“ Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Author: Jenna Black / Mass Market Paperback / 304 Pages / Book is published 2006-11-20 by Tor Books „
-Guardians of the Night-
Watcher's in the Night is the first book in Jenna Black's Guardians of the Night series. Guardians of the Night is a paranormal romance series that focuses on vampires living in America. In the world that Black has created for this series a vampire is not automatically evil and can survive on animal blood but if a vampire does kill a human it runs the risk of becoming addicted to killing. Vampires who kill are stronger and faster than those who don't but there are a group of vampires who aren't killers who have united to become the Guardians of the Night. Together they protect humans from the predatory vampires.
When Gray was turned into a vampire he was forced to leave the woman he loved, leaving her to believe that he was dead. Years later he's still not over her and finds himself constantly drawn to her, without her knowing of course. When Gray saves Carolyn from an attacker she isn't willing to let him go again and soon they find themselves in a dangerous and awkward position. A Killer is on the loose and if Gray isn't careful Carolyn will be his next victim. Gray knows though that even if he can save Carolyn they can never be together.
I have read and loved Jenna Black's Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist urban fantasy series, it's exciting, erotic and has great characters so when I found out that she had written a paranormal romance series I had high expectations. If her urban fantasy novels are hot, then surely her romance novels will be hotter, right? Unfortunately, wrong. This book is quite possibly the biggest disappointment I have ever read.
Black has created two of the most boring characters and no amount of vampires, murder and mystery could make them interesting. Even as a vampire Gray is incredibly dull and I did wonder throughout what Carolyn could possibly see in him. Carolyn seems like she may have once been an interesting person before Gray left her and she became obsessed with finding him. Neither character really appealed to me and I was relieved when a lot of the book didn't focus on them.
The romance in this novel was not particularly well done. Gray is too whiney and I had the impression all the way through that Carolyn could do a lot better. Black does try to focus more on the plot of the novel and not the romance which makes this book feel more like urban fantasy. Usually I would be complaining about this (the book was marketed as romance) but as the romance was so uninteresting and the main characters so dull it was a welcome relief. The sex scenes aren't particularly erotic and they feel a little bit awkward, like the author isn't accustomed to writing about sex (she did write this book before the Morgan Kingsley series). The romance is slow throughout most of the book and completely lacking in passion.
I think the part of the novel that focused on the Guardians of the Night would have been interesting if I hadn't read almost the exact same thing in J.R Ward and Lara Adrian's vampire series. There is absolutely nothing original in this novel at all. The whole thing of good vampires existing to kill the bad vampires has been done before, the part where vampires are only evil if they start to kill has been done before, the part where there's a group of vampires who form some kind of club or society has been done before. Black brings nothing original or interesting to this genre and just seems to be repeating what other writers have done before her (some more successfully than her, some equally as bad).
There is a bit of a murder mystery in this novel and this started off quite well. I was enjoying trying to guess who did it and I was unable to do so. I always think that's a bonus because it's great to get to the end and be shocked by the outcome. Unfortunately the way in which the murder mystery was solved was utterly ridiculous and left me feeling a bit cheated.
There were a few things about this novel that made it less of a chore to read. The secondary characters are really intriguing and I do actually look forward to the next book that focuses on Jules, the vampire who is Gray's enemy and Hannah, Carolyn's best friend. Although I did find the Guardians to be a very unoriginal concept there were some mysteries surrounding them that make me want to know more. I did enjoy some of the interaction between the different guardians and I think that perhaps if the book had focused more on the guardians and less on the romance Black would have been able to write a much more interesting book. It still wouldn't have been original but I can forgive that as long as I am entertained.
I love Jenna Black's Morgan Kingsley series and consider her to be one of my favourite authors so I hate posting a review of one of her books that is so negative but there is just no way that I can give this book more than one star. The few bits of the book that are interesting do not make up for the majority of the book that is amazingly dull. This is one of Black's earlier books so I am going to continue with this series in the hope that it will improve.