Hunter of the Dead by Stephen Kozeniewski #HorrorOctober2016 #BookReview

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Just as you thought Horror October was done and dusted…no it really is. But here’s a review I didn’t get to publish in time. Some may say I saved the best til last…

a5Title: Hunter of the Dead
Author: Stephen Kozeniewski
Series: N/A
Format: ePub, 314 pages
Publication Details:  August 15th 2016 by Sinister Grin Press
Genre(s): Horror
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads // Amazon

 

Someone has begun targeting vampires.

Vampire leaders of the thirteen Houses attribute the string of recent losses to over-zealous vampire hunters. Only Cicatrice, the most ancient and powerful vampire in the world, suspects that the semi-legendary Hunter of the Dead may be the real culprit.

Carter Price, a vampire hunter who despises the way his profession is becoming centralized and corporatized, begins to suspect the Hunter of the Dead is back, too – and no longer distinguishing between vampires and mortals. Against his better judgment, Price agrees to work with Cicatrice.

The uneasy allies attempt to uncover the truth about the Hunter, while a vampire civil war brews in the background. But perhaps most difficult of all, they must contend with their new apprentices, who seem to be falling in love with each other against every rule of man and monster…

Review

Hunter of the Dead is one epic vampire novel. If you’re looking for sparkly, over-possessive pretty boy vampires then you should probably just move along. But if you’re looking for a vamped-up Game of Thrones with The Red Wedding-level of bloodshed then you’ve come to the right place.

Hunter of the Dead has a large cast of characters and an intricately woven plot built upon a well thought-out mythos. There are warring vampire houses, each with their own version of vampire royalty, and human vampire hunters called Inquisitors. But the hunter himself is a whole other entity. A boogeyman. A thing of legends that no one quite believes. Until seemingly indestructible immortals start being…well, destroyed.

Caught up in the middle of this are two unlikely heroes, Carter and Nico. Gas station attendees turned vampire hunter and apprentice, the dynamic duo banter their way through the brewing war and attempt to find out the truth behind the one thing that both vampires and Inquisitors are equally as afraid of – The Hunter of the Dead.

This book had everything I could want in a vampire story. Blood, guts, bants and even a splash of romance in there too. The vampires themselves were diabolical yet alluring, and the plot was paced well despite its scope of epic proportions.

I did have some issues getting into the story to begin with though. The mixture of a vast array of characters and a jumping timeline would usually have me tearing my hair out, but after a chapter or two it really seemed to work. It certainly gave the book more mystery and depth.

But the one thing I did find frustrating was that a few of the characters were called by two or three different names – first name, surname and even a nickname –  so until I got to know the characters better it was really hard to understand who was who sometimes.

And while we’re talking about names, I spotted a few familiar ones in there. Whatever you do, don’t befriend Kozeniewski or he’ll steal your name for a character only to rip out their (YOUR) heart or make you live out the rest of your days with only half a face. Fellow horror writers beware!

Overall, this is not your average vampire novel. It’s not really your average anything. But whatever it is, it’s all wrapped up in Kozeniewski’s trademark tongue-in-cheek horror bow that I’ve come to know and love.

horroctrating-4

Hunter of the Dead is available now in both paperback & digital versions.

Review: Vampire Vic 2, Morbius Reborn #HorrorOctober

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Vampire Vic 2: Morbius Reborn by Harris Gray

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Formats: Digital, Paperback, 257 pages
Publication Details: September 15th 2015 by Harris Gray
Genre(s): Horror; Humour
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Amazon

Vampires walk among us. Appraising our houses, policing our neighborhoods, crossing our borders. We understand there will be biting and an occasional conversion. These are small sacrifices for the sexy thrill. We do worry about vampires popping up in positions of power. They are evolved, difficult to slay, not as sexy. A backlash grows; but are we far too late?

Victor Thetherson is nearly cured. The treatment buries the charisma and confidence that only vampirism seems able to resurrect, and snuffs his rekindled love affair with ex-wife Barbara. Victor can’t trust himself as a vampire and doesn’t want to live with himself otherwise.

Eugene Foreman dispenses wisdom on his Sage Slayer site, offs vamps when convenient, and romances Victor and Barbara’s daughter, Amberly. His sensei, the Civil War Soldier, begs Eugene to slay Victor before he realizes his deadly inheritance.

