Rebecca Maizel. New York: St Martin's Griffin, 2010. 325 pp.
"You have said that humanity is what all vampires crave. The freedom to feel more than constant pain and suffering." (13)
Lenah Beaudonte, a 592 year-old vampire, yearns for the life she lost. Constantly inundated with images of vivacious humanity, plus taunted by memories of her previous life, Lenah's mind begins to gradually unravel. Desperate to flee the endless pain, Lenah seeks a ritual so old, so sacred, so dangerous, its contents must remain a mystery. For this ancient ritual can return a vampire to human form. Surviving the uncertain effects of the mystical ceremony, Lenah, born in the 1400s, awakens as a sixteen year-old girl in the 21st century. Confident that she would never know a love as she shared with Rhode, her centuries-long companion, Lenah's attraction to Justin Enos comes as a surprise. Acclimating to her new life, Lenah soon feels like a normal teenager. However, ties binding her to the past arise coming back to haunt her.
Going into Infinite Days, I did not know what to expect. With the exception of Dracula, I hadn't read any other vampire novels. I was excited and enthralled with my find. Infinite Days is a journey of new found humanity after centuries existing as a blood thirsty creature of the night. The idea of a vampire losing sanity due to the inability to cope with immortality is a very unique premise. "They say vampires after three hundred years or so begin to lose their minds" (194). The flashbacks to Hathersage helps the reader understand Lenah as she grapples with her human existence. Yet, at times, the comparisons between her vampire life and human life are redundant. Although I admire Rhode's sacrifice, Tony is my favorite male character. Despite Lenah's eccentric behavior, Tony befriends her immediately setting the tone for an authentic friendship. I felt Lenah was untrue to their friendship for refusing to admit her past when confronted. At the very least, she could have had the courtesy to dispel the vampire myths to ensure his safety. Also, I thought that the romances felt forced in some places. Justin's over-the-top enchantment with Lenah compelled an instant coupling. Not to mention, Tony's and Tracy's relationship seemed to appear out of nowhere. While there isn't a dramatic cliffhanger, the ending sparks the reader's anticipation for the second installment, Stolen Nights.
"Rhode and I were soul mates. Linked in a love bound by passion, the lust for blood, death, and the unfaltering understanding of eternity. Were we lovers? Sometimes. Certain centuries more than others. Were we best friends? Always. We were bound." (11)
"Do not be surprised by your greatness, Lenah Beaudonte," Rhode called. "Be surprised that no one expected it." (241)
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