Review: Dark Heirloom (Ema Marx #1) by J.D. Brown

Review: Dark Heirloom (Ema Marx #1) by J.D. Brown 

“You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?

Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.

The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way...

My thoughts (Roxana):

We have Ema Marx, a young woman who is chased on the streets by a dangerous and mortal I might add... thief, who doesn't want her money, but she's saved in the last moments by an elderly woman....

And that's how a great journey begins... because we find out that Ema is a vampire, who has never been bitten! Interested?  This is the mystery that drives much of the novel. How did she turn? Was she bitten without her knowledge, or is some other force at work? What is her background, and how might her heritage be responsible for her present predicament?

Later, we find out more about her who attacked her and that's how we meet Jalmari and his brother, Jesu, after Ema is taken to a castle on an island near Helsinki. Now Ema finds herself in a very strange situation, with Jesu, a very hot guy who attracts her like the moth to a flame, but who's also her teacher. Jesu has to initiate Ema in this dark and strange world, where she has new and deadly powers, so it's necessary that she must find a way to control them, just like she has to with her bloodlust.

I must admit that I was captured in Jesu's spell, almost as much as Ema and I understood her attraction but also way that was a bad idea all around.

Even more so, Jesu  has a premonition that involves Ema, and should his prediction come true, it would have grave repercussions on the vampire world. So she's pressured by time to find her way and more than that, find herself and the control on his powers, before it's too late...

Most of the narrative takes place in Finland, an original setting for a vampire story, and delves into the origins of the vampire race, as well as the different clans they are divided into. Each clan has its own history and powers. I really loved this part of the story, because it's very rare to find a story that takes place in Europe, more o in Finland, where some time long ago the vikings Gods ruled the world, or at least the myths of the people...

I loved Ema and her feisty nature, she didn't back down in front of  Jalmari or anyone else for that matter, but she was also scared and confused, like every other human being would be about her nature, powers and Jesu... oh, Jesu... I should say more about him, but I won't do it because I'm evil like that and I'll simply say: Go and read the book!

Final Decision. If you love an original story about vampires, with a plot completely different than what you have read until know in your life, then give it a try. If you would to read a good story, then you HAVE to read it.

My rating: 5/5.

Ema Marx series...

About the author

J.D. Brown graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multicultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance.

J.D.’s books are available in e-book and paper back formats from Muse It Up Publishing Inc. and major e-book retailers. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her via email to or visit her website at

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