servants of the devil and thus she would rather die in her faith than to do such a thing? In Tudor England faith was a big thing, not just because King Henry was on the throne, but faith was what healed you, your faith is what gives you protection from illness and it was particularly strong in those in the poor areas, so that part didn’t make too much sense.
Also she finds herself attracted to Robert – essentially the leader of a vampire coven in that part of England – this is the immortal who killed her lover and his family, he murdered them for blood, yet she also tell him that while her name is Gwendolyn, he could call her Gwen; as her friends do. What? An immortal – who has no soul – has killed your beloved and his whole family, you have gone through the home and seen their mangled bodies and yet you are attracted to his killer and letting him call you by a shortened version of your name that your friends and family call you?
Then there is the part where Roberts vampire clan come in, who don’t seem to be well behaved, and his wife, who all want to kill this mortal; even though they know fully well that they will face Roberts wraith in doing so – considering he is the leader of the coven, surely they should fear him enough to not want to deal with the mortal and instead just ignore her?
His wife I can understand, the mortal is going to give Robert something that he craves, a child, something that immortals can’t do, so she wanting to kill Gwen I can understand, but at the same time I don’t understand why Robert didn’t give her a big enough warning, or send her away?
Did I mentioned Gwen meeting King Henry? Just in case you didn’t feel it was in Tudor England, here’s some Henry added in to give some spice to the book.
Gwen is lower class born, even though Robert is allowing her to live so that he may adopt the child she is carrying, there is no way; even if he wanted to prove something; that she would have been allowed to meet the King of England. It would have been hard enough for nobles to meet him never mind the lower classes.
Over all this book just boiled my blood, it’s flat, the characters are really dull and unless you really want to read a book that will drive you up the wall, I would just avoid it at all costs really.