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21 September 2020

Publisher: Self Published

Written By: Leah Reise

RRP: £8.33 / $11.00 (Paperback) | £3.20 / $3.99 (Kindle)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 21st September 2020

This time around we're dipping back into the world of vampires in Leah Reise's 'The Beauty In Darkness: A Vampire Story'; a refreshing take on the supernatural genre.

Edrea, our central character, is dead. That is, she has just died - on her 29th Birthday of all days. It gets worse though, as Edrea has been turned into a Vampire and she's not keen on this new "life". With an opportunity to end her existence once and for all, she's about to go through with it until she hears the scream of a woman in trouble. Suddenly, Edrea is given fresh new purpose and, rather fortunately for us, (spoiler alert) doesn't go through with her initial plan.

This story is also about Edrea's sister, Rena; someone who only knows her sister is missing - and not the grave truth about what actually happened to her and what she has become. The story flip-flops between each sister's perspective, but rather unusually we get a third-person perspective for Rena as opposed to Edrea's first-person. Not a critique - it still works and I guess it focuses us more on Edrea.

I think what makes this book so engaging is the inner turmoil that Edrea is constantly going through. She is fighting against her new instincts and it wonderfully emboldens just how strong she is in doing so. You want a strong, female character here - you got it! I also love her self-titled 'dark heroine' persona that she eventually comes to accept. Taking the supernatural out of it, there are so many parallels to everyday struggles we as humans face, and it's so nice, regardless of gender, to see them reflected in Edrea's own struggles.

At its heart, this is a morality tale, and one that despite the subject matter and some of the macabre tone, will actually give you hope and comfort. No better can this be evidenced than by something Edrea says, herself:

"No one is ever truly alone, because we're all lonely together"

There are some great characters throughout, although some which you wish you knew a little more about and have fleshed out. Finally, I want to commend Reise for her excellent use of pacing; everything starts off with a bang before settling down to the meat of the story with a gradual build to a satisfying conclusion.

The Beauty In Darkness is an easy read, to the point that (at the risk of sounding cliche) you don't want to put it down. When you do reach the end, there's a rather lovely letter from the author with the promise of a sequel - something we are very much looking forward to reading.

+  The Beauty In Darkness is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @LeahReise on Twitter.

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