The first installment in the Night World series, Secret Vampire gives us our first glimpse into this secret world where vampires, witches and shapeshifters live alongside humans, not quite in peace.
When Poppy North’s mother forces her to visit the doctor due to a constant pain in her stomach, the diagnosis is tragic. The petite teenager has cancer and is going to die, until James steps in. James Rasmussen, the boy that Poppy has already picked out as her future husband, though as far as he knows they’re just best friends. James has a secret, a secret that will turn Poppy’s world upside down for James, we learn, is a vampire, one of the lamia to be exact, a vampire from birth who will grow up as any human does, but who has some intense non-human cravings. James, against the laws of his world, turns Poppy into a vampire, giving her the gift of eternal life, and leading her into a world of danger. Jame’s world, the Night World, where Poppy must live now, giving up her family, her friends, and the life that she has thus far known. And yet, Poppy is ready to give them up for James, James is her soulmate. It’s a term, James explains to Poppy, that is used in the Night World to refer to the one person that you are meant to be with forever, your perfect match. Things look as if they are going to be all right, until Ash shows up one day while James is out. Ash Redfern is James’ cousin and explains to Poppy very plainly that if she stays here James may be in danger. Not wanting to bring danger to her soulmate, Poppy goes away with Ash, only to learn that Ash’s intentions are less than noble. In fact, Ash intends to turn her over to the Night World Elders who would more than likely take away her existence. In the confrontation that follows this revelation, Poppy realizes powers that she never knew. After James and Poppy’s brother Phil show up to help spirit her away, it is realized that Poppy, and Phil as well, are not exactly what they appear to be, but lost witches. Poppy, before she knew of it’s existence, already belonged to the Night World.
Secret Vampire is a good book. It lays down the rules and groundwork for the rest of the Night World series, introduces us to some interesting characters, including Ash Redfern and Thea and Blaise Harmon who we’ll come into contact with later in the series. Secret Vampire is a wonderful introduction to the Night World series.