Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children.” Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.
Like the Night by Ari McKay is the first in the new Blood Bathory series the authors are creating. And what a series it looks to be. Starting out with the historic Elizabeth Bathory herself as the sublimely evil ancient vampire at the core of all misery here, McKay builds the universe out to include an ongoing war with Gaia herself and her soldiers, the theriomorphs against the vampires who would rule. Caught in the middle are Evan St. John, a vampire turned against his will, and Will, a human police officer and Evan’s best friend who is about to find out that the world is much stranger than he ever believed.
The author gives us multiple points of view which works here to let us know how many people actually have their own agendas in this battle for conquest. Hint, it’s not just the main characters. So many manipulations going on here, so many secondary threads that will, of course, become major ones later on.
The romance between Evan and Will is one that needs major communication to move forward as well as some false (and hilarious) assumptions to be swept aside. I liked the heat between them and they worked great as a couple. One caveat is that Evan comes across as too much of the “weak pretty boy” here for someone who is a vampire. He has one scene where he shows his vampire strength and the rest of the time I feel that’s wasted making the theriomorphs look badass to his detriment. Why not both? Not using a vampire’s assets throws away a valuable weapon imo here.
Back to the theriomorphs and Gaia. I absolutely love this element. I hope its explored even more closely in the upcoming stories as the battle continues.
There are many great secondary characters, on both sides mind you. I can’t wait to see what the next installment will bring.
If you love the supernatural, romance, vampires and shapeshifters, you can’t go wrong with Like the Night (Blood Bathory #1) by Ari McKay. I highly recommend it for the great world building, wonderful characters, and a plot that grabs a hold of you right until the end.
Cover art: Lou Harper. I like the cover but it’s not terribly representative of the characters, Evan is blond.
Sales Links: Universal Buy Link
Kindle Edition, 2 edition, 352 pages
Published April 9th 2018 by Independent (first published July 2nd 2013)
Original TitleBlood Bathory: Like the Night
SeriesBlood Bathory #1