Death’s Sweet Embrace

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Author: Tracey O’Hara
ISBN: 9780061783142
RRP: $19.99

Tracey O’Hara’s Dark Brethren series is a promising way to kickstart her career and hook readers from the beginning.

I am coming in on book two of the series which hasn’t been as painful as it could have been. This novel has the strength and capability to be a stand alone (though I would love to read what happens in Night’s Cold Kiss, it’s not necessary to your understanding or enjoyment).

The Dark Brethren novels take place in the modern world – with a difference of course. Living, reasonably harmoniously, among humans are a variety of para-human races and these are the characters that people this book.  The parah-uman races are very similar to a lot of the supernatural creatures we have been familiar with through modern fiction and horror movies though Tracey O’Hara writes them slightly differently.

The Aeternus are a vampiric people but they aren’t vampires the way we know them. They are born human and grow up human until they are 25 and then they Awaken to become Aeternus. They share a lot of characteristics with vampires but there are some quite large differences also.

deaths sweet embrace

The Aeternus can live and work and be productive in society, unless they are infected with Necrodrenia and become necrodreniacs who are addicted to the death-high (draining a human to the last drop) and can be cured only by death.

The Animalians are similar to were-animals, again they are born not bitten as the ever popular horror genre educates us, they come in three separate genera – ursians (man-bear) felians (man-cat) and canians (man-canines). The genera break down further into subspecies. eg. the felians could be lion, panther, tiger etc.

There are a a few other creatures that we are familiar with in some form but Tracey has written them all a little differently to the way we know them.

All of these characters you know of from the horror genre making you think this is going to get gory? Well, you would be right. Regardless of any other criteria this book meets, it is definitely a horror and some scenes are quite graphically written. Some pages will have you wishing the scenes weren’t set quite so vividly and you didn’t have the story playing out behind your eyelids.

Alongside the main horror storyline we have quite a few other themes running through the book. It is also quite definitely a romance, (a horrific romance, maybe? I’ve had a couple of those) with the story of true love demonstrating it’s strength against the odds and a story of racial vilification. The Animalian genera are forever feuding because they feel superior to anyone who’s different.

Tracey also tells the tale of a family reunion and finally bringing everyone together after way too long apart and trying to build a relationship between a mother and her 18yr old twins after they were taken from her at birth.

Death’s Sweet Embrace is edge of your seat captivating because the fast paced action means there is always something going on and I can guarantee that you too will want to keep abreast of all that is happening.

Kitt Jordan, our erstwhile heroine, has changed career paths and is finding that is only the beginning of her upheavals. Her new job turns out to be not quite what she expected and brings her back in contact with people she feels are safer at a distance. Read along with all her adventures as she tries to chase down the killer and discover her family.

O’Hara is definitely an author who keeps her plot twists subtle so in hindsight you can see the signs but you never would have picked it and they leave you expecting more twists because they are written so well.

Given a stretch of time that would have allowed it… this would definitely have been a one sitting devouring and I can’t wait to read more about the Dark Brethren.

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