Victor versus Eugene, round two in an ancient war. With Morbius Reborn, our time at the top of the food chain is coming to an end.

Review

Before we begin, if you missed my review of the first book in this series, you can check it out here. But if you’re too lazy to do that, I’ll just tell you briefly that I really enjoyed the witty, light-hearted nature of it in comparison to most Vamp Lit out there.

Morbius Reborn starts off pretty much where the first book left us. Victor has finally become a respectable vampire. One that bites people, gets the ladies at ‘Hello’, and has not only survived his company’s merger, but has excelled during it.

He is a new man compared to the pathetic, middle-aged mess he was at the start of the first book. However, Vic is starting to get a little bit too good at the whole vampire thing and he can’t stop biting people.

This leads to Vic having treatment for his vampirism, which not only threatens to turn him back into the weak, wobbly, mess he once was, but at the same time Eugene the Vampire Hunter is being pressurised to slay Vic, and it makes no difference at all to Eugene if Vic is trying to get better or not…

I wish I could say that I loved this book as much as the first, but I can’t. I found it really hard to get into this one.

One of the best things about the first book was how realistic it was. Sure Vic is a vampire, but it’s set in a very real world of an average work/life cycle. Morbius Reborn however felt like a bit of a leap away – it had somehow lost that realness (starting with the whole Extreme Revamp thing)!

I was really pleased to see Eugene get more of a part in this one though, and I thought it was a genius idea to have him date Vic’s daughter.

All in all, I still enjoyed this book but not as much as the first. It had its moments, but I found it a bit muddled and very slow to start. I’ll definitely still give the next one a bash though, I believe it’s going to be a trilogy.

unicorn rating 3

Thanks to Harris Gray and Sami at Roger Charlie for the opportunity to review these books!

The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

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Title: Dinner with a Vampire
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Series: The Dark Heroine #1
Edition: Paperback, 549 pages
Publication Details: October 11th 2012 by Harper Voyager
Genre(s): YA; Paranormal Romance
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it second hand.

Goodreads // Purchase

One moment can change your life forever…

For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape…no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.

Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price…

Review

It’s been quite a while since I read a vampire book, the last one was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – which was A-Mazing – so Dinner with a Vampire had a tough act to follow and while it didn’t even come close, it was entertaining!

On a night out Violet Lee gets separated from her friends and witnesses mass murder on Trafalgar Square. It doesn’t take long for Violet to figure out that the murderers are not altogether normal. They’re fast and strong, and dress a bit odd, and of course they can’t let her go because she’s seen too much – you know the deal.

She is basically captured and given the choice to become one of them or become their food…

It’s not the most original plot, let’s face it, but to say it’s only about that would be an injustice, there is quite a lot of other, interesting stuff, going on as well.

I was really torn with this book to be honest. I couldn’t stop reading, but so many things infuriated me along the way. Violet is this feisty, smart-mouthed girl, who doesn’t seem to care a great deal that she’s being imprisoned by vampires, or that she’s away from her sister who is suffering with cancer. It made it hard to warm to her.

One of the first things she does after she’s captured is steal all of Kaspar’s (the vampire prince) condoms because she’s sick of hearing him have sex every night. It was obviously supposed to show her feisty side and the first signs of jealously or something, but it was just a bit odd, and felt quite juvenile in terms of plotlines.

This is also a book in which things don’t quite ring true at the time, and you just think the author is a bit crazy, but eventually it does all come together and make sense. I applaud Gibbs for doing that well, it was one of the reasons I couldn’t stop reading but it was so frustrating.

I found Gibb’s writing a bit hit and miss too. She sets the scene very well, and I loved the descriptions of the vampires and the hunters at the beginning, but it definitely got a bit muddled in places, mainly because of the alternating points of view. I really didn’t think we we needed Kaspar’s narration!

However, I liked the whole prophecy thing, and the romance was pretty hot, apart from a major anti-climax towards the end – I mean, I won’t give away spoilers but just know that something really pissed me off!

Meh, I don’t know if I’ll read the next one…maybe if I find it in a charity shop like I did this one.

unicorn rating 3