Title: Night Vision: An Oupire Romance
Author: Caroline Davis
Genre: Paranormal Romance
This novel is part “realizing one’s place in the world,” part romance, taking readers on a journey with Lily Schmidt, an oupire who lives in a watchful community of oupires in Brookton.
The oupires are a form of undead similar to vampires, but they see themselves as different. They rise to life at noon and live until midnight, and unlike vampires, they can see in color, but both need to drink blood to live. However, oupires and vampires have been at odds with each other for some time, and recently, the Brookton oupires have been welcoming in refugees driven out of Pittsburgh by radical vampires who live there.
Lily lives in the midst of all this feuding and turmoil, but she knows very little about such things, save that she’s been warned that vampires are dangerous. When she finally meets Carl at a museum—a vampire who claims to be there just to see his late wife’s pottery—she finds herself alarmed and drawn to him at the same time. She knows it’s dangerous and that her community would be appalled, her few friends worried…but she just has to see Carl again.
But as their relationship progresses, Carl and Lily find themselves targeted by curiosity, disdain, anger, and a group of vampires who would be only too happy to keep them from living forever. To understand what is going on around them, they must uncover the secrets of a vampire death that occurred in Brookton long ago and delve into a modern conspiracy that is more personal than they first suspected.
This story might remind some readers of a paranormal women’s fiction story rather than a straight-up romance. There are some spicy scenes between Lily and Carl, but ultimately, the story is bigger than that, examining Lily’s growth as she goes from a naive oupire to a woman with greater understanding of her past, her world, and the tough choices she has to make to get what she wants.
The pacing is realistic and thoughtful, with some natural redundancies occurring as Carl and Lily relate what they’ve learned to their friends and discuss what to do next. However, the mystery can feel a little too unremarkable for how much page time it takes up. There are no plot twists and no big surprises, even though there is ample room in this story for both.
And the chemistry between the characters feels rather tame, to where they seem to be lusting after each other’s blood more than actually having a carnal reaction to each other. Some of this may be due to the nature of an undead romance, though—in the world of the story, it’s possible that sexuality is more animal and blood driven than focused on personality and exterior physical features.
With a timeless feel and a definite sense of community, this book will appeal to readers who like a thoughtful reading experience with a dose of sex and the paranormal to go with it. Immersive and creative, the book’s story may stay with readers long after the pages are closed.
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