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                                                   Consecrated Ground by Virginia Black


                                                                      Reviewed by:
                                                                    S. Y. Thompson



     Consecrated Ground offers a refreshing change to the oh-so-familiar vampiric tropes generally utilized in fiction. In this exciting change of pace, the dank and drafty castle holding chained victims awaiting a good bloodletting is shown the door. In its place, Virginia Black masterfully crafts a tale featuring a talented war witch who deliberately seeks out vampires threatening her old hometown.

     Joan Matthews returns after years away, though she isn’t planning to stay. Immediately, she senses something is wrong within a town that should be protected by magical wards. Though she wishes nothing else but to leave again, Joan isn’t capable of such cowardice or self-indulgence. We’re offered the fresh, modern perspective of an unapologetically powerful female vampire slayer and war witch who refuses to sit back and allow someone else to lead the charge. Or face the danger.

     Despite the serious nature of the plot, wit and levity are interwoven to lighten what is at times an overly dark and foreboding subject. Case in point, the Siberian husky who makes an impromptu appearance during Joan’s first vampire encounter just before she reaches the town line.

    As events transpire, Joan realizes something is seriously wrong. Human individuals along with a vampire lord do their best to make life difficult for her, but it’s not enough to chase Joan away. She makes the conscious decision to stay and protect the town of Calvert, despite encountering a former girlfriend and all of the painful memories of her past.

    Riveting, contemporary, and action-packed, Consecrated Ground is at the forefront of reimagined vampire tales. Buried within the construct of this many-faceted story, is the altruistic reminder that we are all of us responsible for the safety of others. Joan risks her life and the possibility of love as she faces this truth in the most frightening way possible.

Seemingly effortless and detailed crafting construct a world where the reader easily imagines vampires living among the masses. From cities with open vampire clans to the rogue and self-proclaimed vampire lords who establish their own territories outside the approved confines. 
    Neither is Consecrated Ground lacking in sensory input. The reader can almost hear the tapping of a crow at the windowpane. All of these elements combine to fashion a novel that overloads the senses and snares the imagination.


     Miss Black captivates her targeted audience of paranormal aficionados from the first sentence to the last. Even the cover is designed to captivate before the first page is turned. Though Consecrated Ground is by no means a short tale, I devoured the entire novel in one day. I simply couldn’t put it down. For those desiring a unique twist on a genre favorite, this is one novel that checks all the boxes.



                                                                    Rating:      5 Stars

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