Book Review: Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin

Book 1 of Pact Arcanum
by Arshad Ahsanuddin
Urban Fantasy/LGBT/Sci-fi
Review copy supplied by author
4 Stars


An unlikely savior emerges to prevent the advent of mass destruction and genocide descending on the world…

By Day

Los Angeles, 2040.

When the terrorist known as Medusa threatens to kill millions with a stolen nuclear bomb, Nick Jameson makes a fateful decision. He reveals himself on global television as a Daywalker - a vampire with a soul. To save Los Angeles, Nick exposes not only his own gifts but three separate cultures based on millennia-old magic.

By Night

The three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance. Nick Jameson is deeply involved with two such Nightwalkers - handsome Lorcan and powerful Rory. Both men love Nick. But neither can protect the new Ambassador to Humanity from the events he has set in motion.

By the Sword

Jeremy Harkness was lured into Medusa's service under false pretenses. A loner with no one and nothing to cling to, he was willing to die for his cause. But the night Medusa tried to obliterate Los Angeles, Jeremy met Nick Jameson, triggering the onset of his own psychic gifts. For Jeremy is the third race of metahuman, a Sentinel, born to kill the Nightwalkers with no quarter asked or offered. And neither Medusa nor the Court of Shadows will settle for peace when they can make war.

Betrayal and treachery lurk around every corner on the road to coexistence, and at every turn, Nick must question who to trust among his metahuman allies, friends, and lovers—before their civilization is plunged into the depths of darkness and bloodshed. With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.


For me to even pick up a vampire book, I need to be intrigued. Things like Twilight didn't intrigue me, but reading the blurb for this book did intrigue me. It sounded a bit more fantasy or sci-fi than filled with teenage angst. I only do teenage angst if Harry Potter is involved, anyone else, it's not for me. I haven't read a vampire book in years and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. Having gay vampires helped. A lot. I don't think I would even have read it if there hadn't been.

Nick is a Daywalker, a vampire whose soul has been restored and he can now walk in sunlight, but he still needs blood to survive, but he only takes from willing donors. On the other end of the scale we have the Nightwalkers, the more common mythical race - those who have no soul, prey on humans etc. Between them both are the Sentinels, humans with different Gifts, or psychic powers who are genetically enhanced to hunt vampires and to want to hunt them.

After outing himself as one of the Daywalkers on television trying to stop the terrorist, Nick becomes an ambassador to humanity. But the Court of Shadows, those who rule the Nightwalkers, are angry that Nick exposed their existence and are determined to destroy him and the humans he's trying to protect.

The world building in this book was great, with details on each society and how each character fitted within the whole. Nick was a sympathetic character, despite being a vampire and I warmed to Jeremy as the book went on. It's a book that's hard to describe, there is a bit of everything - it's a bit sci-fi, a bit fantasy, a bit political thriller and it takes you on a roller-coaster ride from start to finish.

I did have a few niggles. I'm not one for love triangles, but this book seemed to have love quadrangles, never mind triangles! Nick was love in Scott, his best friend and a sentinel, but Scott isn't gay and is married. Lorcan and Rory both love Nick, but Rory is with Takeshi and Nick is with Lorcan, but only in a friends with benefits sort of way and he doesn't love him. I wished their love lives had been a bit loss convoluted, it was a bit confusing at times, especially when characters have more than one name.

The love scenes are not detailed, but they do have a sensuality to them, and you know there is genuine feeling between the characters. I'd say it's more of an adventure book with romantic elements rather than an outright romance. If you like a quite a bit of plot with your romance, this might be for you. It's a very captivating read.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby


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