As Shadows Fade

The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, #5

The final book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, As Shadows Fade, opens with Victoria trying to figure out how to deal with her new “relationship” with Max. At the end of When Twilight Burns Victoria and Max declared their feelings for each other in a passionate way. Max admitted he loved Victoria, but couldn’t be with her and left her there…alone…stricken and trying to decipher what the hell had just happened.
Now Victoria is trying to coax Max back into her bed, gently as she doesn’t want to spook him or he’ll run far, far away as he tends to do. She wants him to be with her and forget the troubles and everything that entails though how can anyone forget Victoria is Illa Gardella and Max is a Venator without his powers. They each constantly have to worry about each other getting killed.
While Max and Victoria are dealing with their issues, the threat of evil has them once again fighting for their lives and for mankind, but this time not only do they have to fight vampires they have to fight…demons. That’s bad. And to make matters worse they have to team up with the Queen of the Vampires, Lilith. So not good since she has an unnatural obsession with Max. Max chooses to go through the Trial to become a Venator again and Victoria is afraid he won’t survive or if he does that will only make him more appealing to Lilith.
Ever present Sebastian is still pining away for Victoria not wanting to accept that she has made her choice with Max. Poor Sebastian is also dreaming about his past that he can’t get away from, Giulia, Max’s sister turned vampire that he had to stake.
Things are complicated and not looking good for any of the Venators. It doesn’t look like Max will ever accept a relationship with Victoria if they even survive the ordeal at hand. And Sebastian seems to be slipping away into a place that does not bode well for him.
I am sad to see the Gardella Chronicles end. Even though I am a vampire fan it didn’t bother me that Gleason’s vampires are all bad guys, no exceptions. Gleason has always made a very clear distinction between good and bad, right and wrong, evil and not evil in this series. Too bad life isn’t so clearly defined, but it worked for Victoria and the Venators…until this final book where Gleason seems to break her own rules and pushes the limits she set in her world of vampires and Venators. An interesting way to go out with a bang.
The main outcome of As Shadows Fade is what I expected though the twists and turns along the way had me wondering if it was actually going to happen, there were some close calls and some oh no’s throughout the story that left me guessing and second guessing for awhile. Some of the story twists left me saying “wow, I didn’t see that coming”. A few things happened that were not expected at all. But there were also a few things left hanging, the prism in the pool, and Giulia…I might have to reread the end because I am unclear about her soul. And I can’t believe how Sebastian finally manned up to his duties but what he did…it really blurs the lines that Gleason had so finitely drawn between good and evil…but Sebastian always kinda did that didn’t he?
Gleason penned an amazing tale that kept me turning the page wanting to know how it was going to end. As Shadows fade was a fabulous book to finish off the series, I just hate saying goodbye to Victoria she was a wonderful character.

Book Blurb for As Shadows Fade

The final entry in award-winning, New York Timesbestselling author Colleen Gleason's International Bestselling Gardella Vampire Hunter Series.

"Vampires have met their match with Victoria Gardella,"* but now the huntress faces an even greater evil as London is besieged by malevolent entities no mortal was ever meant to encounter...

Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead. While Sebastian Vioget appears to both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro--the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him.

But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation--a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2009 4.50