Much of what I said in my review of Vampire Vow can be repeated for this second volume of Victor's story.
Mr Schiefelbein is a distinguished writer, and his plotting cannot fail to raise his reader's attention, but this time unfortunately his work shines a little less brightly.
The first part of the novel, the first 80 pages or so, are permeated with a lazy tourist guide attitude, every paragraph scattered with redundant descriptive details about Rome, probably aiming at depicting an exotic setting instead of creating a gothic atmosphere.
This problem is probably magnified by my being Italian and by my knowing Rome and its true atmosphere. The author's clumsy attempts at Italian, put in the mouth of Victor, who after all is supposed to have spoken the language for centuries and should know it quite well, may sound appealing to an English speaking reader but did not help me in the least.
Luckily enough Mr Schiefelbein finally gets to business and the temperature rises steeply, revealing the author I cherished in the first book. The reader meets here an older Victor (not so much in years, but in spirit): a vampire who no longer seems to kill out of rage but out of necessity. Once again I was a little disappointed: the great novelty of the first book was the blodshedding raw rage of a heart/pride broken man who, not being able to get the object of his desire, the object being no less than "the" Jesus, exacts his revenge by massacring his followers and defiling all that is sacred to him. Here Victor seems tired, more heart broken than vicious. The change is legitimate but disappointing.
Anyway the plot develops nicely: the shift of p.o.v. between Victor and his new love, Paul, allows the author to explore new depths in characterization. It is also interesting to face the change of Paul who, starting from a harmless boy next door kind of guy, slowly and consistently changes into something dark and frightening, not because Victor changes him, but as a "natural" development of self.
I do not know whether Mr Schiefelbein plans a third volume. The end of this one, which I will not spoil because it is totally unexpected, is entirely satisfying.
In case he does, I wish he would reconsider his style critically and stick to the breathtaking perfection of the first volume; his second volume his worthy and surely 5 stars worth but compared with the previous one it is lacking.
As for the first volume, I recommend conservative/religious/touchy readers avoid this book; yougsters should be kept at large too: this story is not suited for them.