Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars
As Cyrus and Lorenz prepare to celebrate 70 years together, the vampire and his German doctor mate are recruited by a wizard and his talking koala to help prevent a demonic takeover of the earth. As they build their team, they must confront issues from the distant past and present dangers that could destroy their long relationship.
In the dying days of World War II, Cyrus the vampire sets about freeing the victims of German atrocities as the Allied forces close in. At one such laboratory, he meets Dr. Lorenz Meissner, the stereotypical blond German. Afraid of what would happen to him if captured, the doctor asks the vampire to end him. Cyrus, a diminutive African, is smitten by the doctor and tells him to come with him. As the bombs fall, Lorenz is injured. Cyrus gives Lorenz some of his blood to help heal the doctor so they both can escape.
Cyrus and Lorenz spend the next 70 years trying to right wrongs they find. From slave traders to mysterious deaths, they lend support where they can. As they investigate the latest death, they meet a deaf wizard who says Cyrus needs to lead a group of heroes to face a demon intent on destroying the world. In order to do this, Cyrus and his group must find the last remaining phoenix and free one of the original vampires who has been captured by minions of Astaroth, the demon intent on ruling the world. Astaroth also happens to be the grandmother of Lorenz’s lab assistant. During this time, Lorenz’s ability begins to manifest itself.
After a peace treaty between demons and vampires has been signed, the group turns its focus on stopping Astaroth. The phoenix offers himself up as bait. He reincarnates himself to draw out the demon. As the group battles Astaroth, Lorenz is gravely injured. Cyrus, seeing his love dying, cast Astaroth into a large crater and seals it up. The phoenix then uses the weapon that injures Lorenz to pierce his heart to heal the doctor. After the battle, the wizard returns a couple of weeks later to inform the group that Astaroth will try again and the group must be ready for the next fight.
I enjoyed how the author showed both how love both new and old grows. Cyrus and Lorenz have been together for 70 years. Because of Lorenz’s past as a Nazi doctor, he has basically shut out all emotions. But he does realize Cyrus loves him by making sure that he eats and sleeps. You can tell the deep affection that has been developed over so many years as they prepare for their anniversary. In contrast, the author also shows new love with the relationship between the doctor’s assistant and the phoenix. You see how they are drawn to each other. You see how their love begins to grow and the anguish the assistant has when the phoenix says he will be the bait needed to catch the demon.
I enjoyed how the author brought together various different paranormal elements to make an interesting cast. The strange cast of characters discovers what it means to be a family. From Cyrus’s vampire father to the lab assistant’s seemingly demented demon father, connections are reestablished and the bonds between Cyrus and Lorenz and their group of helpers grow stronger as they prepare for their next battle.
This is book one of the Stolen Elements series. In the epilogue, the heroes find out they must now travel to the lost city of Atlantis to save a water serpent.
Cover art by April Mayfield shows a phoenix feather in a vampire’s mouth. It draws you into the book and was well done.
Ebook, 379 pages
Published: June 2, 2014 by A. L. Wilson