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Stolen Nights

Stolen Nights  - Rebecca Maizel Finally the long-awaited sequel to Infinite Days, one of my favourite vampire books, is here. My expectations were high and I eagerly read the book the day it came out. Once again I was put under a spell by Rebecca Maizel's storytelling and I found myself turning page after page.

Stolen Night picks right up where Infinite Days ended. Leah, the former Vampire Queen and newly raised vampire, performed the ritual to bring her former friend Vicken back to human life and to sacrifice herself to make the ritual work. Surprisingly Leah doesn't die, instead only her vampire side dies and she herself is once again human.

I was so glad that Leah didn't die and had instead another shot at being human. The one thing she wanted for so long. Unfortunately not everything is peachy. Justin, her boyfriend, is rather upset that Vicken is now around as Vicken killed Tony and also has an old claim on Leah. And then there is another vampire on campus who is killing students and especially Leah's friends to get Leah to reveal the ritual.

Leah has changed. Whereas she was bathing in her new humanity in the first book, she now struggles with being human and her past. This is partly due to a new paranormal super player, who shows Leah that her actions have consequences and becoming human doesn't erase the past. In particular they show her the souls of all the people she killed during her life as a vampire. Rhode is back as well as he, like Leah, survived the ritual. All of these events mess with Leah's emotions and intentions. She likes Justin but Rhode is the love her life and she feels betrayed by his actions, which she can't understand and he won't explain.

Leah was far more vulnerable and emotionally on the edge in this book. She is happy that Vicken is back; she is unsure what to with Justin. In addition she feels guilty for hurting him. But all of this is overshadowed by her compelling need to be with Rhode. There are more flashbacks to her past with Rhode and their love for each other becomes more real. All her thinking resolves around him and the necessity to get rid of the evil vampire who terrorizes the Wickham Boarding School. I really liked Vicken in this book. He is cheeky, supportive and so full of life that it is a joy to follow his actions. Justin fades in comparison to the former vampires. He is behaving typically for a teenage boy, who feels betrayed. He is sulking and moody and not always very appealing. And then there is Rhode. He is the archetype of the thoughtful and protective romantic hero. I would have loved to read some chapters from his point of view given that for most of the book his actions remain an enigma.

Overall this was no happy-go-lucky book. The characters and mainly Leah have to deal with hard memories, pain and how to deal with things they have sown. There is an air of melancholy, which is occasionally interrupted by cheerful and happy moments. The ending was once again a shocker. Leah made a decision that was heartbreaking and right at the same time and showed how much she grew and that she can take responsibility. It was so bittersweet and let's just say, get tissues, you will need them. I was a wreck after finishing this book. And one last wish: Please, please, pretty please, let there be a book #3.