The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

My Five Word TL:DR Review : I wanted to love this

TheLightsI really did expect to love this one.  Prague.. Vampires.  Gothic.  This is my catnip  In fact it’s what I’ve been waiting for.  And, to be fair to Jarvis, there’s a lot of positive vibes here, but somehow, although I liked the story it failed to make me connect with either the characters or the place.

To the story.  Basically, we follow Domek Myska.  This is the gaslight era where science was starting to play a part in everyone’s lives for example here, the dark streets of Prague, lit by gas lamps, forcing the monsters to retreat even further into the darkness.  At the same time the monsters here are still hidden, the majority of the population are unaware of the vampires or pijavice that they are known as.  Now, the gaslighters are more than they seem.  They act as a kind of monster hunter force, lighting the streets whilst eliminating monsters and keeping people safe.

In terms of plot, we have a vampire slayer and a vampire.  The two have been circling each other in a romantic way, unaware that they are natural enemies.  On top of this, following a late night attack, Domek has stumbled onto something secret that will change things in the worst possible way – for humans at least.

Lady Ora Fischerová is part of the nobility but she is also a pijavice or vampire and for some time she’s been flirting with Domek, blissfully unaware of the danger he could pose to her.  Ora was turned hundreds of years ago but she now resists the natural life of a vampire.  In fact she loved and married a human who she still mourns.  Ora is about to be pulled back into the vampire underworld against her own better judgement.

Prague lends itself naturally to the supernatural elements of the story.  A beautiful city with dark tunnels beneath where danger lurks.  This is a city with ghosts, vampires and much more.

So, I enjoyed this but it didn’t ‘wow’ me in quite the way I hoped for or expected.  It’s difficult to put my finger on why that is exactly.  I think it boils down to two things.  I failed to really engage with either Domek or Ora and this led to a lack of fear or tension when they stepped into the fray.  And the two of them certainly face danger as the story progresses.  Basically, this was certainly not a bad story, or difficult to read, but it didn’t deliver the gothic fantasy I was eager for and in some ways the plot was a little obvious.  I was hoping for a little more menace from the vampires but felt the threat was never quite realised, even when they were striving to become something much more dangerous.

Overall, I think this could possibly be down to my own reading mood or the fact that I over hyped this one to such an extent that it would always be difficult to live up to such notions.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3 of 5 stars