Note: Escaping Mortality is the third book in the Escape Trilogy, a series of books that read as one continuous story. Therefore, this review will have some spoilers for previous books.
With Edmund barely clinging to life, Edmund and Andrew have found an Elder just in time. They convince the man to turn Edmund, making him an immortal vampire and restoring him to his previous health. Now that Edmund has recovered, the group is continuing on to England where Edmund’s mother is gravely ill. Though they separated on bad terms, Edmund is determined to reach his mother and be by her side.
When they arrive in London, Edmund and Andrew, along with their vampire friends Michelle and Felipe, blood slave Flynn, and the Elder Brien, all make their way to Edmund’s ancestral home. There they find Edmund’s mother is in a worse state than they imagined. And things are made even more difficult by his mother’s unpleasant friend who is acting as her caretaker and makes no secret of her dislike for Edmund and his friends. At the same time as Edmund is worrying about his mother’s health, however, he is struggling with his new life as a vampire. His new strength and abilities have him at times struggling for control and Andrew worries that he may lose Edmund to his darker side. But Edmund and Andrew have fallen hard for each other and are determined to support one another no matter what. With Andrew by his side, Edmund must work to control his vampire nature and be the man and the partner he is meant to be.
Escaping Mortality finishes up Sara Dobie Bauer’s Escape Trilogy and I have really enjoyed this series. There has been a nice progression over the series between Andrew and Edmund, from the two men on a deserted island driven largely by their lust for one another, to men who have become true lovers and partners. There is a sweetness to their interaction, even as these are hard, dangerous men. We can really feel the love they have and the strong bond between them, each determined to do whatever it takes to protect the man he loves. One thing I find particularly interesting about this series is the way each book has a different setting, as the men go from a deserted island full of wild cannibals, to the more urbane, yet still fairly debauched New Orleans, and ultimately to the rigid high society of England. I have enjoyed seeing these men adapt to their different environments, as well as how their underlying natures have remained constant, even as they grow. In this case, Edmund’s wildness as a new vampire contrasts nicely with the formal world of being Duke, and I liked that juxtaposition and seeing how it plays out.
As I noted in my review of Escaping Solitude, the series is told solely from Andrew’s POV, but despite this we get to know Edmund much better. Andrew is largely the narrator, telling us the story of his beloved and their adventures. It makes for an interesting perspective, as the story really focuses on Edmund, yet we are seeing him from only Andrew’s POV. In some ways, I like this as it gives us a unique approach to the story and lets us see changes in Edmund he might not always realize in himself. At the same time, I do wish things were a little more balanced as Andrew often seems like somewhat of a foil for Edmund and not as fully fleshed out as he could be on his own.
This series is told essentially as one long story and I really think Bauer does a great job making each book’s plot stand alone, but also weaving it all together into a larger narrative. I do wish that she had started this book just a bit earlier in the storyline however. We left off in dramatic fashion as Edmund is on the verge of death and suddenly the Elder appears. But when we open this book up, that moment of crisis has passed already and I missed seeing that climax and the full resolution that could have really opened this story with a bang. I also think the ending felt a bit rushed here, as there are two big conflicts that come to a head very quickly and then are over quite fast. Given the more balanced pacing of the rest of the book, I wish these storylines had a bit more time to play out. That said, I love the way everything ties up, particularly in the epilogue, and Bauer brings this one to a nice conclusion.
So overall, I enjoyed this series a lot. It is a really unique spin on the vampire trope and makes for a fun trilogy that pulls together very nicely. If you have already started this series, you won’t want to miss the conclusion of Edmund and Andrew’s journey. And if you are a new reader, be sure to start at the beginning and enjoy their adventures.