Enemy Within by Angeline Kace (Vampire Born, #2) – [Book Review]

Published April 30th 2013 by Accendo Press

Series: Vampire Born #2
Author website
Source: Purchased by me
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Two guys who’ve stolen her heart.
Three races and only one of them worthy.
Countless enemies with insatiable bloodlust for power.
Will one girl’s curse ultimately save her? 

Half-vampire Brooke Keller barely survived the slaying of her worst enemy, only to learn that Zladislov—the world’s most powerful vampire, leader of the vampire world, and her father—wants her dead. However, this time, she’s not only fighting vampires but a raging monster within her that endangers what’s left of her humanity. And when a deadly disease threatens to take her best friend’s life, Brooke tries to convince Kaitlynn to accept a monster of her own: becoming a Zao Duh.

As a former slave to the Pijawikas, Mirko is driven to protect the innocent at all costs, but he has never faced a foe more formidable than Zladislov. And when the Commission bears down on Brooke, Mirko finds the stream of enemies runs deeper than he ever imagined.”

Enemy Within is the new thrilling addition to the Vampire Born trilogy from author Angeline Kace. I was lucky enough to have beta read for this novel, and let me tell you, it’s been awesome to be able to watch this story grow and evolve. Kace’s writing abilities just keep getting better and better. I purchased my copy as soon as it went live on Amazon!

Brooke has really shown some growth as the main character. She’s accepted her new life as a half-vampire/Pijawika. In a perfect (paranormal) world, she’d get time to acclimate to said new life, revel in the new strength, discover other abilities and really get to know Mirko. BUT Brooke’s reality is far from perfect. Right off the bat, Kace immerses Brooke into action. It’s definitely not all fun and games. Brooke has to deal with some really terrible situations. She goes through a roller coaster of emotions as the story progresses, and she can’t be sure of anything. Is her father the evil man she’s always thought he was? Is she, herself, evil? I really felt for her. Brooke isn’t one to shy away from her emotions. She felt them in the moment, but didn’t really wallow in it. I’m tired of female male characters that just take horrible situations all in stride and never FEEL. I like a little vulnerability. There has to be a good balance, though. Too much whining and I want to gouge my eyeballs out, but Brooke’s my girl. She pulled herself together and did what needed to be done.

I found the Pijawkan history and society very intriguing and frustrating. Intriguing because of the different classes of Pijawikan society. The different ‘levels’ all have their own lifestyles, manners/protocols, and purpose. Pijawikas are like kings. Powerful and rich. Drustvos are the servant class, and pretty much live to serve the Pijawikas. That is their one duty in life. Then there are the Zao Duhs, who are treated like garbage even though they’re the ones who are called on to protect the upper class. That’s where the frustrating part comes in. Mirko, who we ALL can agree does no wrong, is degraded in several scenes in Enemy Within, and it made me SO angry. I wanted to punch someone!

Speaking of Mirko, I really enjoyed getting to see his point of view. He is, of course, my favorite character in this series. Yep, I’m Team Mirko all the way. There are just so many layers to this guy, and we’ve only seen beneath a few. Yes, he’s extremely cocky at times, but it’s because he’s fought tooth and nail to get to where he is. Mirko has gone through so much pain, horror and debasement as a Zao Duh. It doesn’t matter that he is the best fighter and can see past schemes and stay one step ahead of his enemies. He is a Zao Duh and that means he is less. It’s absolutely ridiculous! Mirko is loyal and dedicated, especially to Brooke. He even takes care of her friends even though they’re human and don’t listen to anything he says. Through his frustration with that he sees how much they mean to Brooke, and he honors that. We get to see beyond his arrogance in Enemy Within, and though his past has some very, very dark times,  I very much enjoyed watching his character develop and deepen. That’s probably my favorite thing about this book.

(I have to mention the ‘love triangle’ since it’s in the synopsis. Let’s just say that in my mind, there was no real competition, ever, and leave it at that!)

So much that happens in this book that there’s pretty much no time to chill out. If there’s not a fight breaking out, someone is betraying someone else, or people are fighting for their lives. We’re taking in the scenery of Croatia one minute and then dancing in a club the next. There really never was a dull moment. The ending had me yelling ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!’. I was stunned. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, it was really a very good ending. You’ll think you know how it’s going to end, and then Angeline Kace sucker punches you in the gut.

I’m dying for book 3, and you can bet I will be nagging Angeline Kace for it every chance I get. If you haven’t checked this series out, DO IT! The Vampire Born series has a completely different take on vampires, and it’s one of my favorites. Take a break from whatever your ‘normal’ is and pick up the first book, Descended by Blood, and let Mirko take your mind off things for a while!

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