Tuesday, August 16, 2011

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Embrace of Life and Death

Liz Strange was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario where she still resides with her family and a menagerie of pets. When not working, writing or spending time with her family she enjoys reading, watching scary movies, spicy food and hitting the gym.
 Liz is a self-confessed sci-fi nerd, loving Star Trek, X-Files, and Torchwood. She alos loves anything to do with mythology, history and anthropology, and has a long-standing fascination with ancient Greece and Easter Island.
She has been an avid reader from childhood, and has always been attracted to stories that deal with the darker side of human nature, mysteries, crime, and things that go bump in the night. Her true (and undying) love for vampires was born when she got her hands on a copy of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot.
Liz loves to hear from her readers and will answer any questions sent her way. 
And yes this is her real name!
The Embrace of Life and Death, A Dark Kiss Tale
Author:  Liz Strange
Synopsis:  Kieran is a hundred-and-twenty-year-old immortal, originally hailing from the harsh, famine-stricken life of 1880s Ireland. He has surpassed death and thrived, gaining wealth, power and knowledge. Azrael is the angel of death, but his mission is far from ominous. He is the protector of the grief-stricken, and the champion of lost souls. The two are polar opposites in mission and nature, yet are inexplicably drawn to one another.

The Supreme One sees all, and when he discovers the truth about the relationship he is enraged. Their commitment to be together must be stronger than his determination to keep them apart.

Our Review [By LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha-Michelle L Olson]: 
Let me begin by saying that I wasn’t even sure I would be able to read this one.  I had not read a male/male paranormal romance before this, and to say I was concerned about whether I could get into the story (let alone enjoy it) would be putting it mildly.  I had only recently discovered M/F/M PNRs and found, to my surprise, that I enjoyed them.  With that said, however, the synopsis intrigued me, and knowing that I had thoroughly enjoyed Liz’s work in the past; I set out to see what this Dark Kiss Tale had to offer.
Written at first in the 1st person from Kieran’s point of view, the story started off like many others, footloose and fancy free immortal vampires running amok in the city, enjoying their higher rung on the food chain and their basic natures.  Then the mysterious Arch Angel Azrael is introduced, as well as his ‘boss’, The Supreme One, and the tale takes an interesting turn. 
What you ultimately end up with is a forbidden romance, an ego-maniac who thinks he knows what’s best and interferes in the most extreme of ways only to push the two people he is trying to keep apart closer together, the most loyal and true of friends, and a storyline SO unique that there could never be anything like it again—vampires, arch angels, gods, alien technology, time travel, mind control…  It sounds crazy, but Liz wrote it SO seamlessly that it worked better than you could possibly imagine!
The emotions felt by all parties throughout the story were so visceral; I could literally feel my pulse pick up, my heart sink, my temperature rise, etc.  The romance was tender and believable, and the friendships exactly what you would hope to have in your own life.  I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve read a novel that I FELT like I felt this one.        
Some readers will not be happy with the ultimate outcome and ending of the book.  For the story it was perfect, but it’s not a traditional HEA, and that may rile a few readers.  In all honesty, I found myself screaming “Are you kidding me!” at first until I thought about it a little more, and decided that it wouldn’t have worked as well any other way…
All in all, LITERAL ADDICTION Paranormal Book Club gives The Embrace of Life and Death 4 Skulls and would recommend it for Paranormal Romance fans at large, not just m/m PNR readers.    

 The Embrace of Life and Death:

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