Synopsis: Known as Bloody Vik Brandee, Viktor Brandewyne had a reputation as a bloodthirsty pirate. The world would soon learn just how bloodthirsty he had become. Thanks to the vengeful curse of a powerful witch, he had become a vampire. However, since he was cursed, rather than bitten, he was not vulnerable to daylight or holy items. As curses went, he didn’t think it was all that bad, until Mother Celie, his foster mother and a witch in her own right, informed him that the curse would eventually destroy him. Now he finds himself in a race against time to find the seven Sisters of Power and gain some of their magic in order to survive the curse. He is aided in his quest by Hezekiah Grimm, his first mate; Belladonna, a siren and sea witch; and Lazarus, a creature that is sometimes a cat and sometimes a raven.
When Tamara Lowery contacted me a few months ago and asked if I’d like to read and review her Waves of Darkness series, I enthusiastically said yes! A series featuring two of my favorite things; pirates and vampires? I’m on board (pun intended). Then, because of my addiction to NetGalley books, I was unable to immediately dive in. Well, I finally was able to read it a few days ago and was completely mesmerized by this action packed tale.
Let me start with the characters. First and foremost is Viktor Brandewyne. I haven’t been this conflicted about a character in, well, I don’t know when. As I was reading I kept picturing him as a complicated combination of:
Damon Salvatore, Vampire Diaries
William the Bloody aka Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Viktor is a man devoid of any conscience whatsoever, and that’s before he’s cursed by Mamaan Juma who I pictured as:
Pirates of the Caribbean II & III
So, once Viktor becomes a vampirate, the body count really starts to rise. He unapologetically kills because he enjoys it, and now with the curse he will let nothing get in his way of lifting it. This is a man you really don’t want to cross. He’s ruthless and cunning, yet he also has a sort of magnetic charm which not only attracts women, but also a devoted crew who will do just about anything for their Captain. Viktor really is a fascinating and unforgettable character and I found myself reluctantly liking him at times despite his murderous ways. It’s going to be interesting to see in subsequent books if he develops any redemptive qualities.
Then there’s the siren/sea witch Belladonna, who’s described as being gorgeous, yet in water having the teeth and fin of a shark. Picture if you will:
Angelica Teach, Pirates of the Caribbean IV
and this scary chick:
Like Viktor she’s bloodthirsty and amoral. She loves to, er, play with her food which includes anyone from mermaids to humans. I guess you could say she’s the perfect partner for Viktor. While they have their antagonistic moments, there’s definitely an undercurrent of attraction between them. It’ll be interesting to see how their relationship develops as the series progresses.
The rest of Vik’s crew is exactly what you’d expect from pirates, and despite often being on the receiving end of Viktor’s bloodlust, they’re pretty much devoted to him. They also bring some much needed comedic relief to the story.
Tamara Lowery has done a fabulous job creating this world which is set in the 1700s Caribbean. She successfully combines historical fiction with fantasy elements including: voodoo, witchcraft, curses, vampirates, and mermaids. There are times where there’s so much action that it overtakes the plot, but overall, this is a spectacular and compelling book. I really can’t wait to start the second book and find out what’s next for Viktor, Belladonna, and the rest of their crew.