Vampires are real and the battle for humanity has begun. Five years ago Blaze Knight, a half-breed vampire with the ability to control fire, was captured and tortured by vampires working for Cyrus Chimola for seven months. His brothers then managed to find and rescue him. He is now heavily tattooed to hide the physical scars from his experience. The emotional scars are less visible, but no less enduring, and he has only been clean two years. Before that, he tried to use heroin and booze to run from his demons. Once again, his brothers saved him, this time from himself. He has even started seeing a girl, Elena. Valerie Medeiros is a member of the NYPD. When Blaze's girl Elena is found brutally murdered, covered in hand prints of flame and drained of blood, Blaze becomes the prime suspect. Once Val meets Blaze, she realizes he couldn't have killed Elena, and they team up to hunt down her killer. Blaze's one-time captor Cyrus is back in town and gunning for him. Cyrus is a rogue vampire and has learned that drinking Blaze's blood will allow him to control fire and walk in daylight. In exchange for Blaze, Cyrus has sold this secret to the vampire Sire of New York, Alek Konstantinov, causing Alek to come gunning for the rest of the Knights. Can Blaze escape Cyrus and forge a new life with Valerie or will he be forced back into captivity and madness? RELEASING THE DEMONS is a fast-paced adventure that grabs the reader from the first page and never lets us go. L.D. Rose chooses to tell the story of Blaze's captivity mainly through flashbacks interspersed throughout the novel and triggered by the novel's action. The flashbacks add to the reader's understanding of Blaze's character and, by not placing them all together as a coherent prologue, Ms. Rose avoids information overload. The short scenes give reasons for Blaze's actions in the present without overloading the reader with drawn out scenes of torture. The author uses the same format to explain Valerie's extreme aversion to vampires, as we learn in snippets about her younger sister's murder. What is confusing is that the abilities of Blaze's brothers seem at odds with his past and his current physical condition. Blaze is covered in scars and has lost all feeling in his hands because of his prolonged torture. Yet, the reader learns that Blaze's brother Kasen is a healer whose power is so great he can heal broken bones with a touch. So why hasn't Kasen healed Blaze's scars? There are presumably limits to Kasen's gift. We are told for instance that he feels the pain of those he heals, but those limits need to be made clearer. At the moment, it just reads like Kasen didn't feel like fully healing Blaze. This is unlikely to be the case since it is made clear throughout the novel that Blaze's brothers love him. That is why it is so odd that it took seven months to find him when he was still in New York and one of the brothers, Rome, is a powerful physic. Again, the limits of the brothers' powers need to be clearer. Yet, this is a minor irritant in an otherwise amazing book. If you are into urban fantasy or dystopian fiction this is a great read. It is also nice to see a novel where the vampires are the bad guys. There are too many Twilight knock-offs out there. RELEASING THE DEMONS is something else. This novel speaks to the new shift towards dystopian fiction. Yet it offers hope and even love in a world overrun by evil. Ms. Rose's vision of a shattered Manhattan where humans and vampires wage war every night is eerily real for a fantasy novel. A must read. - See more at: http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=18793#sthash.EUDihBfg.dpuf
Elizabeth Ramsay is an editor and education writer.