Arshad Ahsanuddin
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Release Date
January 2012
Book 1 of Pact Arcanum
Action/Adventure Romance, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic, Urban Fantasy, Vamps & Shifters Romance

By Day

Los Angeles, 2040. When the terrorist known as Medusa threatens to kill millions with a stolen nulcear bomb, Nick Jameson makes a fateful decision. He reveals himself on global television as a Daywalker - a vampire with a soul. To save Los Angeles, Nick exposes not only his own gifts but three separate cultures based on millennia-old magic.

By Night

The three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance. Nick Jameson is deeply involved with two such Nightwalkers - handsome Lorcan and powerful Rory. Both men love Nick. But neither can protect the new Ambassador to Humanity from the events he has set in motion.

By the Sword

Jeremy Harkness was lured into Medusa's service under false pretenses. A loner with no one and nothing to cling to, he was willing to die for his cause. But the night Medusa tried to obliterate Los Angeles, Jeremy met Nick Jameson, triggering the onset of his own psychic gifts. For Jeremy is the third sort of metahuman, a Sentinel, born to kill the Nightwalkers with no quarter asked or offered. And neither Medusa nor the Court of Shadows will settle for peace when they can make war...

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
May 14, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
276 people found the following review helpful
After reading this book, the first thing that comes to mind is how the title is appropriate and it really does feel as if they rode into the sunset. However, this book has nothing to do with cowboys. Instead, there's little of the paranormal world which it doesn't include. Vampires, shifters, justice fighters, protectors, magic and advanced technology; at first glance, an impossible combination but one that will stir every reader's imagination and leave you asking – What just happened? Yes, the book is that good.

The idea is based on the concept that behind shields and human impersonation lives a mix of superhuman beings on the soil of North America, so called Free People. They form their own society, an alliance between the Daywalkers, Nightwalkers and Sentinels, which abides by their own rules and does nothing but thrive under their combined talent. The supernaturals are vicious in their justice, they respect honor and crave peace, something they would not receive outside of the limits of the Triumvirate Council. Everywhere else is the world, Sentinels kill Nightwalkers, protecting the humans, and Nightwalkers don't lose sleep in killing Sentinels. Both of them sneer at Daywalkers who unlike Nightwalkers possess souls, and unlike Sentinels, who live to fight, choose no means and are not afraid to die, Daywalkers refuse to fight.

When there is a nuclear threat in Los Angeles, Nick, one of the Daywalkers has no choice but to step in, in the name of the Free People and save their people by getting rid of the threat. Unfortunately that reveals all of the supernaturals to the humans, something that has been successfully avoided for thousands of years.

All predictions say the final result would be war with disastrous consequences, but still, the Triumvirate names Nick as the Ambassador, contact and a mediator between the Free People and the humans. This book is about that revelation, the consequences and the resolutions. It follows mostly Nick through his growth and troubles, but also shows points of view from other crucial characters, assisting in better understanding of the author's envisioned world.

From the first few pages I kept saying – This is a brilliant book. So getting five stars. – Yes, I was actually that enthusiastic. The tension and the anticipation actually made me bite my nails as I not-so-patiently waited to see how the drama would play out, who would win in the duels and what next intrigue would tickle my curiosity and make me read faster.

The world truly is magnificent. Combining the concepts you might think are clashing and making them more than work is this author's strong suit and I truly admire his ability to keep all the facts in his head and stick to them throughout the story. There are so many names, difficult to follow them all, and at first even if you might be lost with the mention of artificial intelligence and so many people having their say. Don't give up, because pretty quickly it will all make sense. The only thing about that part I didn't like was the change of names. They all have full titles and on top that that, nicknames, honor names and endearments. The author tends to use all of them during the story. But that is just a mention since it most likely won't stop you from enjoying this trip into the magnificent.

My tripping point was the romance. Although I loved the book, there came a point a little past half the book when the soap opera became too much and I had to stop reading for a few days. The romance is rather weak in my opinion and what there is of it is so complicated you would need a guide to follow all the directions. Aside from that, it has that annoying trait of being just too sweet to the point of unrealistic. Yes, I am criticizing an unrealistic romance in a world where space travel is highly developed and vampires dine blood from a glass. I can't help it. Nick is an amazing character, so much so, that four hundred pages of him were not really enough. He deserved a great romance and by the end of this book there was a certain agreement between two individuals that lifted my hopes up and actually made me want to see that possible future, happen.

While reading the rest of the book, I decided to ignore the romance altogether. I accepted that it was there but instead of being annoyed by it I simply enjoyed the incredible twists and turns of the plot, cursing the humans, telling the Nightwalkers they were idiots and all but begging the Free People to open their eyes and act.

This is one story no one will regret reading. If you disregard the fact that there is romance and it happens between men, you are still left with an amazing piece of writing that has it all, from action to drama, paranormal to technological. A bit for everyone packed in a large package just waiting to be ripped open and enjoyed.
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