Retribution by Robin Badillo
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (234 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Nightshade
Waking up in a strange place with no memory is hard enough, but when you unknowingly wake as a vampire with an insatiable desire to drain a stray cat of its life's blood--then you can bet that you're about to take a journey down a very bumpy road. Sydney Chance finds herself a stranger to her new life as well as the one she left behind. On a reluctant mission to uncover her past, Sydney's struggle with bloodlust is magnified when all of her senses draw her to a brooding and intriguing vampire named Demetri Bastian, who seems more intent on fighting her at every turn as he keeps her at arm's length while trying to protect and control. To make matters worse, a sadistic ancient vampire, who makes it his hobby to collect beautiful young women and keep them as pets, has his fangs set on Sydney. Not knowing her own name takes a back seat to the drama that unfolds all around her as she seeks revenge on the vampire who created her, sending her on a suspenseful trail of love, lies, betrayals, twists and turns that could quite possibly destroy her, immortal or not. Who says what you don't know can't hurt you?
An intimate take on the transition from human to vampire, Retribution reads more like a journal than an actual novel as the reader joins Sydney on the adventure of her life…well, in reality her death. We follow Sydney from just after she is created through every twist and turn of her learning process and eventually to her true realization of family. While the struggles she faces are momentous, she isn’t alone in her journey. Porsche, Saul, and Demetri join Sydney as they each attempt to teach her everything she needs to know to survive in their brutal world.
While the overall story came together in the end, it was a bit of a slow starter. A sweet love story in the midst of all the fear and brutality of her existence is a nice thought, but the connection was a bit rushed. It is difficult to believe that an individual who is so deeply anti-social, such as Demetri, can be brought out of his shell in mere hours or days even though he does feel a connection with Sydney.
There are many endearing scenarios in Retribution and as a series, it is a good beginning, however it is not quite there yet. While the characters are well laid out, their interactions sometimes don’t fit what the reader already knows about them. This could be a simple matter of better story outlining to solve this issue.
Overall this story was good with only minor grammatical hiccups. The reader will be engrossed in the struggle after the initial chapters and will fall into the action as it unfolds. This story has it all: action, adventure, loves, and seriously independent heroines with a softer side. This author’s attempt wasn’t bad at all and she will definitely be one to watch in the future, as her skills grow and improve.