Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Blood Bathory – Like the Night
Author: Ari McKay
Series: Guardians of Gaia
Heroes: Evan & Will
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 348 pages
Release Date: April 9, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children.”
Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides – because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.
I won’t go into detail on the story itself because there’s just so much that happens, although, the blurb does a good job of hinting at what happens, although not everything, IMO. This novel does things a little differently when it comes to the shifter aspect. You’re not born a shifter or bitten and turned into one. Instead, you’re nominated, pretty much, and then Gaia herself tests you and then decides if you’ll become a theriomorph, a shifter. I loved that part of the story and I loved that they weren’t just shifters but expected to become a guardian and help rid the planet of evil, which isn’t just vampires but also things that are destroying the planet itself. It was quite intriguing seeing how that changed things and would really liked to see more of the workings of the theriomorphs and the different branches of the company Marielle has created.
While I love the setting and theriomorphs as a whole, it was harder for me to get into the characters. At first, I loved that Evan went to Will as his only safe place. It was really sweet and I was eager to see them get close again and find a way to help Evan through his problems. Evan, as a character, was a little high-maintence for me. Not because of his newly acquired tastes but he would just drop these random thoughts about how Will’s place or Marielle’s or something along those lines wasn’t up to par on where he was living in Paris. It made me start to dislike him the more he made those comments, even if they were done innocently, they came out rather obnoxious and made me think he was superficial. As for Will, I adored him as a character not just because he was the boy next door but he was so honestly protective of Evan, it made me all gooey inside that he wouldn’t leave Evan to fend for himself, even when he really started to believe and understand the situation they were in. I adored Will taking care of Evan and it really made the story worth it for me.
However, while I loved the uniqueness of the shifters and Will, I had a few issues. For one, every time it was brought up that Will was a police officer and did his duty to protect everyone every day, it really grated on my nerves. Unless I read the story wrong, Will never went to a police academy and instead worked in the cyber/IT department. Yes, I get those can be police officers too but they’re not detectives, they’re researchers. Will didn’t go out and arrest people (at least not from what was described of his position in the beginning) so every time Evan would bring that up, it bothered me especially since it was mentioned so many times. It honestly almost pulled me out of the story to the point of stopping. Thankfully, they taper off with that so I was able to enjoy the rest of the story but about 50% of the book, it rubbed me the wrong way. It just felt like it was being mentioned every other paragraph, it was just too annoying.
Add to that, with all the hype around Elizabeth, I expected more of some suspense and action around her demise. I expected to see more of her take-down and to really put an end to all that. I mean, this book is over 300 pages long, I wanted more closer than what was given so I was really disappointed in the ending overall. I get that this might lead to something later in the series but, honestly, with how big this novel was, I just expected more. It was rather repetitive in some areas so the novel itself could have been shorter but still, I wanted more closer than what was given. I just feel like it could have been wrapped up in a different way that was more satisfactory.
All in all, this was a nice story. I liked the uniqueness around it and loved Will as a character. I loved seeing the different theriomorphs and the world that was created around them. It was hard for me to like Evan as a character and I did have some issues but I do look forward to seeing how the story progresses. I just hope the endings have more closer because these are huge books! Give this a go if you’re looking for something with a bit of sweet and a different style to the shifters.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*