Review: Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland

Posted December 2, 2011 by Carmel in / 10 Comments

Acquainted with the Night cover

Title: Acquainted with the Night
Author: Piper Maitland
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eGalley, 544 pages
Published: November 29th, 2011
My Copy: NetGalley
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating

The pages of history are written in the blood of the undead…
A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…
At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all…

Acquainted with evil…

Acquainted with the Night is a high octave race against time, full of startling truths and suspense. This book is a unique cross between the Da Vinci Code and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. It’s about Christianity but not overwhelmingly so, just enough to bring a bit of truth to this work of fiction. The science behind vampirism is also addressed which brings to light some interesting concepts. If you’re looking for a “smarter” Urban Fantasy read, then this novel is for you.

I love stories where I feel like I’m actively participating in helping the heroine unravel a mystery and this book delivers on that front. The web of plot lines that Piper weaves is so intricate and clever that I doubt you’ll get a jump on the conclusion before Caro does. It’s near impossible to predict where this tale leads but the ride itself is the best part in my opinion. Maitland uses all 544 pages to her advantage. There’s never a dull moment in this novel and every word feels like it’s a crucial part of the story. The only drawback that I found was that at times it seemed like the author struggled with tying up the loose ends to too many simultaneous plot lines. Things get a bit muddled here and there. Everything gets sorted out in the end but Piper does force a few round pieces into square holes, if you know what I mean.

Maitland’s scientific approach to vamps is inventive and will make you think. The author explores things such as DNA, hybrids vs full-bloods and how to eliminate weaknesses like sunlight vulnerability. This book is in part about one man’s quest for immortality which presents a new take on an ancient goal. Wilkinson is prepared to do whatever it takes to live forever; including murdering his own flesh and blood. It turns out that Caro’s apparently innocent search for the pieces of her legacy is running parallel to her enemies’ mission. They need the same artifacts! What a kerfuffle!

The characters are well-developed but I didn’t feel a strong connection to any of them. Acquainted with the Night is more about the chase than the people. I felt sorry for Caro. People around her are dropping like flies and her life goes from mundane to extraordinary. Who knew that your past could hide so many unknowns! On the other hand, I really felt for Jude. I wanted him and Caro’s love for each other to grow but at the same time I understood his reluctance. The poor guy is forced to make some really tough calls and in the end he becomes the very thing that he hates most. Talk about bad luck!

This book’s not for the faint of heart nor is it for those looking to coast through. Acquainted with the Night is thought provoking and Piper’s vampires definitely do not sparkle. When you enter Maitland’s world, be prepared to stay up until the very end. Caro and Jude’s story is far from over and I for one can’t wait to see where they go from here.

Part of:
Holiday Foreplay @ Rabid Reads Piper Maitland Blog Tour

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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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10 responses to “Review: Acquainted with the Night by Piper Maitland

  1. @Brenda Demko – Religion is a touchy subject to include in an UF book but I thought Piper handled it well.

    @Victoria – This is the 2nd UF/Thriller/Suspense type read I’ve tackled this year and I’m diggin’ the new combo so far!

    @Laura – I hope you like it. 🙂

    @miki – There’s only one way to make up your mind for sure!

  2. Really great review! Haven’t ever heard of this one, but maybe I’ll check into it. It’s fun to read books that take you on a wild ride.

  3. @Cathy @ Abnormally Paranormal Reviews – It’s good to take a break from your typical genres every once in a while.

    @Nicki J Markus – Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Sounds like a great read! Haven’t read anythin g gripping in a long while and, lucky for me, I’m not faint of heart *wink* Any cross between The Da Vinci Code and Lara Croft’s gotta be good. Great review!

    Happy New Year!


  5. Nice review. I was more troubled by the lack of character connection, though I agree the scientific angle to vampirism was interesting. In fact, it is the story’s strongest point and I wish it had been emphasized more.

    Keep up the good work!