Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.
An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?
Ante Up is a different type of paranormal story. When the majority of the characters are vampires, not all the traditional troupes are followed. I enjoyed those differences and Ante’s Croatian background. The number of details worked well for the story and added to its depth.
The author did a nice job making Ante unique. He’s not the traditionally rich, alpha vampire with a legion at his feet. He’s a down the mill hustler whose only worry is where to be at sunrise. He’s comfortable living in the fridges and doesn’t believe in causing harm to survive. Most of the men he feeds from are as lonely as he is, and their times together are beneficial for both of them.
Enters Peter to change Ante’s organized life. With his quick charm and good looks, he brings out Ante’s curiosity. He’s not sure about his heritage or his powers but he tries to keep both under wraps. Just like Ante, he’s not the traditional hero, but it works for them.
The more time they spend together, the more they discover about themselves and other paranormals. The descriptions, settings, and new characters are interesting and only added to the plot.
The meeting and battle at the end felt a bit rushed. After so many details, it was unexpected to have such a simple resolution. Overall, it’s a good story if you are looking for more than sparkling vampires.
The narration by Andrew McFerrin worked well with the story. The characters came to life and he showed Ante’s slight accent.
The Cover by Aaron Anderson follows the Dreamspun Beyond style and has a depiction of Ante.
Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Length: 5 hours 52 minutes
Published: January 12, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English