Monday, September 29, 2014

Review of Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down

Today, I am reviewing Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen.  I purchased this book as part of the Tall, Dark and Supernatural boxed set which contains seven different novels by various authors. This is the first book in a series called Forged Bloodlines, which, according to Goodreads, has eight books already written. Here's a link to the list.

The Synopsis

It was ironic that this happened to me; I was never a night person at heart. So you can see right off the bat why a vampire was the very last thing I would have chosen to be.

Anja Evans wakes up in the morgue with a hell of a hangover. It takes almost eating her best friend before she figures out... she's a vampire. When a dark and dangerous vampire shows up at her door asking to see her license and registration, Anja assumes Bishop is a regular cop. But breeding among vampires is strictly controlled, and her unlicensed status makes her an enemy of The Order. Struggling to find a balance between her former life and her undead one, Anja tries to blend school and living up to her new identity, all while searching to find the elusive Viking, whose blood gave Anja the strength of a vampire hundreds of years old.

The Review

My reaction to the book can best be summed up as a big, fat "Meh". I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it either. The story started off with promise, but there wasn't much to the story beyond what you can read in the synopsis. 

The main character, Anja, wakes up in a morgue after being pronounced dead. She has no memory of how she got there, but is told by the cops that she had died of blood loss after bleeding out from a wound on her neck. Now, she is miraculously non-wounded and non-dead, so she bolts from the morgue to figure out what happened to her. I was intrigued to see where the story was going.

Next, we meet Bishop who is the vampire equivalent of a cop who enforces vampire laws. He comes to her apartment asking for her "papers". There is an Abbott and Costello-ish exchange between Bishop and Anja as they talk at each other without understanding what the other is saying. Since I love a bit of wit and humor in my paranormal romances, I thought that this book held promise.

This is where the book started to lose its way. The remainder of the story consisted of both Bishop and Anja changing personalities at the drop of a hat. I think these personality swings were an effort to keep some tension and interest going in the story. However, these changes seemed to be somewhat artificial to me.

A real lost opportunity in this book was that no one made much of an effort to find out who her maker was, which
might have been an interesting mystery for the two main characters to work together to solve.  Then, they would have had something of substance to talk about. There were a few unremarkable investigative efforts and conversations, but this was a story line that remained largely unexplored.

I've read books before that didn't really have an exciting plot, but the characters were so well-written and interesting that I didn't mind that the story line was thin.  The characters were the story.  In this case, both the plot and the characters were lackluster.  The characters seemed flat and inauthentic to me.

Don't get me wrong. It isn't that I didn't get some enjoyment from reading this book, but in my opinion it would have been even better if the characters' actions came from a more authentic place.

The Rating

I have debated on what rating to give this book. To me, it was between 2 and 3 stars. In the end, I'm rounding 2.5 stars up to File:Five Pointed Star.pngFile:Five Pointed Star.pngFile:Five Pointed Star.png. However, the true verdict comes when I answer this question, "Would you read other books in this series?" to which I answer, "No, I'm just not interested enough in these characters to read more about them." There are surely many readers out there who absolutely loved this book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.


  1. Sometimes you find a jewel, sometimes not. Thanks for an honest review, Neena. Strong, emotional characters are a must for me so I'll pass on this one.

    1. You're welcome! It was difficult to be critical because it felt mean, but in the end I decided that this book just wasn't for me. Different people like different things. Someone else will love the book. That's the great thing about all the books that are out there- there's something for everyone!