May Day by Josie Jaffrey – Book Review

I’ve rediscovered my love of vampires with May Day by Josie Jeffrey, the Book Bloggers Book of the Year 2021.

Genre: Urban fantasy, Vampires

Source: I won this book in a giveaway by Beccy’s Books at crooksbooks.blog

Series: Book 1 Seekers

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.

REVIEW

 I used to devour anything vampire-related when I was younger- from Buffy to Anne Rice to Stackie Stookhouse to the Vampire Diaries (TV series) to Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter ( review here). But somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with the whole genre.

If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.

But there was something about the blurb for May Day and that tagline that left me intrigued and willing to try again. I’m so glad I did, May Day is a fresh, new take on Vampires with a modern and relatable heroine at its heart.

The Vampires in May Day are known as Silver ( due to the sliver in their eyes) have the usual vampire traits but can walk in daylight, have jobs and a realistic hierarchy and organisation. But most of all they are not angsty, broody or mysterious. Jack is a Seeker, vampires who are tasked with making sure humans don’t find out about them by tracking errant vampires.

Jack is the first person, point of view character with just the right amount of snark, vulnerability, and a moral code I could relate to. The diverse secondary characters are vividly described with plenty of murky and shady characters

The murder itself was interesting and I didn’t guess ‘ who did it ‘ until the final reveal but it was the underlying mystery of the Solis Invicti( the military arm of the Vampires) that kept me turning the pages.

The blend of vampire lore and modern police procedural on a background of political intrigue makes this more than the usual urban fantasy featuring vampires.

Personally, I don’t tend to like romantic subplots, so I flipped past these parts in the book. but I must admit to rooting for the budding, modern and respectful relationship between Tabitha and Jack over the typical one between Jack and the Baron of Oxford ( no matter how helpful he was).

Content warning

The author has included a list of content warnings at the back of the book, and this includes violence/murder, mention of suicide, use of date rape drugs. Sexual assault, rape, physical abuse, stalking ( off-page). Mention of miscarriage.

Perfect for Fans

Who would like a new slant of Vampire Fantasy eg Anita Blake by Laurel Hamilton.

Summary

I was so pleased to discover the author has written several books set in the Silververse, so I will be reading her backlist. But I can’t wait to read the next book featuring Jack after this last line in May Day

I would rather watch them burn.

3 thoughts on “May Day by Josie Jaffrey – Book Review

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