Review: Kiss of the Vampire

Reviewed by Jen

Cynthia Garner puts a new twist on the supernatural with this first installment in her Warriors of the Rift series. In this world, vampires, shifters, and even demons were all once humans. But through a rift in space, the essence of otherworldly beings took over their bodies and now use them as vessels. The extra-terrestrial energies convert them into the preternatural creatures of legend.

Nix is a demon hybrid: with one demon and one human parent. Her life is a constant struggle to suppress her demon side and hold on to her sanity. She works as a liaison between human law enforcement and the supernatural council. As the story begins, she is investigating the deaths of two vampires. She realizes one of the victims was an old friend, just as her ex-boyfriend shows up as a special investigator on the scene. Nix loved Tobias, but he walked out on her five years ago and never looked back. Seeing him shakes her control and leaves her angry and heartbroken all over again.

What Nix doesn’t know is that Tobias never stopped loving her, but he left her for noble reasons. Now they must both fight their feelings for one another as they work to figure out who is behind the continuing killing spree. As the murders point the finger at a bigger conspiracy, they are left wondering who they can trust –and what the killer’s end game really is.

I liked the concept of book and I liked Nix as a main character. She is strong and determined to overcome the obstacles she faces. But it was hard to watch the way she is rejected and betrayed over and over again. I found myself fixated on the mechanics of hybridization inside the rules of the world building. It just didn’t click in my mind that the otherworldly-essence would pass on to a child. That bothered me. It also bothered me that almost all of the preternatural characters are ancient, but I felt very little gravitas from any of them. They didn’t feel hundreds or thousands of years old. They felt just like traditional supes. Plus –I just didn’t feel like the idea of their displaced consciousness was explored the way it needed to be. Who and what were they as individuals before the rift? Mostly criminals, I gather. But it’s just so sweepingly vague.

I also have to question what draws a 2000 year-old being, hyper-focused on a vengeance mission, to a 23 year-old girl. We have few details on Tobias and Nix’s backstory. I never really got why they were in love. They’re hot in the sack, and he calls her “honey” ALOT, but beyond that, I only know they are in love because the author told me.

The book isn’t bad, but all of my issues with it, kept me from really connecting with it or becoming invested in the characters. I will give it credit, though, for trying something new and for not going the predictable route with the killer. Almost 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Kiss of the Vampire
by Cynthia Garner
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Forever (GCP)


  1. Nice review! The one thing that stood out is I would really not like reading about a heroine that’s constantly rejected/betrayed. I mean, some angst is ok (who doesn’t love that?) but I don’t like to see characters constantly beat down.

  2. Great review. Five years have gone by and they still love each other. I have to read this book to find out why Tobias left. Thanks for the giveaway.


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