Review: Absolution by Angela McGurk

ABSOLUTIONReviewed by Shelly

Angela McGurk’s story is outside of what I would normally read. I’m not big on vampire stories because very rarely will I be sympathetic to anyone who is not human. In many books in the genre, I find that vampires tend to be braggadocious with egos that are just too much for me. This was a good story. There were a lot, I mean a lot of things, motives especially, that I didn’t understand, but overall it’s a well-done story.

This takes place in current times and is told in first person. One of the interesting things about the POV was that there were multiple people whose view that we got to know. This also makes it a bit of a challenge for me to convey my thoughts about this story – for me to tell you about each POV that would be a novel in itself. So I’m only going to tell you about Eve. When we’re introduced to Eve Blackthorn (a human), she’s a recent widow after being married for a very short time (couple weeks max) to a vampire, Robert Blackthorn. She’s about 25 and met Robert when she was but 18 during an assault where she was the victim. By the time that Robert met Eve, he was over century in age and for some reason her being so young to his being so old (regardless of his ‘vampireness’, not sure if that’s even a word but you know what I mean) just kind of threw me. Is this common in vamp worlds? It certainly seems to be.

After the death of her husband, Eve struggles with not only staying alive but also the act of living itself. Her ability to function in the human world affects her greatly and she soon completely immerses herself in the vampire world. After being unable to find work and maintain a steady income, Eve turns to a life of prostitution as her means of support. She’s even able to make a niche for herself; it’s neither glamorous nor interesting to read. It’s during the description of her services that she’s able to perform that I began to question Eve’s ability to handle both stress and pain. She seems to be the all or nothing kind of girl and she is clearly unable to constructively handle any kind of strain. Eve is completely self-destructive and can’t/won’t move on from her husband’s death. It’s her blatant self-destructiveness, with much justification, that hampers the majority of my ability to care of her as a character.

In Eve Blackthorn, I’ve found the perfect anti-heroine. I certainly not didn’t like her or understood the rationale for her actions. I don’t know what her life was like before meeting Robert and marrying him other than she was in college. There’s not a lot of background about her pre-Robert and his vampire world so I don’t know what in her youth gave her permission to conjure this negative belief in herself that she had nothing better to offer than what was between her legs. In her current vampire world, her pimp, Vanessa Rosa, seems to be the only person that Eve trusts; but I’m not sure that it’s ever a good thing to trust a pimp.

Vampire Tulloch Sullivan is the man who was present at Robert’s execution and he’s been following Eve for the last few years. Eve is convinced that Tulloch works for the people who are responsible for Robert’s death but she has no way to prove anything much less who set up her dead husband. That’s one of the things that I didn’t understand. Eve says that she’s looking for who killed Robert but I didn’t see her actively trying to find out who the culprit was. She keeps doing the same thing and falling into the same traps where she’s clearly being played – for such a smart girl, she didn’t always come across that way. She’s definitely tough when it comes to the dealing with the physical pain it’s the mental where she would falter. Maybe she’ll redeem herself in the follow up.

Tulloch was a very likeable hero even with the mystery surrounding him. But I didn’t feel the connection that I know I was supposed to. Maybe because I didn’t see what he saw in Eve and that made me question too much about him.

Overall this was an interesting vampire tale. If you’re in the mood for some fangs, vampire tears (lots and lots of vampire tears), a dashing hero, a questionable heroine and an ongoing plot where you aren’t sure of the good guys then this one is right up your alley.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B-/C+

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Angela McGurk
Release Date: December 7, 2013



  1. Hmm, this book has sorta gotten onto my radar but I’d not really heard much about it yet and I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to read it or not, and now I’m even less sure. I’ve kind of drifted away from vampire books, having gotten a little burned out I guess, but this does sound different than the usual fare.

    And that huge age difference is very common in vamp worlds. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, but sometimes it skeeves me out a little. I guess depending on just how young and innocent the heroine is/was before pairing up with the vamp.

    • Shelly Browne says:

      I hear ya, I’m used to the age difference in the PNR world but it was the maturity level that made my eyebrows lift. I think it’s a good premise and story but there were a few things that bothered me.

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