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As Shadows Fade [Mass Market Paperback]

Colleen Gleason


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Book Description

March 3 2009 Gardella Vampire Chronicles
Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead. While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro—the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith's obsession with him.

But it is Lilith's obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation—a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (MM); Original edition (March 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451226321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451226327
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #675,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Colleen Gleason lives near Ann Arbor with her husband and children. She has an English degree and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Before writing full-time, she worked in the sales and marketing side of health care and insurance products. She has managed large sales forces, worked in start-up companies, and owned her own business. Colleen loves to hear from her readers, and can be contacted through her website.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a series that didn't linger too long. March 8 2009
By S. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"As Shadows Fade," the fifth and final installment of the Gardella series featuring Victoria and Max is a fitting end to a great paranormal series.

The action opens about two weeks after the end of "When Twilight Burns". Victoria is finally clear about whom she loves and wants in her life. Unfortunately for her, she isn't sure she can persuade him to follow his heart and commit to a relationship with her. There is also the complication of a past lover who still wants her and isn't accepting her decision with grace. In addition to all that emotional angst, a new and powerful threat has emerged that threatens both humans and vampires.

Colleen Gleason has always managed to draw readers into this world of the Regency era vampire slayer and her numerous beaus with ease. Victoria isn't perfect as a character; in fact she has always made mistakes along the way. The beauty of this series is that there is a natural progression from "know it all" debutante to mature, strong woman in charge of herself and the other Venators.

***************SPOILER ALERT! (as suggested by another reader)******************

I could write a book about why I love Max, the smart, sexy, honorable and intense hero that would melt any girl's heart. I have always preferred the enigmatic Max to any other suitor. In fact, he was the only character that I consistently loved throughout the series. Initially, I wanted Victoria to end up with Max, because Max wanted Victoria, not necessarily because she was "worthy" of him. Boy was I wrong. Victoria is a perfect match for him. She understands, respects and loves the kind of man that he is, just as he respects and loves her.

And when the two lovers finally get together, it was worth the wait. The supposedly cold and clinical Max is anything but. That man couldn't walk in the frozen food section of the supermarket, because everything would melt.

Sebastian is there as well to stir up trouble and ultimately find his own destiny. I was surprised at the twists and turns involving his character, but it oddly worked. Don't worry, Team Sebastian. We will probably be seeing him again.

Although everything about this book was perfect, it is still bittersweet to know I won't be visiting these characters in new adventures again. However, I must commend Ms. Gleason for ending this series before it became too long.

As a long time lover of paranormal fiction, I have noticed that a few other paranormal series have be plowed to death just for the money. Highly anticipated novels become filler books, characters do not evolve and readers lose interest because we can tell when the writer's creativity has dried up and the money making machine has kicked in. That isn't the case here.

This book was filled with twists and turns that surprised and delighted me. I had a smile on my face long after I finished it. I recommend it wholeheartedly. I would suggest that if you are just beginning to read this series, start at the beginning. It makes the payoff that much sweeter.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Shadows Fade March 7 2009
By Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As Shadows Fade picks up two weeks after the last book When Twilight Burns. An ever-growing presence of demons is discovered and so Victoria and her Venators set off to go about closing the portal from wince they come. Their mission does not come easy though, they must first obtain 5 ancient rings and an orb spelled within a pool and will need the help from Lilith, the vampire queen, to do so. Her help does not come without a heavy price. This book is face paced and will bring the reader through a roller coaster of emotions by the time it's finished. Many sacrifices will be made, love will be found and new beginnings. There is redemption and a bitter-sweet closure for a certain character--I'm sure most readers will have their Kleenexes handy for that one. I don't want to give too much of the plot away as it's best to experience this book not knowing what's coming next.

If you've read book 4 of this series I'm sure you have an idea of how the Max/Victoria/Sebastian love triangle ends. I was definitely surprised when and how these two came together. My most favorite line in this book will always be, "I've changed my mind..." ;) If you love the romance aspect of this series you won't be disappointed in this final book.

I'm saddened the series has came to an end but all the books will remain on my keeper shelf to revisit again. I highly recommend reading these books--each one is a wild ride with more than a few twists and likable characters.

For those who have not read this series the reading order is:
1. The Rest Falls Away
2. Rises the Night
3. The Bleeding Dusk
4. When Twilight Burns
5. As Shadows Fade
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Goes Out With A Bang! March 8 2009
By Chris Howard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So sad to see this series end, but rest assured that it ends with a bang in the most thrilling way possible. Some will be happy, some may be disappointed depending on which "team" you're on. But we do get our answer. We get the answer to who Victoria chooses and to many other questions, like who exactly is Wayren?

Two years ago, I cracked open the pages of The Rest Falls Away completely unsure of what awaited me and whether or not I'd like it. I knew that I loved vampire books, but romance?! Never been there before. After reading the first few pages, I knew that I had nothing to fear. The reader is safe in Colleen Gleason's hands, though she makes no promises to keep your heart rate at a reasonable pace. I instantly fell in love with Colleen's wonderful characters, the amazing setting of her books, and the love story/horror story that she so expertly weaved. You'd never guess that it was her first book.

