Jill H. O’Bones’s A Vow of Deception (or The Second Vow in the trilogy The Vows), published 2012, is the sequel to A Vow of Tears. This has been on my read/review list for quite a while, and I was finally kicked into reading it when I read Alex Owens’s Kill Me. The two series were written about the same time and both feature a female vampire concerned for her human child.
In A Vow of Deception, Vincent takes Sara to the Sirelords who must decide whether she lives or dies – and, if she lives, whether she will ever see her son again. This book sets out really to describe vampire society. As such, it’s more about world-building than action, whereas the first book was more horror/thriller. It’s a fairly easy read, and sets the scene for the third book (A Vow of Fate) – which I haven’t read yet, but will.
I’m often annoyed by vampire books, and this didn’t annoy me, and some of my frustrations with the first book were resolved in this second book. My complaints are more technical. The grammar is occasionally glitchy, with forays into the present tense, for example. Passive voice is used a lot, which is distracting on the one hand (“Slowly and softly, the sound of laughter left him.”) and slows the story on the other. Passive voice distances the reader and is evil – there’s a reason why Word’s grammar checker bursts into tears over it. (On which subject, I do feel Sara gives into tears far too often.)
My biggest complaint, however, is that the story needs paring. The description of detail is excessive and the story drags a little – need more action, less waiting around helplessly. Myself, I would delete the first 14% and start on the mountain:
It was as if a piece of the mountain had fallen off, embedding itself next to its parent. Sara felt the world closing in around her as the wagon passed between the rock walls with inches to spare.