Series: American Vampire #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Roc on January 7, 2014
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Underemployed by day. Undead by night.
Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He's learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once.
Until he finds his roommate’s dead body.
The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who (or what) actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril.
Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fortitude Scott is quickly becoming one of my favorite unconventional heroes!
IRON NIGHT continues with Fortitude Scott acclimating to his new life as a vampire and everything that comes along with his transition. After struggling with his identity in GENERATION V, Fort’s finally come to terms with who he is, has accepted his family and his birthright as a Scott. His brother Chivalry is teaching him the “family business” as well as training him in the art of fighting. Things are looking up for Fort, he has a new job at a fancy restaurant, his friendship with shifter Suzume is still going strong and he’s even found a roommate who he actually gets along with, but in typical Fort fashion his fortune is short lived. When he finds his new roommate brutally murdered in his apartment Fort decides to hunt down his killer…with a little help from his family and his kitsune BFF!
“Come on,” Chivalry said, breaking the silence. “One more round, then showers, then second breakfast.” I’d also made him watch all three Lord of the Rings movies–extended editions. It had had an impact.
Fort really won me over in this book. I initially liked his character but the growth from that book to this has made me appreciate him more. He still has some insecurities and nerdy qualities that I enjoy, but he’s finally accepting his vampire side and not trying to live as a human. I rarely compare characters from different authors but Fort’s inner struggles remind me a bit of the famous vampire Louis in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles (a total compliment I assure you). He’s kept his humanity intact throughout his transition which makes him a special vampire, Fort isn’t a ruthless predator like the rest of his family, he has compassion and is guided by a moral compass that he refuses to give up. I wouldn’t call him an alpha, he’s one of the underdogs that you root for and becomes an alpha in your heart. Watching him grow as a character has been a real treat…especially when he makes an unexpected move at the end of the book that I was totally on board with! We also see Fort’s relationship with his mother and siblings blossom from the dysfunction in the previous book. His sister Prudence is a dark and dangerous predator but I enjoyed watching her interact with Fort, she surprised me as much as Fort surprised her in this book!
The highlight of the books for me is the relationship between Fortitude and Suzume, the kitsune or fox shifter. We’re introduced to this feisty, bad ass heroine with a smart mouth in the first GENERATION V, where she’s guarding Fort and I just can’t get enough of her! Suzume is the perfect compliment to Fort’s introverted personality and while she loves to embarrass him in public these two have each other’s back no matter what. I love reading their funny banter and sarcastic interactions now that the dynamics have changed and they’re working together. There’s definitely an attraction between Fort and Suzume, these two would be a perfect match in my eyes, but somehow manage to keep their relationship platonic.
“With how you were reacting to that glamour, I’ll have to keep an eye on you. Otherwise the next time I see you, you’ll probably have a Doctor Who tramp stamp.
As Fort and Suzume investigate the murder of his roommate Gage they meet Lilah, a fae who lends her expertise of elves and magic to their investigation. Lilah is a sweet girl who charms Fort with her bohemian style and willingness to help but I wanted her out of the picture the minute she was introduced…don’t judge me. I tried to find a reason to dislike her character but honestly couldn’t, I just hated the potential threat she posed in my Fort/Suzume ship! Fort and Lilah are very compatible and thought my fear of them getting together would come true but M.L. Brennan came through for me on this one *thank you!* I wouldn’t mind getting to know her character more in future books now that I don’t see her as a threat, Fort needs all the help he can get.
“You meet a guy at a bar, you get laid, a few months later you have a litter of kits. Easy-peasy, and you even get a few free drinks in the deal.”
There are various memorable scenes in IRON NIGHT but my favorite has to be the ending, let’s just say Fortitude finally grew a pair and gave me some hope for romance! M.L. Brennan’s American Vampire series is truly a gem in urban fantasy. Her vampires are fierce predators true to their original myths, sparkling and brooding vampires need not apply! Non-stop action, humor and new supernaturals in the mix make this sequel a real page turner. I am 100% invested in these phenomenal characters, their story and can’t wait to see what other surprises M.L. Brennan has in store for us!