Nocturnal Blood by Villimey Mist
Villimey has been on my radar for a while now. I’ve read a couple of pieces from her in anthologies, notably “Tupperware Party” in “Slash Her”, which is due to be released in March I believe (great short, highly entertaining), and in WereTales – “Of Foxbites & Sorrow”, a poem, if I remember correctly. I knew her Nocturnal series was a vampire trilogy (I think the fourth is about to be released?), and whilst vampires aren’t my thing, indie authors are, and so, in for a pound, in for a penny as they say – I bought her trilogy a while back and this is the first in that series.
As one would suspect, the story was not at all what I had imagined. I think of vampire stories as the MC turning into a vampire, an origin story of sorts, and the ensuing story of coping with the changes and adapting to life as a vampire. Not so the case here, where the MC is a “friend” of a girl that has been turned into a vampire. This vampire is sought out and on the run from other vampires, and she brings the MC (a girl that has OCD elements to her make-up that add quirks to the adventure) on a road-trip type journey, fleeing from her pursuers and they head toward another vampire that might possibly help them.
So – what did I think about it?
There’s an undeniably YA feel to the novel, which is interspersed with graphic descriptions of violence. The mix is probably 80% YA road trip with a vampire to 20% vampire blood and gore. And it works – the novel speeds along with Mist’s friendly MC and her quirks making very light reading.
I think it fair to say that Villimey has written aspects of her own life onto the MC – I know from her YouTube and TikTok content that Villimey is friendly and has an optimistic outlook on life – and here, she has made her MC (Leia) a smaller likable woman. I’m not going to hazard a guess that the personality of Villimey and Leia are similar, but I would guess that their perspectives on life are similar,. Interestingly (to me) Villimey made the decision to make her MC passive. A lot of things happen around and to Leia, but I think it is fair to say that she is saved by other people’s attachment to her, through her personality and honesty, not through her own actions. Leia is very aware of her own “failings” (her own evaluation of her quirks I believe – something which she is embarrassed by and tries to suppress), yet it is those “quirks” that endear her to other characters. There’s a sense that she is apologizing for being herself, an insecurity that colors everything in the book.
So – actually, the complete opposite of me (Leo, confident, strong sense of "take me as I am), which of course makes it fascinating. Frustrating sometimes, yes. But fascinating.
It’s a character-driven novel, the world of vampires and its many rules explored by a character with no interest in further involvement in that world. That’s what makes this an interesting break from the norm. Mist manages to layer the world-building in here as a framework for several novels, and though the novel ties itself off at the end for the casual tourist, there are hints at how the series will continue. The brutality, when Mist allows it airtime, is well done and appealed to me, though I wished there could have been more. There was a lot of talk of what the vampires could do, but they were pretty well restrained in this novel, the threat implied but withheld. Perhaps in the next one…
I’m giving this 4 out of 5 ⭐‘s, and want to give praise for a couple of things - the excellent editing on the novel, the cover which sets the mood, I liked her voice, I liked being surprised by a road trip when I hadn’t expected one. There's actually not a lot here not to like.
Though Vampires are still not my thing, I felt pretty comfortable here.
Good work, Villimey.
You can buy Nocturnal Blood, by clicking on the appropriate Amazon store link below:
You can visit Villimey's website, HERE.
You can find Villimey on Twitter, HERE.
You can find Villimey on Instagram, HERE.
You can find Villimey's Facebook page, HERE.
You can visit Villimey on TikTok, HERE.
You can Visit Villimey on her YouTube channel, HERE.