Dead Rising (The Templar, #1) by Debra Dunbar 3 Stars

Aria has spent her life training to be a Knight as part of a family order, the Templars. Back in the day, this order would battle vampires and other magical beings. Even though she has been trained to be a Knight, (sword fighting and jousting included) the oath taken to become a Knight, is really just a formality. This is due to a truce that was created between the vampires and the Templar order hundreds of years ago.

Either way, Aria doesn’t want to be a knight, and refuses to take her oath.  Instead she leaves her family home to make a living on her own working in a small coffee shop to make ends meet……until she is summoned by the Master Vampire of the city to do a job.

I enjoy Dunbar’s, Samantha Martin Imp series, so I was anxious to read this one. The story is a good one, but the dialog wasn’t as cleverly written as it is in the Imp series.  It also made me a bit uncomfortable. At one  point the vampire she is working with loses some control of his blood lust, and despite not wanting to be bitten by one, and fearing she might actually be raped as well, – she then says how she’s “turned on” by his uncontrolled behavior. It was almost like she wanted to be raped but only because the vampire was hot…she back tracks and decides no, she doesn’t want that, even if he is hot. But the idea that letting him take her against her will is sexy, shouldn’t have been in her mind at all. There is nothing remotely sexy about rape.

Also, a man slaughters innocent humans and vampires multiple times, because his family was killed by a vampire 40 years ago, and he wants revenge. Yet Aria doesn’t want him punished because she feels bad for him, that he lost his family….She still feels that way, even after she finds out that the vampires who killed his family aren’t even alive anymore.  He was killing people who had nothing to do with the long ago murders of his family.  It was like  killing in revenge, even though it was innocents, was justifiable in Aria’s mind and should go unpunished if you have had your family killed by the ancestors of your race.

I really enjoy Dunbar’s writing, but this one missed the mark for me. The story is easy to read and I got through it very quickly, but it didn’t feel as well put together as the Imp series in my mind.

I do plan to read the next one in the series when it comes out, but I hope it has a bit more of the clever wit and dialog that the Samantha Martin series has.

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