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As Shadows Fade by Colleen Gleason
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"E quando avremo finito, non ricorderai neanche il tuo nome."

No, dico, ma quanta forza, sensualità, brutalità e perversione emanano queste parole? Ve lo dico io quanta: TANTA!

Roba da farmi alzare ed attaccarmi alla bottiglia dell'acqua per 1 minuto, avevo bisogno di un breack. Questo libro è un concentrato di eleganza, sussualità, forza e... testardaggine!

E' incredibile, in genere detesto i finali delle saghe, mi lasciano sempre l'amaro in bocca in un modo o in un altro. In questo caso, a parte per un paio di particolari, ciò non è avvenuto. Considerando che ci ho fatto 4 di mattina finirlo per poi alzarmi alle 9... E' da maniaci, lo riconosco.

Max è Max. E' passione, ironia, forza, brutalità, possessività, testardaggine, coraggio ed egocentrismo. Ha l'assurda mania di decidere per altri, l'ha sempre fatto. Vuole fare l'eroe (e poi vuol essere salvato!) e la molla là, come una fessa!
E poi non possiamo sorprenderci se Victoria lo appende per i gioiellini di famiglia quando lo riprende, lo farei anche io. Peccato che non l'abbia fatto piuttosto. Sarebbe stato in perfetto stile Gardella, non aver seguito l'istinto è stato un tantino deludente ma un'ottima dimostrazione di quanto sia effettivamente maturata Victoria negli anni. LEI è maturata, Max, lei... Io No. io ti avrei appeso al muro... Lasciamo perdere.

Sebastian è un personaggio che mi ha irritata incredibilmente per i primi tre libri, non ci potevo fare nulla. Insopportabile.
Alla fine, povero, è quello che ha pagato più duramente di tutti in questa storia.
La scrittrice è stata piuttosto crudele ma..
Pensavamo davvero che dopo aver tradito i Cacciatori, la razza umana e la sua vocazione la Volontà Divina non gli avrebbe presentato il conto?
Io mi sarei infuriata del contrario.
Per quanto posso provare pena per lui, questa scelta dimostra la coerenza della scrittrice che conosce davvero i suoi personaggi e che non da importanza solamente agli amanti del finale ''e vissero tutti felice e contenti''.

Victoria è una personaggio, una delle poche oserei dire, che impari ad apprezzare con il passare del tempo. Ha attraversato molte fasi, ha sbagliato, è caduta, si è rialzata... Incredibilmente è maturata, mantenendo comunque tutto la sua indole ribelle che è parte assoluta del suo fascino.

Unico appunto che proprio non ho mandato giù è stato: La cattiva!

Ha reso la vita un inferno a Max pur di averlo e, quando lo ha lo baratto per 5 anelli? Un tantino troppo facile.
Secondo appunto: Max uno dei più grandi cacciatori in circolazioni non è mai riuscito a farla fuori e, arriva Victoria che, in 4 mosse la polverizza. Puuf!
Beh, non esageriamo, dai qua avrebbe potuto fare di meglio ^^'

Nonostante ciò "Il bacio del vampiro" è un ottimo finale di un'ottima saga, non c'è che dire! Scritto magistralmente, narrato altrettando bene e soprattutto coerente.

Forse ci sarà un seguito, per il moemnto la scrittrice si sta concentrando su un'altra saga vittoriana riguardante i vampiri che, però, assicura non sono i Gardella.

Forse un giorno riprenderà in mano questa saga per narrarci della splendida creatura in arrivo. Di Sebastian... E di quanto possa essere pericolosa la vita coniugale quando si parla ci Victoria e Max! ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
This is the fifth and final book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles. It did a nice job of tying things up and resolving the main story. I really enjoyed the characters, the action, and the plot involving the evil Lilith.

This time it is not vampires who threaten Victoria Gardella, but demons. In order to fight these demons the Venators must do the unthinkable and team up with Lilith. Lilith is still obsessed with Max, and the Venators are forced to use her obsession with him to aid in the fight. Victoria has become a wonderful leader to the Venators but her heart is in turmoil. Sebastian appears to be the perfect companion for her, he loves and respects her and fights fiercely by her side. Unfortunately Victoria’s heart is set on Max and since Max has given up being a Venator that means that Max is a bit of a liability. Then there is the matter of Victoria needing to provide an heir to the Gardella line..

All of the characters we have come to know and love are here in this book. There is lots of Sebastian, Max, Lilith, and Victoria. They must hunt for the five rings of Jubei in order to obtain an orb of Lilith’s that will allow them to send the demons back home.

There is a lot of angst between Max and Victoria in this book. Max doesn’t want to be involved with Victoria because he feels that his human status will put her in danger and make it so that he can’t protect her like he should. Victoria knows that Max loves her and is unwilling to give up that love for something safer. There are lots of deliciously tense scenes between these two and they have excellent chemistry together. Really these interactions really made the book and they are what we’ve all been waiting for from book 1!

I felt very bad for Sebastian throughout. Victoria has made her choice clear, but Sebastian refuses to give up. He goes the extra mile again and again for Victoria trying to grab her attention. He truly and strongly believes that Max is unfeeling and uncaring and totally not worthy of Victoria. We learn a lot about the tension and history between Sebastian and Max in this book as well. Sebastian’s story is the only one that is really left at loose ends.

