Samantha Carter believes a vampire is responsible for the brutal deaths of four women in London and finally she has the chance to catch him. Desperate to prove the killer’s identity, she chases him onto a late night tube train. But Samantha doesn’t reach the next station – instead she’s pulled into a very different journey, back in time to the Wild West – where friendship, desire and even love all come hand in hand with deadly danger.
To stay alive she’ll have to work out who to trust – and when to resist temptation. For Sammy’s nightmares are about to come true – vampires are real and more lethal than she ever imagined… (Goodreads)
I came across the series after being asked to read Vampire Watchmen, the sequel to Vampire Seeker. At the time I didn’t realise that Vampire Watchmen was part of the series and it was only after I did a bit of research did I find out that was the case. However, the nature of the books did not detract my enjoyment of either book, even though I read them out of order. In fact, you could say that by reading the second book first, my curiosity was well and truly caught.
So how is this for a first book in the series? Well, I can safely say that even with my prior knowledge, this is a brilliant piece of fantasy. O’Rouke has managed to really set up a world that pulls you in as a reader.
The plot centre’s around our time travelling heroine, Samantha Carter. We are witnesses to her first trip back in time, accidently on the trail of a killer who is mirroring Jack The Rippers killings in 2012. Somehow, she is ripped from the present day to the Wild West Wilderness of America., where there is another series of killings similar to the ones in London. It is here we meet The Preacher and his group for the first time and we see how close knit they really are.
The plot moves at a very swift pace and even when there is little action “on screen”, you feel that there is information hidden between the lines. Possible suspects are introduced, only to be quickly discounted for various reason and yet even when the big reveal of who was responsible, at least for the killings in the past, I couldn’t shake that there was someone or something bigger at play here.
What I find really interesting about this series and this writer, is the main protagonist, Samantha. When reading books by male or female writers, I have found at times they do not manage to create fully fleshed characters of the opposite sex, especially if they are the lead. O’Rourke, to me, is firmly in the Whedon camp of writers because I think he has really created a female lead that somehow doesn’t come across as weak or the damsel in distress. Yes, she does get herself into some predicaments, but she isn’t reliant on the male characters in the book. Samantha is methodical and tries to think things through. This is a character that is fast becoming one of my favourites.
If you read my previous, you would have seen that my two other favourite characters were The Preacher and Harry. Just like in Vampire Watchmen, I found myself more drawn to The Preacher. He is a real mystery and just when you think you have found out a bit more about him, another wall goes up. You can see he takes his mission on irradiating the Vampires seriously, but there is something deeper to this. He has backstory I really want to find out about and I do hope that this is explored in the third book in the series.
As for Harry, he really does come off as more stand-offish in this book, but due to events that had happened just as Samantha turned up in the Wild West, he is justified in how he acts. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t a bit of a jack-ass to Samantha, but he is acting in typical Alpha male fashion, especially for a man in that era.
I did find myself warming slightly to Zoe and Louise, but I still don’t get a good enough picture of either of them to really make a connection. This could be due to the fact that most of the interactions Samantha has are with The Preacher and Louise.
The Samantha Carter series is turning into a really compelling series. There are so many red herrings and unknowns that I am desperate to find out what is going to happen next and who is really behind pulling Samantha back in time. I have some theories which I hope will either be confirmed or quashed in the third book.
Though I have read them out of sequence, I do think it would be better to read them in order. Yes, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment but on retrospect, reading them in order would have made some of the plotlines in this book a bit of surprise. This is my fault and is no reflection on the author.
I would recommend this book and series to anyone who likes a good mix of mystery, supernatural and a little bit romance to keep things interesting. The only other series I have read recently that I can compare with this are The Grigory Legacy by Linda Pointevin and The Jackie Rutledge series by J N Duncan. All three series combine brilliant lead female characters with a brilliantly structured plot.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1 Vampire Seekers
1.5 Vampire Flappers
3 Vampire Watchmen