Monday, June 11, 2012

Lis’ Review: Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin

Arshad Ahsanuddin
Sunset (Pact Arcanum #1)
Createspace, April 10, 2011 | 448 pages

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Book One of the gay vampire saga Pact Arcanum

Los Angeles, 2040. The terrorist Medusa and her followers threaten to destroy the metropolis with a nuclear bomb. One individual, the vampire Nicholas Jameson, comes forward to oppose them. As Nick takes on the terrorists, the fragile peace between the races hangs perilously in the balance as the supernatural peoples are exposed.
With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive new series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Alternate Earth, Supernatural, Science Fiction, Terrorists, Vampires

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 1.75 out of 3

Reviewed by Lis:

The hardest reviews to write are of those books that you can see are objectively really good, but you can’t get through because of the style of writing. At least, it is for me. Think books by Marion Zimmer Bradley and George R. Martin. The stories are awesomely done, but I can’t get through the pages because of their style of writing. To me, Sunset, the first in the Pact Arcanum series, was such a book and it made it hard to write the review.

It also took me longer than most books to read. In fact, it was almost like reading War & Peace. I just couldn’t get into the story, because of the writing, but judging the book objectively (as much as possible), it is actually a very good book.

So let’s break it down a bit.

Sunset is set in an alternate version of earth. Magical and supernatural beings have been uncovered by a terrorist attack and the world as we know it has been classed into: Nightwalkers, Daywalkers and Sentinels. However, in this world magic has been blended with technology and most of these beings have technological and physical enhancements.

Still with me so far?

Along with humans, these races battle for dominance of earth. When Sunset starts, it’s with a bang as a terrorist cell under leadership of one called Medusa, threatens to set off a nuclear bomb. Opposing them is vampire Nicholas Jameson. There is a lot more on the line here than just the explosion of a nuclear bomb, but I’ll leave you to find that out on your own!

Sunset is a complicated book to read. There is a great amount of worldbuilding in this story and it’s a good thing the book contains a glossary; otherwise it would have been hard to keep track of everything and everyone.

While I can certainly appreciate such a complex world and the thought and research that has gone into creating it, it is clear that the focus lies more on the world than it does on the characters. This is not a character driven story. That doesn’t make it a bad story, but personally I prefer more of a balance. But to each his or her own.

The characters itself do fit the story. They are dark and often come from a troubled past. Magic here is not as traditional as you see in most fantasy stories. I liked Nick as a whole but there were times I wanted to smack him as well.

The focus in Sunset is also more on the story at large than it is on the romance. It is not a bad thing, as I enjoy a good sci-fi/futuristic story where the romance comes second, but don’t expect a sweet romantic story!

To conclude, Sunset is a well written and well researched book. It’s not a traditional m/m book, but it is an enjoyable one if you can get into the story. It’s the first of a series, so if you like Sunset, there is more available!


  1. May I recommend you give the additional books in the series a try? Many people liked "Sunrise" better than "Sunset," as the characters begin to come into their own more, and personally I loved the 4th book, "Starlight"!

    1. Katy, that is certainly interesting. I'll have a look! Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Great job of reviewing a book you had trouble with and for seeing past your issues and acknowledging the quality of the work. I don't read a lot of fantasy for the reasons you gave. I need balance in world building and story. Probably why I love urban fantasy so much.

    1. Thanks Sharon! I do like fantasy and this wasn't bad. Just not really my thing! It happens sometimes. Same with books by Elizabeth George. I do love the series. Just like with Game of Thrones. But it's hard to write a review for a book you have no click with :-)

      I agree though, Urban Fantasy is awesome!

  3. I'm with Sharon, great job on staying objective! Thanks for the wonderful review, Lis. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...