I love the quest-type feel to the story as well and how our heroes have to hunt down these strange objects. Adding to the plot is the idea of Victoria being the last Gardella and how she has a duty to continue the Gardella line. It was interesting to watch her try to cope with the idea of her having a child with her current duties as a Venator.

There are some excellent action scenes where Max, Sebastian, and Victoria all fight back to back in some wonderfully demonic battles. As with previous books this book continues to remind me of a Victorian Buffy the Vampire Slayer...with more adult sex scenes.

This book was a fun and quick read. It was engaging and entertaining and did a wonderful job wrapping up the series. The only loose end really is Sebastian’s story. Imagine my excitement when I heard that Sebastian’s story will be continued in a spin-off series starting with Roaring Midnight, which released on June 18th!

Overall a very well done and satisfying conclusion to this series. I love the interactions between Victoria and Max and enjoyed learning the history between Max and Sebastian. There are some excellent action scenes as well and I enjoyed the quest-like feel to the plot. The addition of demons added a whole new level of danger to the story too. This whole series is recommended to fans of vampire slaying stories that have a bit of romance in them. I absolutely cannot wait to read Sebastian’s story in Roaring Midnight! ( )
  krau0098 | Jun 19, 2013 |
This is the last book in the series, and I think it was well worth the wait. Victoria finally makes her decision about which man she wants to share her life with, and the final battle with Lilith finally commences. I was very happy about that because let's face it, the showdowns with Lilith were pretty repetitive. Of course, there are more demons to thwart in order to save the world. There are still plenty of loose ends, however, that were not tied up so neatly. Sebastian's fate is somewhat cryptic, and I'm not convinced that he can adequately substitute for the person he is meant to replace. I also don't understand how he is supposed to fulfill that role where he plans to go. (Sorry, don't want to spoil it for anyone by saying too much!) I think there's still enough room for more volumes in the series should the author wish to write some. ( )
  arbjames | Apr 29, 2013 |
I would have given this 5 stars if Sebastian's ending would have been different. I thought that was completely unnecessary to the story and just a cop out to tidily get him away from Victoria & Max. And I am definitely Team Max, I never liked Victoria with Sebastian, but wasn't it enough that he had to be the loser in that situation? Even though I didn't like Sebastian with Victoria, I still liked him, but he was no self-sacrificing, noble Max, and sacrificing himself was so out of character, Giulia or not.I also would have been happier to see Max be a little nicer/more affectionate to Victoria in this book, but I know that would be out of character for him and I guess I need to accept that. :) ( )
  LauraLulu | Jun 17, 2011 |
Rating: 4.0 stars
Setting: London in the Victorian Age

As Shadows Fade is the last book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles that has followed Victoria Gardella Grantworth De Lacy, Illa Gardella of the Venators, as well as Maximillan Pesaro, and Sebastian Vioget. The story picks up two weeks after the conclusion of When Twilight Burns when Max finally admits his feelings for Victoria.

We have followed Victoria over the course of this series, or for two years of her life. We watch as she is told by her great-aunt Eustacia that she is the heir to the Gardella family legacy, and a Venator (vampire hunter.) We watched as she was nearly turned by Beauregard into a vampire, as well as her overwhelming sadness at watching her husband Phillip be turned into a vampire by Lilith, then having to kill him..POOF! I shall miss the poofing.

As we raise the curtain on this story, Victoria is now focused on the fact that she has actually picked the man who she really loves, and to some readers, like me, it wasn’t all that surprising. Oh sure, Sebastian played his charm card over and over again with Victoria, but he is a playboy who I never saw settling down with Victoria. We knew that Max had feelings for Victoria since the beginning after he watched Victoria slay her own vampire turned husband. The only thing that remained left undone, was Max’s connection to the vampire queen Lilith the Dark. That was taken care of when he gave up his powers.

In this, the final story, it’s not the vampires who are causing all the problems. It’s Demons. Or as Wayren states nicely, those who fell after following Lucifer’s attempt to overthrow heaven. These demons appear as dark smoke, not as individuals. Wayren actually plays a small part in this story as well, since the demons seem intent on harming her. Then, of course, there is the fact that we actually find out what Wayren is. Wayren has been the keeper of the Venator library, as well as the person who records, and holds many of their secrets. She is also An Angel. It is Wayren that tells Max that he has to become a Venator once again in order to stop Lilith and protect Victoria.

In the final scheme of things, this book was pretty good and a fitting ending for the series overall. We got to look at the fight between the demons and vampires that has bone back since the beginning after Judas turned Lilith into a vampire. The loose end that is Lilith, was tied up nicely, as well as a shocking surprise that centers fully on Sebastian and his so called prophecy that Wayren somehow already knew about.Sebastian chooses to become a vampire to save not only Victoria's soul, but Giulia's as well. Giulia was Max's sister that Sebastian fell in love with and then had to kill because she was turned into a vampire.

The biggest surprise of the story and the series as well? Victoria is pregnant with Max’s baby, and that Sebastian knew all about it when he made is choice. All I can say is…whoa! Didn’t see that coming! The only sadness I have is that the series has ended. I love this setting, and the characters. Yes, at times, Victoria can be a handful and not all that bright at not running into danger when she supposingly knows better. Still wondering if there will ever be a spin off that follows Sebastian’s path to America. One can only hope. ( )
  ShelleyJax | May 10, 2011 |
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"Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead. While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro--the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obession with him..."--p.[4] of cover… (more)

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