Review: Eternal Kingdom

51T0tSsTgWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Vampires are becoming reckless and not adapting to new technology. Humans are starting to learn of their existence by catching proof of them with cell phone video and spotting them on security cameras.  Some vampires are so afraid of being caught on camera that they are starving themselves and going insane. The vampire council has to do something to keep the vampires hidden from humans and the answer lies in a game of chess.

Back in ancient Rome, humans discovered the existence of vampires because vampires fed on humans out in the open. Humans started hunting vampires to the point of extinction. It was decided that a game of chess would be played in the Roman Colosseum with living pieces. Humans versus vampires, when a piece is taken on either side, a human or vampire gets killed. The winning side got to decide what would be best for humans or vampires. The vampire side won, so the humans stopped hunting them and vampires went back into hiding.

Flash forward to the present day as the same problem is starting . The Vampires decide to have a life or death chess match in an abandoned warehouse in Detroit. If a vampire dies in the game he is killed with solar-powered weapons and if a human is killed he is slaughtered and drank dry by vampires in a dungeon below the life-size chess board.  The winning side gets to decide the fate of all vampires.

Eternal Kingdom by Michele Roger is a simple concept with a complex story. There are several vampires and humans involved in the chess match and they all have their own agenda. Some are in the game for vengeance, some for fun, others for love and a few were forced in and just want to survive. The only bad thing about this book is that there was almost to many characters with complex stories. The main story in Eternal Kingdom is excellent but every character has a back story and I wish the book was longer to give more time to each one.

My favorite characters on the human side were Robby and Rose. Robby is a soccer player who had an accident and has found his world turned upside down as he tries to rebuild and Rose is a nurse with terminal cancer who has a lot to gain from a chess match. Both of these characters change throughout the story and they are the most sympathetic in Eternal Kingdom. On the vampire side I liked Ruth and Micah. Both characters come across as evil like you want vampires to be but Micah has issues letting his human side go and it makes him an interesting character.

As a fan of vampire fiction, Eternal Kingdom is the kind of book that screams buy me. This book is part horror with some gruesome death scenes and part urban fantasy with vampires and humans going at each other gladiator style as part of a chess match. I liked the description of the weapons used in battle and the vampires below the arena wanting a taste of blood. People into playing chess will also like this book, I’ve never read a story where a game of chess was showcased and It made me want to learn how to play. Michele Roger has done a good job of creating some great characters in this book and I hope she writes a sequel so I can see more of them.

Exsanguinate

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In the world of an online role-playing game anything can happen and for Cheyenne O’Cuinn, a Halloween Scream Park adventure is about to become a supernatural reality. Cheyenne is given the task to watch, record and study fear. Her job is to find out what causes people to run screaming out of haunted attractions while peeing their pants. The three O’Cuinn sisters know horror, they live for horror trivia, and have developed a horror themed online role-playing game called ExanguiNation.

Things are not going well for the O’Cuinn family, while at the theme park, two of the sisters have been kidnapped by vampires to breed warmongering dhampires and its up to Cheyenne to save them. To do that, she has to play the game and solve riddles or her sister’s body parts will be mailed to her one by one.

Cheyenne is not alone though, she has a dragon, werewolf and a vampire to help her. She also has a virtual lover who has secrets of his own. Can their love survive? Who can Cheyenne trust in this virtual world and can the vampire apocalypse be stopped? Find out the answer to all of these questions in Killion Slade’s Exsanguinate.

When I first heard about Exsanguinate I was excited. I always like to read books that create their own  mythology and  combines it with reality. This one goes one step further, adding a virtual computerized world to the mix which happens to be more real than anyone knew. Part of this story takes place in a virtual world and the book includes links that go to extended animated scenes on the book’s website or if you buy the print book it has a code you can enter. I thought this was a great idea that added a lot to the book, it was like looking at special features on a blu ray movie.

Killion Slade takes the mythology of vampires, werewolves and dragons and changes it just enough to make everything fresh and original. One of my favorite scenes was when four of the characters go into a supermarket that is geared towards supernatural beings. The supermarket is cleverly disguised as an old warehouse and it has supplies for witches, blood donors for vampires, spas, restaurants, and items for creatures that no one knew existed.

Another thing I liked in this book was how it blends humor and horror. There was one funny moment where a vampire stakes a human and talks about selling humans on a stick at the state fair. I also liked when the werewolf in the story is eating bacon flavored dog treats, much to the disgust of a vampire. Exsanguinate has some great moments of horror as well. The description of the room where human women are impregnated and give birth to dhampires (a human, vampire hybrid) is chilling. Another scene is when one of the characters battles a rogue vampire in a Halloween haunted house. This scene was great because at first you’re not sure if its real or not.

Exsanguinate flawlessly blends horror, fantasy, romance, action and humor into one entertaining read. This book has it all and fans of all genres will enjoy it. This is the beginning of an epic series that has a lot of different types of creatures to work with.

www.worldofblood.com

www.killionslade.com