Synopsis: With the suicide of her best friend, burned-out rock star Nikki Velvet came face-to-face with death, and she’d do anything not to face it again. When a mysterious stranger offers her immortality, she believes she’s found what she’s been searching for, but it’s nothing like she’s imagined …. Sylvan, the beautiful stranger who’d promised to make her a vampire, turned out to be all too human. He keeps his promise — but only to leave her weak, helpless, and addicted to his blood. Now, trapped in her new life with him — and with Paul, the vampire she’s replaced as Sylvan’s favorite — Nikki struggles to rise above Sylvan’s control and Paul’s jealousy, and to find a way out with the help from the ghosts of her past. But it might not be so simple. When Sylvan risks the retribution of the enigmatic Shadow Market, Nikki has to find her own fate, before time runs out for all of them …. STILL LIFE is a story of loss, isolation, the things we mistake for love, and the way back out of the dark.
My Take: **** Warning, there will be some spoilers*** The author takes a very interesting approach to vampires. His vampires don't have fangs. They have regular human teeth. When Nikki is turned, she becomes a pet to a human who cuts himself and feeds her through the wound in her neck that was made when she was turned, and the experience is described like a drug. I have to admit, I didn't care for this interesting new take on vampires. Not because I think vampires should be sexy. Anyone who has ever read The Hunters knows I am think vampire should be killed not kissed.
But these vampires as pets are just tragic. It is just so bizarre. I get how he wove the story, and I thought he did an amazing job with that! But this type of tragic vampire just isn't my cup of tea. If I want to read tragic vampires, Anne Rice did a wonderful job of that. This type makes it too easy for the vampire posers that he references in the beginning to believe they have become vampires.
Or maybe I am just a codgy old woman tired of people messing with the lore of my childhood ;) That being said, this story is amazingly written. The vivde imagery and wordplay in moments are astounding. I have read a lot of stories about junkies and the way he paints the high is very reminiscent. I have read lots of stories about abusive relationships and the patterns he holds to echo disturbingly.
I did read a pre-edited copy. (It got lost in my stack, for which I feel absolutely awful!) so I won't comment too much on the editing, because a lot of it would have gotten caught. However, a few things I will note because I noticed in the preview of it on Amazon that these didn't look like they were changed.
1. I found it annoying that Nikki used "was all" A LOT! But wrote it off as a character flaw, until other characters started doing it too. Then I realised it was a writing flaw. One that drove me absolutely bonkers!
2. The layout choices really bugged me. The way he capitalized the whole first sentence of new sections was very distracting and pulled me out of the story. I had never seen it done before and I am not sure why he made that choice. At first I thought it may have been his way around Smashwords meat grinder, but the book is not on Smashwords. I still cannot fathom the logic behind that choice.
But overall, it was a well-crafted story. If you are open to different versions of vampires, enjoy dark tragic stories, and beautiful imagery about dark things, then this is a book you should read. You can get a copy on Amazon.