Review: Dark Heirloom by J.D. Brown

Posted October 21st, 2012 in book review / 7 comments

Dark Heirloom

Book #1 of the Ema Marx Series

by J.D. Brown

Publisher: NightMare Publishing (April 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook (388 pages)
Source: Review Request by Author
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★½☆☆ (2.5 stars)

“You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?

Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.

The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way… ~ Add on Goodreads

~ Short Review ~

At a Glance
Dark Heirloom was exciting from the beginning then it lagged for the majority of the book and picked up a little at the end. This book had potential that it didn’t quite reach.

The Good
Ema is mysteriously turned into a vampire. She is taken far away from her life and pretty much held prisoner for reasons unknown. The master of the house hates her but the brother is nice. The brother, Jesu, starts to teach Ema how to enhance her new vampire abilities as Jalmari, the leader of the clan, just wants to get rid of her by any means necessary.

The beginning of the book starts out with a bang. It’s terrifying how Ema is introduced to the vampire world. Jalmari is not a good vampire and he holds nothing back. When Ema is taken to her “prison,” which happens to be a creepy but beautiful castle, things keep going downhill. It’s obvious Jalmari and his girlfriend do not want her there, but luckily Jesu is friendly. All he wants to do is help Ema with her new…condition. Together they find out that Ema is one powerful vampire. I did like the journey Ema and Jesu went through with all the training. It’s nice to see a slow building romance instead of insta-love for once.

Though Ema wasn’t one of my favorite characters, I did like Jesu for the most part. He was just adorable with all his blue blushing and shy demeanor. I would still like to learn more about him.

I was afraid for Ema most of the time. I just didn’t know what Jalmari was going to do with her. He really had no heart when it came to Ema, which made him unpredictable.

The writing was well done and the vampire history was interesting. I am intrigued to see where Brown is going to take this series.

The Bad
First off, I didn’t mind the first person POV since many of the books I read are first person, but in this book we get two shifting first person POVs. It shifts from Ema and Jalmari so it was hard to determine who’s head we were in each chapter until something significant happened.

The lack of contractions took me out of the story often. There was waaaay too much downtime and I found myself putting this book down often.

I couldn’t connect with most of the characters. Most of them were stagnant and others just made odd decisions. Jesu’s constant snickerng was childish and made me like him less for it. Ema not believing in the supernatural when it was obvious was tiring.

Simply put, not enough happened for me in this book. I was left with unanswered questions and the ending was completely cut off. It was barely an ending at all.

The Snuggly
The sex was pretty good. It was hot but the characters who had the sex were people I didn’t like so it was a little odd. There is a possible rape scene that we do not witness for the most part. Just a heads up.

This is a fifty-fifty book for me. I like half of the aspects in it while the other half were very disappointing. I am not sure if I would continue the series, but I don’t regret reading this book. I would only recommend this book to a few people who like a slower vampire book.

Pfft. What harm can a mirror do, beside remind me of the bruises on my face? I stole a quick glance in the ancient vanity mirror. I did a double take and gasped. The girl in the reflection was far too pale, her hair too dark, her teeth too pointed. It wasn’t my reflection and, yet, it was. My eyes frightened me most. Flecks of dark red colored the black irises. A sheen reflected off the large pupils like cat’s eyes in the dark. They were not my eyes. My eyes were brown. These eyes belonged to a monster.

My lips quivered as I ran my fingers over my face and hair. “What did you do to me?”

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7 Responses to “Review: Dark Heirloom by J.D. Brown”

  1. The Readdicts

    Great review, Jennifer! I like books with two POVs, but since it’s a slow book, hmmm… Let’s see! The book does seem good though. 🙂 Also, it is really annoying when you can’t relate to the characters in any way. :/

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  2. Elisa

    Hmmm, it sounds good, like the premise and since it is the start of a series I wonder if it will get more exciting. Hmmm, great review.

  3. Sarah (saz101)

    …blue blushing? What’s blue blushing? EXPLAIN? 😀

    Mmmm… this sounds… interesting, and I’m intrigued, but it sounds like a lot of the book’s problems are really technical, writing ones, and honestly? The often irritate me more than pacing or story problems, because they seem so obvious.

    I cannot STAND 1P POVs that don’t use contractions. They irk me. Badly. I suppose, if it’s meant to indicate archais speech? Otherwise it just makes me want to punch someone >:/

    Interesting that the 2 x POV’s and Ema and Jalmari’s… so I’m guessing Jesu isn’t really gonna wind up being the love interest? 😀

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Hehe. You make me smile.

      No, Jesu is the love interest. This author decided to give a POV to the bad guy and the heroine. It was interesting but confusing at times.

      The contractions did not come from odd speech, which I have seen and didn’t mind. It was just the author using them way to much.

      It was the pacing that bugged me the most for sure.

      Oh, I should has explained blue blushing. It’s a trait of his vampire linage. When he blushes he turns blue instead of red or pink. I could totally picture it.

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