Book review: Cliff’s Descent by Dianne Duvall

If you’ve been reading the Immortal Guardian series (and I definitely recommending reading the previous 10 books before this one), you’ll be familiar with Cliff. He was turned into a vampire against his will, and taught to fight against the Immortal Guardians. Unfortunately the virus that causes the vampirism also causes insanity, and after watching many of his fellow vampires fall prey to the madness and commit atrocities, Cliff handed himself over to the Immortal Guardians as a ‘lab rat’ to help them find a cure for the virus.

Cliff is a good guy. When he was with the other vampires, he only fed on (and killed) pedophiles. He refuses to harm an innocent. But the insanity is real and it’s getting worse. The voices encourage Cliff to commit violence, and he isn’t always in control of himself, although he always deeply regrets his outbursts. He knows that sooner, rather than later, he will have to ask them to end him before he does something truly horrific.

This story is told over a number of years, which allows for the romance between Cliff and his girl to grow slowly and develop naturally. If you’ve read the previous books in the series, you don’t feel like you’re missing out when the book skips a year here or two years there. However, as a standalone book you might feel like you’re missing out on some of the bigger picture, albeit not so much of Cliff’s story.

I felt that the resolution to it all was a little too neat and tidy for my taste. However, I do understand the quandary that the author was in. Cliff was a series character who was never meant to get his own book, who was never meant to survive. However, he became a fan favourite and the author had to find a way to save him. The vast majority of the book, we don’t see how that can be possible, and the fear, grief and longing between Cliff and Emma comes across very strongly. So too does the relief when Cliff gets his happy ending. I will admit that, while convenient, the solution fit within the larger series because we had already seen instances that would allow us to buy into it. If you hadn’t read the rest of the series, I don’t think you’d buy into the solution, so again, I definitely recommending reading the rest of the series.

The book hit me in the feels and I read it in a single day. Five stars.

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