Helen Wells, 19, is a gifted painter, struggling to create a legacy before the illness that left her crippled claims her life. Stephen Austra is a brilliant glass artist, and an immortal. When they meet, their passion is immediate and intense. But as their love grows, Dick Wells, Helen's uncle and a homicide expert on the local police department, begins investigating a series of savage murders committed, he is forced to believe, by something not human. Soon all three will be drawn into a struggle with a dark presence from Stephen's past, one that lays claim to the life of the woman he loves and one that, for all his power, he is helpless to control. This novel, first published in 1989 to critical acclain is being reissued in a special updated -- and uncut -- version, and includes 12,000 words not found in the original edition. It is the first of 6 books in the Austra series.
Right off I was struck by the dark, almost somber tone that was very gothic and at times seemed old-fashioned. Shattered Glass reminded me why I fell in love with the vampire genre as a teen and why I keep reading as an adult. This was well crafted, seductive writing at its best!
In one scene, fairly early one in the story, Stephen is discussing Helen's art and he says a line that perfectly describes Bergstrom's work~ the "style seems all your own". You won't find another book like this sitting on the crowded bookstore shelves because the writing style is different and the plot doesn't revolve around current market trends for paranormal fiction. I'm not bashing these books at all, I read and love many of them, I'm merely trying to point out that this book has that unique factor that makes it stand out.
Helen begins as the ideal tragic heroine but her strength and depth will surprise you. And Stephen isn't a traditional vampire by any stretch of the imagination. The vampire mythology alone is worth the read. But don't expect a quick, light read...give yourself time to enjoy and understand this vampire family. I cannot wait to read the rest of the Austra saga and look forward to the next 5 books!
Visit Elaine's website for more book details and other exciting Austra vampire news.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty for VampChix
*This book was given by the author for review purposes