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Akiva ran toward the light.
Its glow in the moonless night blazed a path before him, beckoning him, drawing him toward it with the force of gravity. Icy rain stabbed his face, melting under a torrent of scorching tears.
Save him. Save him. Save him! Her words chased after Akiva like vile hounds ready to rip apart his flesh.
He focused on the beam and ran straight toward it as hard as he could, until his world glowed an angry red. The pain pulsed and throbbed, consuming him. Arms pumping, legs stretching, muscles straining, he prayed it would sear him, burning up every thought, every emotion, every memory, until he was no more. Then he wouldn't have to remember her. Hannah. Nor her plea to save him-Levi.
Once Hannah had given Akiva hope, promise, love. Now he spat her name out like a bitter root.
But he could not banish the memory of the lie smoldering in the depths of her eyes. He could have accepted her hatred, even her anger. He'd expected it, even planned for it. But her deceit? Her disdain? Her disgust? It corroded his thoughts and distorted his love for her into a boiling, fuming explosion.
What did she know of love? Her beliefs, emotions, desires were simplistic. Levi! Of all people, his own brother. Akiva had offered her eternity, and she wanted to live an insipid life in Promise with Levi. Her betrayal scalded him.
He pushed himself, running full out, as fast as he had that day when he was eight years old. He'd hidden in a copse of trees beyond the woodworking shop, gasping for air, fear grinding into him. Rules were fixtures in their household, and if he broke one, then Pop made sure not to "spare the rod." Pop had been searching for him, and he'd brought along a switch. The running and hiding had done no good though-after buckling beneath the shiver of cold and gnawing of hunger, both switch and boy were eventually broken.
Now, Akiva felt the same bite of winter but a growling hunger of a different sort.
The light before him intensified until it separated into two distinct orbs racing toward him. A screeching sound ripped through the night, and suddenly he barreled into a metal object.
The impact rattled his bones, but he stood straight as a concrete pillar, unwavering, fortified with his anger. Bracing his hands on the warm, wet metal, he glared through the windshield. He could see two sets of wide, startled eyes staring back at him.
He slammed his hands again on the car's hood. The metal trembled, and the concussion of vibrations shot up his arms. Inside the car, the woman cried out. Akiva thought it more of a surprised sound than fear. But the fear would come.
For two years, Akiva had hoped a piece of himself-Jacob's humanity-still existed inside him. He had believed once it was a positive thing, a trait to which he could cling, and nurture. A piece that separated him from the others like him.
But he was wrong. The ragged shred of compassion was a weakness. A weakness that left him vulnerable. The tiny slivers of emotion sliced through him. All hope and purpose poured out of him, pooling around him, until there was nothing left. Words, once a comfort, scattered in his mind, and he grasped at them as if they could save him.
His voice shattered like broken shards of glass. He shook his head and stared up at the gray clouds and tried again: "‘A long farewell-.'"
He collapsed forward over the hood of the car. Squeezing his eyes shut, he tried to remember the words, the poet, even the sentiment. But he was empty-empty of words, empty of feelings. Empty of everything he ever was or ever wanted to be.
Sleet turned to snow and spattered his face and back, slowly reviving him. Were the snowflakes his prayers falling back to earth, unheard, unanswered? Ancient words chilled his soul and sputtered out of him: "‘And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.'"
"Hey!" the man inside the car called. "You okay? What's wrong with you?"
The coldness inside Akiva solidified, and he looked up, stared ahead of him at the dirt and sludge on the windshield, at the bits of snow and sleet, the tiny flakes glistening. The woman fumbled with a cell phone, the pale glow reflecting fear and uncertainty in her eyes. The man peered at him over the rim of the steering wheel.
Akiva pounded the hood again. "Get out!"
The woman screamed. This time, fear saturated the shrill cry.
The horn blared, and the man waved his arm over the steering wheel. "Get out of the way, or I'll run you over."
Akiva tapped his forefinger on the hood-tap, tap, tap-then he gave a caustic laugh. "‘Once upon a midnight dreary...'" His forehead pinched as he fumbled the words. "‘Dreary...forgotten lore...'"
Snowflakes speckled his face, and he laughed again, felt a spark, a flame deep within. "‘I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door; Only this, and nothing more...bleak December...dying ember...ghost upon the floor..."'"
His gaze penetrated the windshield again, and the fear trapped inside the car renewed his strength, charged him like a bolt of electricity. Once more he tapped the hood as if he was tapping on a windowpane. "Tap, tap, tapping..."
The car jerked as the driver shifted into drive. The wheels inched forward then lurched to a stop again. Akiva grabbed the door and ripped the metal section off its hinges. He tossed it aside as if it weighed nothing, the door clattering and clanging against the asphalt.
"What are you doing?" the driver yelled, pulling back away from the opening, cowering and blocking the woman at the same time. His hands were shaking, his mouth opening and closing. "You want money? That it?"
But Akiva simply smiled.
He paid no attention to the cries, screams, or wails. He tore into flesh, ripping and severing. His interest wasn't in gorging himself. He didn't bother tasting or savoring but simply destroyed, until he was covered in the sticky warmth of their blood.
Heaving and gasping, he glared down at the bodies. No satisfaction, which usually followed a kill, came, no fulfillment.
Silence hummed about him. He lifted his chin, staring out at the bleak night with its heavy clouds and softly falling snow. The fire inside hardened the last bits of emotion into glassy shards, and he felt shame and disgust at the memory of Hannah's eyes. The awareness. The understanding. The shock and horror of who he was, what he had become. Despair collapsed upon him, suffocating him with the inescapable and unchangeable truth.
Then the words of the illusive poem finally came to him, and he spoke:
"‘And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming;
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws the shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted-nevermore!'"
Posted March 1, 2013
Book 2 Vampires and Amish and Love and Good and Bad
Whether or not you believe that vampires exist, or if you believe in the Amish faith, you’ll want to read this book. Leanna Ellis has created characters which reach out and grab you, literally. Her characters are strong. You will not want to put this book down, turning pages to see what is going to happen next.
This second in the series of three continues the life of some characters from the first book and introduces some new characters. They all fight their battles. Some live. Some die. You must read the book to find out who does what, and to see who wins. And then you’ll want to read the next in the trilogy.
I would recommend this book to mature readers, but not to teens or children, or anyone who frightens easily. This book can be quite scary.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A stunning book. The writing is excellent. The plot unfolds at the perfect pace. The characters are well developed. A great (if sometimes scary) book.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2014
Vampires in Amish country sounded like an interesting twist on a favorite genre! But it was not clear that this was a sequel. And the story is way to jumpy for me to become emotionally invested. Maybe if I had read bk 1 first, but as it is I am not willing to spend $11 to get caught up on a story that I'm not loving.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 24, 2014
Posted December 6, 2013
It wad a slow read and at times it seemed that I was missing something - like there was another book I should have read first. Plus the switch in the villians attitude, his sudden change of heart, at the end of the book didn't make sense. I was disapointed in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2013
Posted July 28, 2013
I bought this book and the first in the series when the were both recently on the under $2.99 list in the nook store. I found the first book to be a slow, just ok read.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read the second one right away but did and now I'm glad! Roc and Rachel were much more engaging and the story seemed to make more sense and took no time at all to read.
I liked that this wasn't your typical human falls in love with vampire story!
Posted July 12, 2013
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