I must start this review by saying; if you haven’t read a book by this author you are doing yourself a great disservice. I have read some other books by Tony Paul de Vissage and I love ‘the voice’ he writes with.
For this story, beginning in France in the 1200’s culminating in the year 3535, I keep hearing the song by Zager and Evans, “In the year 2525” running thru my head.
As I said Mr. Vissage begins in Limousin, France May 21, 1249. The story is the search by Damian La Croix to find something so simple, you would think his life’s yearning would be easy to achieve. All he wished for was the love of a good woman who he would make his wife. He wished for a home and children and a love he could grow old with.
In the first chapter, called Antoinette, Damian is 24. He is engaged and thought he had found his true love Antoinette, the sister of his best friend Armand. But the fates had something more in store for him, as ‘the plague’ hit his countryside in France, and many including his Antoinette were infected. Completely overwrought, he wandered from her home to his own and came upon the place where they were burying the dead. They piled bodies and burned them in huge holes in the ground. It was here he made a pact with THE DEVIL… or should I say le sansmort, an immortal, a vampire.
He planned to bring this immortal home and let him feed on some of the help at his parents Estate in return for becoming a Vampire. It was so simple, he would turn Antoinette and his best friend Armand and they would have no worry of disease, and he would have Antoinette forever. I must say at that point I did not like him very much, because he allowed his Mother and Father to die as well as the entire Estate be ravaged by this Immortal. Best made plans, always go awry as Antoinette succumbs to the plague and Damian is left bereft and now immortal.
Our author gives us glimpses of his travels as he lives in different countries, years stretching to centuries. We follow Damian at his happiest and saddest, seeing him and his friends along the way in Paris, England, The Americas, Charlestown NC, California, NY and Chicago. As a reader, your emotions turn from the shocking beginning and feeling anger, to pity for his search. But you can’t help feeling his steadfastness in his search for The One.
I really enjoyed the book immensely, and the ending did not disappoint. I loved how the author offered us small changes thru the years in dress and vehicles. It was not a science fiction story as we got past the year 2000 with outrageous machinery. I loved the flying car, though, they were so Jetsons. Again Mr. de Vissage’s writings are descriptive and flowing and the dialogue always has a hint of an accent. His writing voice always draws me in and allows me the opportunity of being in the story. Isn’t that the sign of a good story teller?
If you like a good Vampire story, and this is not the simple boy meets girl story, you will love this.
Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Review and Review Chairperson for The Paranormal Romance Guild
In the year 1249, the Plague rages through Europe, no family is spared, and in an attempt to save his love and himself Damian La Croix chooses to take the path of the Undead. Being Undead brings out one’s true nature, and he soon finds his true love Antoinette is not the person he thought her to be, but she soon perishes.
Damian begins his long search for love, a quest that will last hundreds of years and take him to the far reaches of the earth. He meets and falls in love with a number of women during his search, makes a few good friends, sees unimaginable changes in the world and faces what could possibly be the biggest trial of his life.
Told alternatively from Damian’s POV and the third person POV, The Night Man Cometh follows Damian beginning in the year 1249 through 3533 from his home in France to Chicago, Illinois. This is not your fluffy, sweet vampire novel, the vampires are hunters with no soul and no thoughts to the humans they hunt. Killing is what they do and they do it in large numbers and with no discretion or feelings, only for their own enjoyment.
Damian starts out as a spoiled, entitled human and that entitlement carries over into his undead existence. He is a handsome man who, along with his best friend Armand, enjoys a lusty life of chasing chambermaids and all things decadent. When the plague hits, he loses his faith in a higher power and that loss of faith leads him to the decisions he will make.
He is more than a little selfish and it takes him hundreds of years to get over himself. He’s not very likeable at first but one does soon learn to if not like him, at least sympathize with him. He becomes a reluctant leader of his race and does the job well. By the end, I was hoping he would find someone to share his life with.
There are a number of secondary characters in the story, some likeable, some not so much. Antoinette starts out as a humble young lady and turns into a raging pain. Armand stays constant throughout the story as a good friend to Damian and I would have liked to get to know him better. There are a number of other vampires that flit in and out of Damian’s life, again I would have liked to have learned more about them, some sounded like interesting people (or undead as the case may be).
I had problems following the story at times; it spans such a huge amount of time that we couldn’t settle in to any time frame for very long. We would get small vignettes from points in time then we would be hundreds of years later. The time shifts could be confusing and the transitions were not always clear.
Damian and company were dark creatures and violence was normal for them, thus there is a good bit of fairly graphic scenes. I just couldn’t warm up to Damian and I wanted to slap him and say get over yourself; I’m sure he would have eaten me had I tried. That said, the main theme of the story is good one and worth reading, just don’t read it unless you are in the right frame of mind, because it’s not a light read.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy their vampires on the dark side and are ready for some interesting history tidbits.
Review By Penelope Adams
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team