Shadow Players – a Review

You think you’ve had a bad start to your day? In Shadow Players, the second book in The Second Species series, Marek’s day begins in a way that is probably worse than anything you’ve ever experienced. In the middle of a cold snowy winter, he is flung naked onto the crowded streets of Paris where he is hit by oncoming traffic.

At the end of Shadow Lord, Marek was in hell. I’m sure the Parisian streets, even during a cold snowy winter, were a welcome change. The driver who hit him though was left rather puzzled as to where this nude man came from. Who in their right mind wanders around without clothes in the middle of winter?

Marek has been gone longer than he realized—about 150 years. Everything is different now than it was when he was banished all those years ago. The strange things he must learn about and live with now: cars, phones, showers, toilets, credit cards, a new way of dressing, a new morality. . . This is all a bit confusing for him. If you had been taken away during the early 1800s and then reappeared in 1968, imagine the confusion you would feel. This is what Marek was experiencing.

He is reunited with Celine, the woman he was married to at the end of the first book in the series, but she ended their marriage when he disappeared. Marek is hurt at first, but he mends quickly and has several more “involvements” before the end of this book.

Carnaby Street, London in 1968, wikimedia commons

Marek is also reunited with his family in London at the same time a Jack-the-Ripper-like killer is roaming the city. Who is this killer?

At the advice of his brothers, he now goes by Mark instead of Marek. His little brothers and sister are now grown and have their own lives to live.

The world of the adventurieri grows ever more intriguing. They all seem to have adapted to the modern world, but they have also lived through the changes. Marek hasn’t.

There isn’t as much bloodshed and violence in this book as there was in the first. Shadow Players is about Marek adjusting to the new world he is thrust into while his enemy remains unseen by him in the background. It is about his love life and about him becoming reacquainted with his family. No, he hasn’t forgotten the revenge he vowed to take for upon Ravagio, but that wasn’t the first thing on his mind when he was dropped out of hell. The way the furies tortured him during his time there took his mind off that for just a bit.

I was sent a copy of Shadow Players in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to purchase your own copy to read and enjoy, I’ve provided an Amazon Link for you below.

reading books, flickr

Amazon Link: Shadow Players

Recommended Articles:
Shadow Lord – a Review
The Night Man Cometh – a Review
Why Vampires? – Guest Post by Tony-Paul de Vissage

Favorite Sentences:
Ciprian’s left hand marked him as a Chosen One. . .it had only three fingers and a thumb, the little finger completely missing, not even a stub.

From one winter to the next, Parisians seemed to forget how to drive in snow.

“If you can’t refrain from quoting Alice in Wonderland, I shall have to ask you to leave.”

He could hear the steady thump of the pulse against the walls of the arteries, the splash and gurgle of the crimson liquid as it rushed along those minute channels.

Gods, it was worse this time, tearing through him like knives in his vitals, demanding blood and pain to feed his lust, with death to sate it.

New Words Learned:
brollies – umbrellas

cheval glass – a full-length mirror mounted so that it can be tilted in a frame.

disabuse – to free (a person) from deception or error.

effete – lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent:

iconoclastic – attacking or ignoring cherished beliefs and long-held traditions, etc., as being based on error, superstition, or lack of creativity:

nepotism – patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics

placket – the opening or slit at the top of a skirt, or in a dress or blouse, that facilitates putting it on and taking it off

roundheels – a prostitute

About the Author:
A writer of French Huguenot extraction, Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memory is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless–and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.

This was further inspired when the author was kidnapped by a band of transplanted Romanian vampires sightseeing in the South.  Having never seen a human who wasn’t frightened of them, they offered to pay the youngster’s way through college if he would become an author and write about vampires in a positive manner.  He agreed, was returned to his parents (who were also grateful for the tuition offer since it let them off the hook) and continued to keep in touch with his supernatural mentors.

Though the author didn’t begin writing horror–or any other genre–until after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from a well-known Southern University (and a second in Graphic Art), that one particular interest—and the promise made to his mentors—survived a liberal arts’ education and the scorn of friends and family.  Marriage, parenthood, divorce, and a variety of occupations ranging from stage work to doctor’s assistant took precedent over writing for several years, as did moving from one United States coast to another.

Eventually that first story—a short story about the hapless vampire Clan Andriescu—was published.  A voracious reader whose personal library has been shipped more than 3,000 miles, Tony-Paul has read hundreds of vampire tales and viewed more than as many movies.

TP currently has twenty-five novels published, twenty-three under the Class Act Books imprint. His next novel, Absinthe Eternal, will be released in February 2018.

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