Ethical vampire Amber Fang is on the hunt for her mother, for answers about her identity, and for a murderer to have for dinner. Everybody seems to have plans for her, and most of them she’d very much like to avoid.
Title: Amber Fang: Betrayal
Author: Arthur Slade
Review Rating: 3 stars
I’ll behave this time, I promise
Amber Fang: Betrayal continues the theme of searching for family from Amber Fang: The Hunted and starts calculating the price of finding them. Amber Fang herself is reduced to a wise-cracking kicking machine, flamboyantly unreliable and a danger to everyone around her. She is single-minded in pursuit, like a terrier dragging its leash, and incapable of caring that somebody chases her into traffic until long after they’ve been squished by a bus. Even then, I’m beginning to worry that she doesn’t care as much as she claims to.
Liking Amber Fang herself a bit less than I used to is where I am about most of Amber Fang: Betrayal. The sequel is less smooth, less apparently effortless, less polished than Amber Fang: The Hunted. There are unexpected clusters of copy editing problems that make the novel feel scrambly and rushed. It’s not a bad novel; I just can’t love it, no matter how much I wanted to.
Dead friends of dead friends
Amber Fang: Betrayal turns all the dials up on Amber Fang: The Hunted except for introspection, which it turns way down. The technology is increasingly bonkers. The globe trotting is frantic. The violation of Amber Fang’s body (real and threatened) gets more horrifying. Amber Fang: Betrayal‘s lead character is defined by the morality of killing, but the body count around her is limited only by my imagination. And the more activity there is, the closer Amber Fang: Betrayal edges toward being… boring.
It turns out that there is a limit to how much vampire fighting I can focus my attention on. I haven’t done a study on it to find out exactly how many vampire fight sequences that works out to, but it’s fewer than the number of vampire fight sequences in Amber Fang: Betrayal. That isn’t to say the writing isn’t good enough; action writing is hard and author Arthur Slade carries it off. There’s just so much of it.
But. There is a reveal in Amber Fang: Betrayal that is such a standout, that is so glittery and magical, that I will follow it anywhere. I will follow it to Amber Fang #3, into its own series, to the ends of the earth. I will think about it all day. Author Arthur Slade will be my favourite person for at least the next few hours.
Amber Fang: Betrayal can be read without having read Amber Fang: The Hunted first. The recap is laid out within the story and is complete as far as I can tell. But don’t do that. Read Amber Fang: The Hunted first.❤