Back of the Book Blurb: The Day of the Dead is a short story connected to the New York Times bestselling Cassandra Palmer series of urban fantasy novels. It was first published in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (2008) and is now being offered as a free ebook. It features Tomas, a character from Touch the Dark (2006), the first Cassandra Palmer novel.
Review: At just 36 pages, this is truly a short story. That being said, it was free (yay!) and pretty darn good. And absolutely perfect to read while my son was in his karate lesson and my daughter was bouncing off the chair next to me, chattering nonstop. Which is why I normally can only read at night:-).
Tomas is over four hundred years old, and has not had the best vampire life. He was born to an Incan mother and a Spanish Conquistador father, turned into a vampire and made to collect human snacks for a real sadistic master vamp named Alejandro. He ends up slave to another master vamp, escapes him, and has returned to the small village in the mountains to try and kill Alejandro (gahhhh, I hear Lady Gaga every time I type his name). It is the Day of the Dead, and there are other strangers in this tiny village, one of whom is Sarah, a mysterious and capable woman searching for her missing journalist brother. Not everyone is fully human, though, and Sarah and Tomas end up joining forces. I won't go into further plot points because, hey, at 36 free pages you can read it yourself.
Tomas is a well-developed character - I really felt like I knew him about halfway through the story. His motivations for killing Alejandro are understandable, and his morality really shines through. Sarah's secret identity is a unique twist in the paranormal genre, and I enjoyed reading about her, although I wanted to know more about her history. Usually short stories are focused on either action or character development, but the author has done a nice job balancing the two. The story moves along nicely with lots of fights, suspense and surprises, and the beginnings of a sexy romance.
For more information about the author and her books, check out her website at http://www.karenchance.com/books.html.