Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
Note: This review does not contain any spoilers for The Renfield Syndrome, but it does give away key points from the first novel Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between. If you haven’t read the first book, please see that review.
I was really nervous to read The Renfield Syndrome. The ending of the first Rhiannon’s Law book, Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between, was a jaw-dropper and a huge game-changer. I was scared about how I’d react to Rhiannon being zipped 101 years into the future. Would she have to lose all the progress she made at opening up to people? She’d just found love, and now she was going to be screwed over, right?
Totally. The demon who sent her into the future to deliver a message screwed her over royally. Rhiannon arrives to find that the city is near destroyed. The vampires, led by a half-demon, run everything. Humans are near extinct and those who do live are more like blood slaves than anything else. The world is dark and cruel. And she just wants to find Disco, her lover. Once she delivers him the demon’s message, the deal is complete and they’ll both be free of him.
But it’s not that simple. Lots of things have changed in the world, turning it into a hellish nightmare that Rhiannon can’t escape until she’s solved a few big problems. The plot takes one crushing turn after another, each more surprising than the last. I never knew what was coming next, but continued to get my hopes up on Rhiannon’s behalf. The plot was clever and new. I can’t call it refreshing, because it’s very dark, but The Renfield Syndrome took me over. Captured by a heroine I love forced to grow amid terrible circumstances, I found myself increasingly involved with the plot.
Now an important note. While I liked Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between, for me Rhiannon was the star of that book. She’s what I liked most. Disco is great and all, but he wasn’t nearly as remarkable a character as Rhiannon. And maybe that’s part of why I adored The Renfield Syndrome so much. This is Rhiannon’s story. This is her life not on the context of interactions with a hunky hero, but the emotional end. It’s still about love, don’t get me wrong, but the shift is all heroine. The romance angle gets complicated as well, and come time for The Ripple Effect (Rhiannon’s Law #3) there will be some big decisions to be made. I say all this because if you loved the first book only for the delicious Disco, he’s not the focus of The Renfield Syndrome. The tradeoff is worth it, though.
I suggest clearing a weekend to read The Renfield Syndrome, though. Once you’re knee-deep, there’s no stopping.
Sexual content: Sex, references to rape
J.A. Saare was kind enough to offer one signed copy of The Renfield Syndrome up to a VBC reader. To enter, leave a comment on this post. The contest is open internationally. Be sure to enter on or before Oct. 20. UPDATE: Winner is Robin K!
CONTEST DETAILS AND RULES
1. To enter, you must leave a comment on this post.
2. You do not need to follow Vampire Book Club to be entered, but we sure do like it.
3. This contest is open internationally.
4. Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on Thursday, Oct. 20.
5. The winner will be selected using Random.org. Then she will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to claim her prize. If we do not hear from the winner(s) within that time, a new winner will be selected.
7. Though unlikely, Vampire Book Club has the right to change or cancel any giveaway at any time without prior notice.
8. Vampire Book Club is not responsible for prizes lost or damage in transit.
9. Big thank you to J.A. Saare for providing the signed book!