What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good vampire story. (Pun very much intended). And I’m especially a sucker for a good vampire romance story. This obsession long predates my affair with Twilight and Edward Cullen. This goes back to Angel and Spike and Lestat and countless others.
So it was easy for me to fall in love with Rebecca Maizel’s Infinite Days — but what I especially loved about her book was the new twist she gives the vampire romance. Instead of a human becoming a vampire, you’ve got a vampire becoming a human.
The cover of Infinite Days sucked me in immediately. (I know, I know, “don’t judge a book by its cover” — but this one is so pretty! And shiny!) But it was the story itself that kept me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages.
Lenah, herself, is not the most charming character — but I kind of liked that she was a little bit evil; a little bit bad ass (in a subtle, old-fashioned way). And after centuries ruling as a vampire queen, I enjoyed watching Lenah thrust into modern day society — and an upper-crust, East coast boarding school, at that. And though her behavior may not have been completely innocent, I got a little thrill out of her success in the high school drama scene. (What can I say? I’m still a bit jaded from my own days as a Catholic school girl. I liked that Lenah was a bit rebellious; that she walked to the beat of her own drum, and still turned heads.)
Then there is the supporting cast of potential romantic leads. There’s Rhode, the charming vampire who gives up his own life to grant Lenah humanity (perhaps succumbing to the guilt he feels for turning her in the first place). We also have Tony, the artsy scholarship guy who is sometimes too nice for his own good. And then there’s Justin. Lenah is drawn to him instantly, but part of me really hated him at first. He was the cocky jock, dating the bitchy “popular” girl — and then sort of flirting on the side with Lenah, and playing the two girls against each other. I didn’t want to like Justin. But then, at some point, I did. (Okay, the greenhouse scene on page 155 may have been extremely influential. It was steamy. Justin had some other redeeming moments, as well. I’ll give him that. He did win me over, after all.)
Infinite Days is riddled with juxtapositions and contradictions. Lenah is not a likable character — but in a way, I really liked her. And she’s evil. But she’s also good. Justin’s a jerk. But then he’s not. Lenah is a centuries-old vampire, who’s witnessed countless historic moments. And then she’s embroiled in boy-trouble and girl drama in high school. The whole book seems like it would be a strange combination — but Maizel makes it work with finesse.
She’s created a vast, lush history to her characters’ lives — mixing in real facts with her fictional vampires to create an intensely epic feel to the entire story. Infinite Days takes on so many twists and turns, it’s nearly impossible to keep up. The pacing will have you turning pages until the very end — and then wailing when you realize the book is over, and the sequel isn’t out yet. (Luckily, the first chapter of book two — Stolen Nights — is included at the end of the book. VERY luckily.)
There may be a sea of vampire romances available to choose from these days (especially in Young Adult lit) — but in that wide sea, Infinite Days stands out as uniquely different yet wholly engaging. It’s in a class all its own.