Friday, August 10, 2012

The Beginning (The Four - Book 1) by Margaret Millmore

The Beginning (The Four - Book 1)
by Margaret Millmore

The Four - A Series
They do exist and they always have. They live, love, and work amongst us and they are part of us. But they are different too, they are stronger and they live longer. They are the topic of many books, movies and myths, but their existence remains a secret, not everyone would accept them. And like us, they have those that are simply evil. Keeping these evil ones under control is the price they must pay to continue the lives they love. They must protect their human brethren from the Dark Ones, those that would rather kill than preserve.
Century after century the good battled the Dark Ones, always prevailing and preserving the lives of their beloved humans. In the 17th century, two powerful Dark leaders emerged, they organized their forces and a bitter war ensued. It was a fight to the death and the good thought they'd won. Four warriors led the battle, four warriors whose strength was beyond anything they knew, four warriors whose legacy had to be protected...
The good formed a consortium and with the help of a powerful sorcerer, a spell was cast; a spell that would follow the warriors' lineage in case their power was needed again. The warriors are long dead, but their heirs are not, and now they must fight. The Dark Ones have re-emerged, they are more powerful, more resourceful and they want to control mankind and the world.

The Beginning (Book 1)
Clare had an ideal life. She lived in the perfect little town, had a great family and four of the best friends in the world. She also had nightmares, nightmares that plagued her for almost a decade. But these are not ordinary nightmares; they are premonitions, warnings of what is to come and what she will become.
She discovers that she isn't alone in these vile dreams; her friends are having them too. They are dreaming of their ancestors and their own future... The discovery of their destiny and the future they must embrace is shocking and terrifying.

The Change (Book 2)
Read about the second book in this series in my further blog post.

By Wayne Zurl

The last time I turned to a vampire for entertainment, Bella Lugosi was a young man. But this book, The Beginning, number one in The Four series sounded intriguing so, I sharpened my fangs and began reading.

The subtitle refers to four young people - carriers of the recessive gene that will someday turn them into vampires or werewolves. By happenstance, they all meet as children and grow into adulthood together. Then, one by one, they begin to feel the glitch. Each one experiences troubling and foreboding dreams  - the same dreams.

Thrown for a loop by these inexplicable and similar dreams, they soon learn their future when contacted by their "watcher," Charlie, a vampire himself employed by "The Consortium" or our version of the governing body of vampire and werewolf elders, who explains in fascinating detail, their family histories, inherited characteristics, and what they can expect in the future.

Ms. Millmore does a fine job presenting the historical background of her take on vampires and werewolves. Everything sounds interesting and plausible - in a Shock Theater sort of way. And who doesn't enjoy a really good, scary legend or two spanning the ages and continents?

With Charlie's history lesson, comes the hook to these characters. We will all like them because they're members of the benign group, led through immortality by The Consortium of vamps and werewolves who, over the centuries, have altered their way of life to peacefully coexist with their human neighbors. The monkey wrench thrown at The Four is that for eternity, their lot in life is to monitor and combat "The Dark Ones" - the miscreants and destructive critters in the ranks of vampires and lycanthropes who give guys like Lugosi and Lon Cheney Jr. bad names.

The book ends with The Four contemplating their future and how their lives will soon be forever altered. 

I liked it. Margaret Millmore's imagination far exceeds my own. I applaud her for building a solid foundation for future adventures of The Four.

About the Author
A native Californian, Margaret was born in 1968 and raised in the eastern part of Los Angeles County; she moved to San Francisco in 1991. She and her husband currently divide their time between their home in the City and their home in the Sierra Foothills.
The author states, "Reading is an addiction for me, and one I'll never give up. I've had an active imagination since childhood and often made up stories that I only told to myself. After ending a successful career, I found myself with the time to pursue those stories, and the floodgates opened. I love just about every kind of story, but especially fiction, throw in some supernatural or paranormal overtones and I'm in heaven."
Margaret is the grandniece of Irish author Benedict Kiely and the second cousin of Irish author Sharon Owens.
Margaret is also the author of Doppelganger Experiment, a psychological thriller (World Castle Publishing September 2011, revised and re-edited in February 2012). There are plans for three more books in this series. The next book, The Change, was released in October 2012, with the next two expected to be released by January 2013.