Review: Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton

Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton
Series: The Vampire Daughter (# 1)
Release Date: June 26, 2011
Publisher:  Decadent Publishing Company
Pages: 294
Source:  Publisher

When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she’s realizes she wants more…

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered…

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek’s race, but Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she’s ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love…before the sun comes up and light takes over.


Review: A very unique spin on the widely done Young Adult/Paranormal/Vamp genre, Of Lights and Darkness held my attention from beginning to end and never wavered in between.

Shayne Leighton creates a lively and vivid world within the pages of this story, interwoven with dynamic characters and an intriguing story line, I was held captivated on many levels the entire way through. Set in the area of Prague, there is a little known city called the Occult City where vampires, elves, witches and all facets of the paranormal reside – segregated from humans. As an infant, Charlotte is discovered by Valek, a vampire and doctor of the Occult City, abandoned in the dirty streets of Prague. Valek takes Charlotte in – breaking one of the most stringent laws of the city by harboring a human – and nurtures her, raising her with love and fatherly adoration. As Charlotte grows older, she goes out to hunt humans to feed Valek and is a main staple in the city and is well loved. Both find their relationship changing, however, as Charlotte grows into womanhood. Innocence is replaced by deeper feelings and when lives become endangered, there is an added intensity that adds an entirely new dimension to the story.

I truly loved the writing style of Shayne Leighton in Of Light and Darkness. The way in which she brings the characters to life is fairly extraordinary. I found myself very attached to both Valek and Charlotte. Unlike many YA/Vamp/Paranormal stories on the market today, this one is not portrayed as the romantic/glorified version of otherworldly beings. There is a bit more darkness and realism, if you will, packed within this story. Valek is kind and very doting to his Lottie (Charlotte), he has tried to shelter her from seeing his monster side when he feeds and goes into his death sleep. He is a man with morals, compassion and is rather nurturing and unselfish. Charlotte is a very endearing and likable character. She is filled with spunk, bravery, and loyalty. The chemistry between the two main characters is very nearly perfect. I know some may be a bit turned off by the idea of a more intimate relationship forming between a father-type figure and the child/young woman that he raised and nurtured. However the way in which Ms. Leighton approaches and writes this aspect of the story is very well done, as well as adds a uniqueness of plot that I have not previously read in other novels.

In addition to the romance aspect in Of Light and Darkness, there is an excellent element of suspense that kept me engaged throughout. I found myself absorbed not only in the story itself and its many characters, but my emotions were also strongly engaged as I found my heart racing in intensity and worries engulf me throughout. With strong descriptions all throughout, readers will quickly and easily find themselves hooked on Of Light and Darkness, as I was. The ending was the perfect mix of satisfaction, yet openness to make me anxious for the next book in the series.

For lovers of YA and/or Paranormal stories, I highly recommend this one. I anxiously look forward to not only reading the next book in this series, but additional works by this author as well.

Favorite Quote: “Perfection is blind and so is love,” she said, and rolled away from him, pulling the covers up around her shoulders.

“What is that supposed to mean?” He reached to turn her back toward him.

“It means,” she paused for a moment, “you can’t see how perfect you really are to me.”



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