Judging from the prologue itself, I honestly thought I was going to dislike this book for two reasons;
-One: Urban Fantasy most of the time doesn't work for me.
-Two: It’s about vampires (I was afraid this will be something like Twilight okay?).
Turns out I was wrong on both accounts and I ended up pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this was.
Children of Espen: Sydon City is the first book in the Vampire Trilogy by Shane Ramey. It’s an urban fantasy with the story taking place entirely in the City of Sydon, which is located in California. The main plot revolves around Sydon city, which has been ruled by the Sydon’s vampire clan for a long time and when it’s discovered that there is a traitor among the clan, Kara Peal, a vampire who’s also our main character will have to find the traitor before the dark dream of the destroyed Sydon’s late nemesis, Zerod Espen, turns into reality.
The pace of the book is fast and I’m delighted to find that the characters are actually intriguing and colorful in personality. Starting from Kara, her best friends Ryker and Holten, or the adorable seven year old vampire Alia, their interactions with the humans never bored me and sometimes they even made me laugh. For its short length, Children of Espen managed to sets its story progression structure and pacing appropriately which made this book a short fun read.
I must mention one small thing that I’ve been wondering for a long time ever since my encounter with vampire’s story back when I was a child. “Do our blood types matter for vampires?” I know, it’s a random thought but I’m delighted to see that the author explore more on this part, being that each blood type have different kind of taste for the vampires and in my opinion, this small thing was amusing to read.
In terms of prose, it’s really simple. I don’t think anyone will have any trouble digesting the words or stories in the book, it’s very easy to read and accessible but please do know that there are quite a lot of typos in the book here. I personally never let typos bother me though unless it goes overboard and changed the meaning of the story heavily.
Sadly, not everything is all good here. The short length is also what decreased the quality of the book in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good and fun read, but there’s a lot of unused potential here. The actions for example are way too short, there are quite a lot of them but every time something happened, it concluded in one or two pages; this kills the tension of the book for me. The main antagonist of the book also needs more background explanation for the story.
Overall, Children of Espen is a fun short read that I will recommend to anyone who’s looking for a short vampire or urban fantasy read. This isn’t something like Twilight, this is a good book about actual vampire’s story, who remains true to the classic vampire habitual factors such as strictly living in the night. Despite the unused potential caused by the short length of the book, Children of Espen is a good beginning to a trilogy that never bored me at all during my time of reading it. With more pages and exposure, I can see this becoming something that the fans of the genre will enjoy.