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Jaded Jewel (2016. 323 pages) is the sixth book in Sam Stones Vampire Gene series of novels. For her sixth novel Sam has chosen to write a novel which exists in two time periods, the first is an eighteenth century southern plantation, the second modern America. The two are connected with paired and mirroring stories of being buried alive.
The central character of the novel is new to the series. Jewel works for a good but sad plantation owner, who had lost his wife in childbirth. Employed to look after his children she has to suffer constant questioning about her background as her skin tone hints at a history which may have included people of colour. Things are not well on the plantation as one by one slaves are killed, supposedly by a viscous animal or a madman.
In modern America, Ffion and Geraint are travelling America and finding that they are drawn to specific places, though they don’t know why, from the Nevada desert to New York. In the desert they are chased away by the military, but when they arrive in New York the sirens call from beyond the grave tells them Jewel's tale.
Jewel was a good introduction into the pantheon of Stone characters and she needed to be as the book has yet another narrative thread with John Noble and Father Declan using all the resources of the Knights Templar to find Gabi and his family of vampires who the reader is aware, like Jewel, are buried and in need of rescue.
The story suffers all the problems of a book in a series. For fans it’s a delight as Jewel adds to the world building, which was anyway uniformly excellent in the series and we get to catch up with some old friends. This does create a problem with any new readers as the weight of the previous books hangs heavy, so the general advice it that this is an excellent series and a must read if you like intelligent vampire novels, but I wouldn’t start here.