Under Darkness (The Darkwing Chronicles #5) by Savannah Russe

Under Darkness is the fifth installment in Savannah Russe‘s Darkwing Chronicles, a series told from the first person perspective of Daphne Urban, a vampire with a burning desire to be loved who just happens to be part of a secret team of vampire spies for the American government.   This time out, her team of vampires is out to stop terrorists.

The book is very much par for the course – a fairly predictable plot, villains who do little to strike fear in the reader’s heart, and the perpetually unsympathetic love interest in Darius della Chiesa.  That being said, her books are nice, fluffy reads and her characterization is very detailed.  The supporting characters have been well fleshed out and Daphne has a very clear, if at times shallow, personality.  She sometimes feels a little two-dimensional but the author has created an interesting past for Daphne.  I wish that Russe would devote the same development to the baddies in her books since they tend to  come off pretty bland.

One of Russe’s more original conceits is that, in her world, vampires actually turn into giant, bipedal bats.  The author has clearly done her research on the subject, as illustrated in her descriptions of the main cast’s alternate forms.  This is the only series I can think of that plays off of the standard mythology with this type of a twist and I really like it.

That being said, if you’re looking for a book with a gripping plot, this is not the one for you.  But if you’re looking for something that’s an easy read for a lazy day, Savannah Russe might be just the ticket.  Her books don’t have a lot of re-reading potential for me but I will see the series through to its conclusion, which is reportedly the next installment.

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