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The Coven Paperback – December 11, 2013
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The Coven by author Angie Gallow is just such a book that will show you that we are not always dealing with witches. In the case of the book, we have Vampires who are hiding from society in 1910 London. Their home is under the stewardship of Maurice Sorel and son Alaric. They run the coven and although the reader won’t find out till late in the book how ruthless they can be they seem to be good characters. They even tried helping more of their kind come to London under the leadership of Sebastien who was summoned from Normandy to help the traveling group.
As the book opens the reader is informed of what happened on that trip to London. How Sebastien and the traveling group where set upon by other vampires, and many killed. The attackers being other vampires would infuriate anyone as they are killing their own kind. Thus, there can be only one group behind this attack. A group from the church who tortures vampires and turns them against their own kind named the Diocese Club.
The club has a post in London and unfortunately for the vampire coven, they are in the Whitechapel area just as the coven. They may almost be neighbors and the Diocese Club is not the only danger that is out there for Maurice and Alaric.
The Diocese Club’s presence in Whitechapel is led by a very dark and ruthless Harold Strahan. A man, or vampire, that will stop at nothing to find vampires and kill them. This will include torturing the members of his team to finish a job, or to find and kill vampires.
What author Angie Gallow does within the pages of The Coven is introduce the reader to two groups of vampires. One seems to get along, has friends and just tries to survive in the world. This group is the one Sebastien finds himself living in. A group that even has a small human boy as a servant within their ranks. A boy they took in after his family was killed.
The other group on the other hand is pure and simple zealots. They were tortured by members of the church and given the assignment of killing others of their kind. The church is using them as pawns or face severe torture or their own death. This group is the one that holds Harold and his group of killers.
As you read you find that at some point the two groups are bound to find each other. Maurice wants a war just as much as Harold. The question is will cooler heads prevail; will there be bloodshed or a minimal loss of life? This is what is found within the pages of the book. You will find a chess game between groups on who will make the first move. There will be pawns and at some point each team will have members taken that others will do all they can to retrieve alive.
The characters are developed well from the little boy to the different vampires brought out in the book. There is tension built from all sides and this helps add to the story. Vampire fans will really enjoy the book as it shows them in a light not often seen. They are not there to look gorgeous, to rip man apart, but to survive within a world of man without being noticed. The Coven is one of those reads you hold onto till the last page, and the interesting twist within the final pages just makes the book so much better.
The story opens with a recount of a viscous attack on a traveling group of vampires. It's through this account that we discover a brewing war between the Diocese Club, a group of priest sworn to eradicate evil, and the coven who they attacked. A scared vampire is a strange occurrence when they have mythical strength and other powers. But what's strange is that the Diocese Club is pitting vampire against vampire through torture and manipulation.
It's an interesting twist on the classic tale, but all the staples are there. The vampires are still affected by sunlight and silver, and with the special gifts that are heightened when transformed into the undead, the author is able to create a creature that is unique but still traditional.
Getting into the story itself, I liked that it was fast-paced and kept you turning page after page. However, this also comes at a hindrance. Because it's such a quick read, its easy to feel that you're missing something. There's not much development in the way of critical scenes, that if they were given the proper time, they'd be that much stronger. But it's because of this timing that we see our protagonist, Sebastien, throw his leaders to the dogs. It seems like it's without a second thought, or much thought at all. I'd have liked to see this part slowed way down to see all of the motivations behind his actions.
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