Review: Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen

I am challenging myself to read new authors this year. Luckily I found a blog which is hosting a new author challenge! This challenge–New Author Challenge 2013–is hosted by the Literary Escapism blog.

Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down
by Lisa Olsen
Forged Bloodlines series, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011
E-book, purchased
260 pages
Grade: B+

Synopsis: Anja Evans wakes up in the morgue with a helluva hangover. She chalks it up to a strange brush with death and gets back to her life as a music student in San Francisco. It takes almost eating her best friend before she figures out… she’s a vampire! When a dark and dangerous vampire shows up at her door asking to see her license and registration, Anja assumes Bishop is a regular cop. But breeding among vampires is strictly controlled, and her unlicensed status makes her an enemy of The Order. Struggling to find a balance between her former life and her undead one, Anja tries to blend school and living up to her new identity, all while searching to find the elusive Viking whose blood gave Anja the strength of a vampire hundreds of years old.

Lisa Olsen’s books appears to be self-published. She has written three books in the Forged Bloodlines series now and I’ve read all three since January! She has also written a number of other books.

Ms. Olsen does a good job in Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down introducing Anja, Bishop and the other characters as well as explaining the world she creates. There is humor in these books which I enjoyed and Anja is a likeable character. It’s a fun book to read.

In this world vampires and other paranormal creatures are hidden from humans and intent upon remaining hidden. The Order polices the vampire world and has strict laws about producing new vampires. If the vampire doesn’t have a license to create a new vampire both the vampire and human he has turned are killed by the Order.

Bishop, the powerful Order vampire, who shows up at Anja’s door after she is turned should kill her, but perhaps because she reminds him of someone in his past he lets her live. This all happens before Anja even realizes she is a vampire. She has no memory of who turned her into a vampire and no one steps forward to confess. Thus, she is pretty clueless about being a vampire. This first book is about her stumbling steps while she tries to figure out the vampire world, who sired her and whether she can still live her old human life.

She was a music student and she continues trying to attend classes with varying degrees of success. On the several occasions Anja has problems figuring out the vampire world Bishop reluctantly helps her. It’s evident he’s attracted to her, but he has been in the Order for years and takes his duties seriously. He really wants to forget her and get on with his life, but finds he can’t.

In the next two books in the series–Meet Me When the Sun Goes Down (B)  and Find Me When the Sun Goes Down (B-)–Anja continues her journey of self-discovery. Each book has a mystery which affects her life, but these books are mostly about Anja and how she tries to fit into her new life without losing her humanity. I liked the first two books better than the third book, but will definitely look for the fourth book in the series.

One criticism I have I also have with some other books, too. All the covers and titles in this series are very similar. It’s hard to keep track of them. It’s good to have a brand so readers quickly know the book is part of a series, but I would like a little more individuality. After a few months go by it’s hard to remember which book I read and if the book I’m seeing is a new book. If I don’t have time to investigate further I sometimes put off figuring out which book I’ve read and which I haven’t so I may not get a new book at all.