But not all survivors were human.
In the dark, militant society that has risen in the aftermath, vampires, once thought to be mythical, have been assimilated and enslaved. Used for blood sport their lives are allowed to continue only for the entertainment of the masses. Reviled as savages, they are destined to serve out their immortal lives in the arena, as gladiators.
And there is no greater gladiator than Mira: undefeated, uncompromising...and seemingly unbreakable. When an escape attempt leads Mira into the path of Lucian Stavros, the city’s Regent, her destiny is changed forever.
Lucian, raised in a culture which both reviles and celebrates the savagery and inhumanity of vampires, finds Mira as intriguing as she is brash. An impulsive decision - to become Mira’s patron – changes more than just Lucian’s perception about vampire kind. The course of his life is altered in ways he could never have predicted – a life that is suddenly as expendable as hers.
Can Mira prove to Lucian that all is not as it seems? Can Lucian escape centuries of lies, bloodshed, and propaganda to see the truth? Or will the supreme power of the human overlords destroy them both?
I've seen Ms Salidas' Immortalis Carpe Noctem series recommended but will confess, I've not read it yet. Just something about this storyline though really fired up my imagination. Happily I was most definitely not disappointed.
Set in a future where humanity is all but wiped out, we meet the survivors. The few humans who have crawled out of the mire, have had to accept vampires exist. Initially, the two species work together, but unfortunately as time goes by, mankind's greed and distrust sees the vampire race subjugated. The situation has worsened and now any vampires caught are imprisoned.
Mira is a vampire and has been used in barbaric gladiator type games to entertain the humans for more years than she chooses to remember. The pathetic and sadistic humans think she's there to entertain but they are wrong, as Mira is there to survive! She's killed countless of her own kind but all she wants is freedom.
Whilst making an escape attempt Mira meets the city's Regent, Lucian, and for some strange reason captures his interest. Mira will do anything to survive but giving her trust to a human might just be a step too far. As Lucian tries to find out what makes Mira tick, he comes to realise not everything he believed about vampires is true. Humanity has believed that vampires are killers but what if it's mankind who are the true beasts?
Oh, wow! This was an incredible book. I'm so pleased I read it and will admit I did not put this down until the final page. It's clearly just the beginning but the world building here is absolutely fabulous. Ms Salidas doesn't rush and gives the reader time to get to know the heroine, Mira. Mira's not the most lovable character. She is an arrogant, hard headed woman but she's so full of heart it's impossible not to be bowled over by her. There's no amount of pain or degradation Mira won't overcome. She's smart and courageous and I was so routing for her.
There's action within this book as well. I thought the fight scenes were very well described and it was so easy to picture them in my head. This story is peopled with characters we are only just getting to know. I still have so many questions!
There is an end to this story, it sets up for much more to come and it's going to be an interesting journey. Mira has so much more to give as a heroine and Lucian is certainly not a one dimensional character either. Set in a post apocalyptic world, Dissension is an amazing piece of fiction and for me it was far too short! Filled with action and a central character I really cared about. I cannot praise it highly enough. I will search out Ms Sadidas back catalogue and strongly urge lovers of a good story to read this book.
Dissension is an e-book and is $2.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.