When Darkness Falls follows Lexi Miles, an American woman living a glamorous lifestyle with her friend Emma in Paris, France. When Emma is horrifically attacked and murdered by vampires, and Lexis’s world is turned upside down as she makes numerous shocking revelations. She meets Etienne, an enigmatic vampire she can’t help but fall in love with. However, betrayal leads her to seek revenge.
‘Plunged into a two-thousand year old war between good and evil, she is propelled into a world of blood, lust and dark secrets.’
When Darkness Falls was definitely an interesting, but short, read for me.
I liked the use of vampire iconography, like vervain and compulsion, elements of vampire tales first introduced to me through The CW’s The Vampire Diaries TV show, the adaptation of the books of the same name by L. J. Smith, which I’m really enjoying.
The frequent use of violence and bloodshed felt genuinely horrific and dark, making the “bad” vampires seem truly monstrous. However, I thought the logic behind the “good” vampires’ ability to resist human blood (by taking an anti-serum) didn’t seem wholly convincing.
I also thought the story was reminiscent of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer:
A human girl falls for a bad-boy vampire who has turned over a new leaf (as well as a name beginning with E), and is plunged into a dangerous battle between good vampires (e.g. the Cullens) and evil vampires (e.g. Victoria and James).
I write the summary above in jest; despite the similarities between the stories, I found nothing wrong with Chauvet’s chosen narrative, and it was an enjoyable vampire storyline.
However, When Darkness Falls is not just a vampire story, it is an erotic vampire story, and that was my main issue.
I understood the link Chauvet created between the feelings of lust and vampire “bloodlust” –connotations of uncontrollable urges, which even traditional Gothic stories included – and I thought this was cleverly done. However, Chauvet takes these connotations and turns them into sex scenes, which just didn’t add anything to the plot, and the explicit sexual language genuinely shocked me.
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars