Book Review-Salvation by Alyssa Cooper

Romance novels often have as their central theme a love that lasts for eternity. Vampire romance novels are no exception. Vampires (in most books anyway) are immortal, so if a vampire was to fall in love with another vampire, they would be together for all eternity. Readers love these books because they love the idea of a pure, perfect love that transcends time.
Salvation is not your typical romance novel. We start knowing that Maya is going to die. She and Alec are together, but she’s dying. He doesn’t know how to let her go or how he will live without her. We see her death. It’s poignant, heartbreaking, and visceral.
The book is divided into three main parts. There’s Alec’s story, Maya’s story, and then a final section entitled Merek. The last section really isn’t Merek’s story though, but rather a multi-chapter epilogue that contains Merek as one of the two main characters.
Alec is a heavily flawed character. His parents are dead and he has been affected by this tragedy in horrible ways. He cannot focus on his studies, causing him to need a fifth year of high school. He abuses his girlfriend, Christine and while as abusive situations go, it is not horrendously graphic, there are some details that may be too sensitive for certain readers. He is haunted by the “ghosts” of his dead parents and the vision of a girl outside of his English class who appears everything his girlfriend is not.
I found it hard to sympathize with Alex for a while. The mistreatment and cruelty he showed Christine overshadowed the tragedy of his life. There’s a lot I’ll excuse in someone who has experienced such loss, but domestic violence isn’t one of those things. Yet as things progress with Maya, we see a new side to Alec. There is a lot of Alec’s coming of age, healing, learning how to be alive again after the death of his parents. We’re more than 50 pages into the 236 page book when we start to think that things are not as they might seem. And that’s where things get really interesting.
You see, Maya is a vampire. Unfortunately, there isn’t much time spent on this fact from Alec’s perspective. Only a couple of chapters after Alec realizes what Maya is, we’re back at the very first paragraph where Maya is killed by her maker. Merek.
Once Maya appears to die, we’re suddenly seeing her death again, but this time from her perspective. From there, we learn of Maya’s entire story. She has a tragic history, a real one, and we learn how she came to be a vampire.
This story called to me for its lack of predictability. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t romantic or wasn’t thrilling, but it didn’t follow the standard romance formula. The ending was…not happy, but it was perfect. There were some minor flow and editing issues, particularly in Maya’s story. The timeline of events could have been smoothed out a bit here and there. There were a number of key events in Maya’s human life and these events weren’t referenced in a consistent order. But overall, the issues were minor and few.
This was a well written, haunting tale that will stick with you.
Alyssa Cooper
Check out Alyssa Cooper on Goodreads and her Blog.
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Until Next Time,
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