The Black Wasp is the third book in Alistair Cross’ Vampires of Crimson Cove series, and it’s a stunner. I unabashedly love all my collaborator’s solo works, but with this tale, he has achieved new heights of imagination and storytelling. The book — and the title character — is riveting.
When Alistair first introduced her about midway through The Silver Dagger, book two in the series, the Black Wasp was intriguing and mysterious, a supernatural creature that was not a vampire, a ghost, or anything else you might expect. Even Alistair didn’t know what she was at that point, but she persisted, making her presence known with a subtle but compelling urgency that hooked me from the very beginning.
Alistair and I spend our days together in a virtual office in the Cloud and are connected on Skype. We spend two thirds of our day working on our ongoing collaborations — generally a stand-alone novel and one of our Ravencrest Saga books. The other third is spent writing our solo novels. Each project segment begins with a read-back of the previous day’s writing, and as Alistair began working on The Black Wasp, I was especially eager to get to read the previous day’s work. I never knew what he might come up with next.
One of my favorite parts came early on, when he created the Black Wasp’s origin story. Oh, what a tale! Digging deep into ancient myth and legend — going all the way back to Mesopotamian tales and following through into Greek, Roman, and all kinds of lesser-known mythology — Alistair plucked nuggets from each and deftly wove them together with his own unique ideas to create a new monster, something utterly fantastic.
With The Black Wasp, Alistair Cross gives us a truly new supernatural creature. Her background is rich, she is terrifying, and fascinating in her intent, and as the tale nears its climax, she even becomes uniquely relatable.
The Crimson Cove books tell the story of the Colter brothers, Cade and Brooks, a friendly sheriff, and their interactions with two very different groups of vampires. With The Black Wasp, Alistair has expanded his universe to include a toothsome new monster, and to introduce another good guy, a priest as mysterious as the Black Wasp herself. Father Vincent is part of an organization of mysterious scholars and warriors who have been quietly making appearances in our collaborations, including Mother, Ravencrest: Exorcism, and my upcoming solo, Old Wives’ Tales. The Black Wasp — and the book that follows — reveal the most information about them, so if you want an inside look at the mysterious goings-on of the Obscura Nocte, you need to treat yourself to the Crimson Cove books.
You need to anyway. Whether you’re a vampire fan or not, the Crimson Cove series will hook you and reel you in. The characters are compelling, the action is non-stop, you’ll laugh, you’ll shed a tear, and you won’t be able to put these books down.
–Tamara Thorne, bestselling author of Haunted, Brimstone, and Bad Things