But in the meantime, a mysterious wizard named Cosmil is bringing Cesca's childhood boyfriend to St. Augustine. Triton is a shape-shifting dolphin who disappeared from Cesca's life while she was buried away. At the end of the book, we're not sure what Cosmil has in mind for Cesca and Triton, and we're not sure if her relationship with Deke can stand up to her childhood crush on Triton, her lost love. One last thing: The mysterious Cosmil keeps muttering about an evil Void—some kind of magical construct—that is threatening every supernatural being. We don't find out much about the Void in this book, but it will be a major part of the next books.
Back in St. Augustine, a ghost-busting videographer latches on to Cesca, determined to prove that she is a ghost magnet. On the videos he shoots of Cesca, there are eerie shadows winding around her body, some black and some white—very creepy. As all of this is going on, Triton communicates with Cesca telepathically to tell her that she must beware of the Void. Hmmm...Black shadows, dangerous Void. Could there be a connection? The housecat/panther shifter (Pandora, whom we met in book 1) is back as Cesca's protector. Needless to say, there is a LOT of action in this book, and the whole Void/blackness/creeping-evil story thread is moving right along. An enemy from Cesca's past also shows up to complicate her life. Oh...one more thing. Deke Saber confesses to Cesca that he is a bit more than human—and that's all I'm going to say about that! (Just a note here: We never hear another thing about the mysterious video shadows—not in this book or the next. Why were they included in the first place? Who knows?)
SERIES CRITIQUE: This is a chick lit series trying to be urban fantasy. Clothing descriptions abound, as do descriptions of Cesca's decorating efforts (e.g., "I found Saber's note on the turquoise 1950s retro kitchen table..., p. 64). The series starts out well enough, with Cesca trying to catch up with the 21st century and creating a new life for herself. The early parts of the romance were O.K., but the couple never has any disagreements, not ever. Booorrrring...and totally unrealistic. Even when Deke withholds the fact that he is not totally human, Cesca isn't bothered a bit. Not that it matters, since his supernatural abilities are never important to the story, except for the fact that he is susceptible to the Void.
Cesca's relationship with Triton is also unrealistic. Although the two frequently bicker about minor issues, Cesca isn't very upset that Triton waited seven months to contact her, even though he was well aware that she had been rescued from her crypt. Now really! This guy was her childhood BFF. He hasn't seen for for hundreds of years. Yet, when he finds out that she has risen, does he call? Does he e-mail? No, he doesn't, and she never bats an eye. Again, not true to life (or even undeath) at all.
Another problem is that we never see the villain until the very end of book 3. He never pops in to taunt the Cesca and her friends. When the good guys get his description, Haddock waits a long time before she shares it with the reader. He's just this unimaginable evil thing, without personality, and without a physical appearance. I don't know about you, but I like my villains to be complex characters, and I like to meet them early on in the story.
There is one more time when Cesca has no reaction to someone who has done her wrong. Cesca discovers that Cosmil knew that she was buried underground all that time, and he did nothing about it. In fact, he consecrated the property, thus cutting off her telepathic contact with Triton and preventing Triton from rescuing her. Cosmil says that he did it for everyone's good, and Cesca says, O.K. then, no problem. What a wimp she turns out to be!
All through the series, I promise that you, the reader, will be miles ahead of the characters in interpreting the clues. I'm sorry that this series doesn't pan out in the end (at least, so far) because it has a great premise and a truly fresh approach to the vampire mythos.