In “Shades of Gray (Amaranthine Book 1)”, Katelina is plunged into a nightmare, unable to contact friends or family, separated from home and work. Worse, her only protector is also a vampire, and he’s way more dangerous than the sparkly sort.
Joleene Naylor’s first Amaranthine book goes back to the good old days of vampires: They’re vile, merciless, and see humans as only food or slaves, just as vampires should. And although Jorick does seem to be one of the (or maybe the only) good ones, “good” is relative in this series’ cold, gory world. The first book is dark and violent—and well told—and hints and big things to come.
I did have trouble with the main character's inaction, but not because she wasn’t written well—far from it. Katelina spends much of the book in a state of shock, and who wouldn’t? Terrible things happen to her at every turn. So, while Katelina’s struggles with helplessness and hopelessness aren’t something I enjoyed, they came because Naylor stayed true to her character, rather than giving her an unbelievable transformation into an action hero halfway through. Just the same, I hope Katelina catches some breaks in future books!