Pearl RuledRating: 2* of five (p141)The Book Description: A highly original supernatural thriller blending magic, science, martial arts, and the greatest desire of all: to live foreverMia Lockheart has a secret. Her mother was a Keeper, as was her grandmother--women who were warriors, healers, and protectors. As Mia practices her craft among the boxers and martial artists of South London, and begins a romance with her childhood friend, the fighter Nick Duffy, she has no idea that a man who calls himself Dragonfly is watching from the shadows.Adrian Ashton is a brilliant scientist, an expert in the breaking field of biophoton emissions from cells within the human body. He is also a skilled martial artist--and a modern-day vampire. With the aid of the enigmatic Book of Life and Death, written in the thirteenth century by the legendary Chinese physician Zhang Sanfeng, he preys on other martial artists and drains them of their chi--the vital energy that flows through the body.Mia finds herself drawn to his dark genius, but when he targets Nick as his next victim, she is forced to choose between the two men. It becomes a fight to the death in which love is both the greatest weakness and the biggest prize. My Review: Oh for goodness' sake. Really now! I made it to p141, the end of chapter 27, by dint of the good things I'd heard about the book...interesting conflicts, good writing, and so on. The following is said of a hungry vampire:“His heart trembled. He couldn't remember desiring anything so much.” (p141)And that's where my give-a-damn gave out. The writing's okay, not by any stretch of the imagination awful or even tedious, but with a tendency to the over-the-top that wore on me. It doesn't help that Mia, the main character, is so annoying to me that I want to cause her pain.So, on balance, I think not. And I'd steer you away from it, too, if unbearable aches and eternal yearnings and the like make you twitch the way they do me.