Five books and two years later, she closes the series with the biggest bang there is. This book is truly fantastic from cover to cover. Victoria has made her decision as to which person she wants to spend her life with, a life that will always be filled of thrills and danger. But there are others who would have it differently. Demons have awoken from a chasm in the earth and plague her well being and the well being of her companions. We've seen demons before in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, but never in these amounts and with this type of hostility. There's only one way to rid the world of the demons and that is by paying another visit to our dear friend Lilith, queen of the vampires. Would we have it any other way?

I'm quite upset that the series is over and there are no more adventures with this amazing crew, but it ended in such a way that I'm satisfied as well. I can breathe easily (as soon as I catch my breath from this book) and know that somewhere out there, more amazing tales are yet to come from Colleen and more wonderful characters await the pages. Well done Mrs. Gleason, well done.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - Goodbye to Victoria, Max and Sebastian March 7 2009
By melindeeloo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gleason's finale to the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, takes us on one more exciting adventure with Victoria, Max and Sebastian, provides some steamy and some poignant moments, and brings this very original regency vampire huntress series to a satisfying conclusion -- all tied up with a big bow as Gleason's final present to her fans.

As Victoria struggles with her love life, she's made her decision between Max and Sebastian, but without the cooperation of the object of her affection, a Happily-Ever-After for the leader of the vampire hunting Venators does not look likely. Personal life aside there is more than enough to keep Victoria busy, Wayren is kidnapped by demons and the Venators will need the cooperation of the evil ruler of the vampires, Lilith, in order to close a portal to hell and save the world, and since we know Lilith and her obsession for Max, we know that her price will be high. To up the ante Max will again take the Venator trial, he has no choice but to attempt to regain his powers or die in the attempt. And this time Sebastian has a role to play too, and the confrontation will lead him to accept the 'deep taint' that will lead him to make the 'long promise' to fulfill his destiny -- it is amazing to see his final transformation from the the self-serving attractive rake to a man capable of such sacrifice.

I was actually surprised, but Gleason really does manage to bring her Gardella Chronicles to a close in a satisfactory way. Considering Victoria's calling and the ever present danger in her life, it was hard for me to imagine a happy ending for her. And with her having to choose between Max and Sebastian, I was finding myself feeling quite sorry for the loser, but his acceptance of Victoria's choice, and the promise that he will eventually get a chance at his own happiness, softens the blow. So I really enjoyed this last trip to the action packed world of Venators, vampires and regency trappings, and I am going to miss the mix of frippery and darkness and character growth that has made this such an enjoyable series. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for what Gleason has in store for us next.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Final Novel in an Incredible Series (A- Grade) March 3 2009
By Katie Babs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As Shadow's Fade is the final book in Colleen Gleason's outstanding Gardella Vampire Chronicles. This Victorian Paranormal series has great action, suspense, drama and romance. The hardest part for an author must be writing the final book in a series they have invested so much work and emotion into. The same goes for the reader.

The hardest part about writing a review for As Shadows Fade is the big spoiler in the book of who does Victoria ends up with? Is it that seductive yet naughty Sebastian Voget who showed Victoria such incredible passion or is it Maximilian Pesaro, Victoria's fellow Venator who pushes her away even though he longs to hold her in his embrace? In As Shadows Fade, Victoria does end up with one of them. That is one of the joys in reading this latest from Colleen. After all the heartache and loss Victoria has gone through, Colleen has allowed Victoria to have some fun. She had a small taste of joy from her husband, who she had to kill in the first book, The Rest Falls Away, because he became a vampire. Now that Victoria is a little bit wiser and more mature, she is no longer a girl experiencing love for the first time. She is a woman who wants passion and everything that comes with it. She wants a man she can love with her whole heart and soul and who will love her in return.

When Victoria and her man of choice decide to be with each other, it is a great thing. Victoria is one happy lady throughout As Shadows Fade. This is the most sexual of all the books in this series. After all the hard work Victoria has done, she is given her reward, so to speak. Yup, Victoria has a great deal of sex. She has tender lovemaking, fast passionate nookie, and one such scene at an inn where the walls shake. He lover is one feisty and lusty fellow.

I have to say that the love triangle between Sebastian, Victoria and Max is so well written. Colleen wrote it in such a way that whichever man Victoria chose, it would have worked. By the end of When Twilight Burns, it is pretty much a given who Victoria wants to spend her life with. Sebastian is the man who her body responds to, while Max is the man of her heart.

Even though the romance is an important part in As Shadows Fade, the other is defeating the evil vampire queen Lillith who has been a thorn in both Victoria and Max's side. Lillith is to blame for Max's angst, which made me give him the nickname Broody Max. In the past, Victoria had to work hard to defeat her enemy. Now in As Shadows Fade it is Max who must overcome those obstacles in order to save his life. He is nothing unless he is a Venator, just as Victoria is. Max is given the ultimate test where if he doesn't succeed he will perish. Not only are there vampires to deal with, but demons that also have their own reasons for destroying Lillith and her followers. Will Victoria work with one evil side to defeat the other?

As Shadows Fade is a most excellent book. I felt As Shadows Fade was a great Historical Urban Fantasy if there can be such a thing. Again, when it comes to Urban Fantasy, it all comes down to the strong heroine. Victoria is definitely this. She has become a leader and the ultimate fighter who even though has backup, doesn't necessarily need it.

Colleen made sure to end everything perfectly and that elusive HEA has become a reality for Victoria. Colleen gives Victoria everything she has ever wanted, as well as her readers.

Katiebabs

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