David’s Haunted Library: Young Blood: The Nightbreed Saga

25008322Spending the evening at the carnival seemed like a fun idea but for Madison it was the night everything changed. She was found later that night with her throat torn apart. She woke up in the hospital with no memory of what happened. She feels hungry but not for food, she wants blood and controlling her hunger isn’t easy. Her memory starts coming back to her and she remembers the carnival they visited was run by vampires and they had children trapped in a trailer.

Madison soon learns that her family has a few secrets and she has a destiny that she has to fulfill whether she likes it or not. As one of the undead, Madison may be the only one strong enough to save the children and put an end to the vampires that took her life. She must also figure out how she can live as a vampire and keep her humanity.

Young Blood: The Nightbreed Saga by Phillip Tomasso is actually written by a father son team and I think you could best describe it as a coming of age vampire story.  There are lots of vampire books out there but to me this sub genre never gets old because every author puts a fresh spin on an old idea. In Young Blood the character of Madison is your normal girl next door but by the end of the story she is a completely different person. You feel for her because she is just a high school girl who wanted to have a fun night with friends and then her world was torn apart. We also see that she comes from a broken home and she has several issues with her mom’s new boyfriend.

Madison is a character you can easily relate to because she has a lot of the problems that normal teenagers have. You care about this girl and you want to see her get a happy ending. I love how the character goes from a happy normal kid to a warrior and along the way she thinks to herself how she is going to keep her friends and protect the ones that she loves. Madison puts everyone’s needs before her own and despite her noble deeds nothing seems to work out for her. She is a tragic character but she never stops trying and I couldn’t stop reading because I had to see what would happen to her.

Despite liking the story I did have some issues with it. There is a spirit that accompanies Madison and we never find out a lot about him until the end. There is a lot going on in this book and I think it could have used another 100 pages to explain everything, but I think this was done on purpose. This is the first book in a series and it felt like the authors were just trying to lay down the groundwork for future stories. Also some of the action scenes needed to be a little better. With Madison being a new vampire she should have had more problems dealing with the older vampires in the carnival. That being said I found Young Blood to be an entertaining read that held my interest to the end and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Madison in future Nightbreed books.

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.

This Freshest Hell

1233152_539255406146237_774381038_o

Most people know what its like to feel like an outcast at some point in their life. Lily knows all to well what its like to not fit in but all of that changes when she’s getting harassed by bullies and Maggie the new girl in town comes to her rescue.  Now Lily finally has someone to relate to and is no longer alone in the world. Together they struggle against bullies, rebel against society’s rules and reject anything normal.

Also they share a love of alternative music, have psychic abilities and have both been scarred by a traumatic past.  One of them wants revenge on the person that tormented her and One night the two girls perform a  sinister spell that will bring them the power to get revenge on anyone that has harmed them.  Their desires are fulfilled and they become vampires with an unstoppable blood lust.

This Freshest Hell by Natasha Ewendt is like two books in one. The first part covers about 12 years in  Maggie and Lily’s life and the second part is their life as vampires.  I enjoyed how this book is set up, I related to  Maggie and Lily and didn’t mind that there wasn’t much action right away because I was so into their story.  I enjoyed hearing the girls philosophy on life and how they try to find peace of mind. I can’t say they are trying to find happiness because only one of them seems to be looking for it. One sad part of the book had one of the characters in an abusive relationship saying that she thought she could be normal but it wasn’t possible. Another favorite scene in the book was when Maggie witnesses a bully tormenting an autistic child. She runs to his rescue, kicks the bully to the ground ,as the bully starts to rise  she stares him down while the autistic child runs away. Despite these girls being looked at as freaks by society they are compassionate to others and I found myself rooting for them.

Because the first part of the book made you care so much about these characters it made the part where they became vampires that much better. the two of them change personalities, learn to hunt humans and you see their relationship dissolve as they become creatures of the night. Lily’s first kill was chilling as you see her try to keep her humanity and not give in to her blood lust. Another one was when Maggie gives one of her victims the most gruesome death imaginable. I also loved the description of the mansion the vampires live in which is on an island out in the ocean.

My only complaint about this book was that I would have liked more information on the three ancient vampires that Lily and Maggie live with. What we hear about them is intriguing but I would have liked to learn more. I also thought more time should have been spent on the creature that created the vampires.  I think the main idea for this book though wasn’t that this is a vampire novel but instead it was a book about two girls finding their way in life and Natasha Ewendt did a good job of getting the point across. This Freshest Kill shows that books about vampires will never get old as long as they can make you care about the characters.

 

 

 

Underwood and Flinch: Bonded In Blood

18209165The last time we heard from Underwood and Flinch in Resurrection, Flinch discovered he has no choice in being Underwood’s guardian. He also can’t stop Underwood from killing people.  In Underwood and Flinch: Bonded In Blood  by Mike Bennett, the story picks up right after the first one ended.

With David and Lord Underwood both knowing where each other stand, Underwood decides to find out what the local nightlife of Almacena is like. They go to a bar, owned by friends of Lydia, and Underwood sets his sights on the wife of the bar’s co-owner, Michelle.  Underwood wants a new mate, but things are not that easy as David and Lydia do not approve of his choice.

To make matters worse, the Russian mafia is hunting down the owners of the bar and Michelle’s husband does not want to give up his wife. Also, Lydia has plans of her own to get Underwood to make her and the other members of the Black Circle into vampires, even if she has to trick her master to do it. There is also the question of whether David can handle the  job of being Underwood’s guardian.

That’s not all you get in Bonded In Blood. This book also talks about how Underwood  became affiliated with Flinch. His origin story starts in the early 18th century and explains how Underwood was forced to become a pirate and how his escape attempt lead him to become a vampire. The story shifts seamlessly from the present to the past and then back to the present.

Mike Bennett has a great story here and the book was hard to put down. I think what I liked best about the book was how it worked as drama, horror, action and comedy. I loved when Underwood starts talking about butts and also when Underwood starts dancing to Motorhead with Michelle.

There were also some great horror scenes such as when four pirates are being stalked by something in the dead of the night and when Underwood looses his cool in a strip club. Mike Bennett adds a lot of different ingredients to his story and it works well even if you’re not a horror fan. There were also some great fight scenes throughout the book and the story itself is very deep.

This story also looks at the theme of redemption, loyalty, love, and friendship. You get to see Underwood and Flinch’s relationship change throughout the book and even when they don’t see eye to eye, they still work great together. Even some of the minor characters in Bonded In Blood get some great scenes. One part where the Russian Mafia shows up at Michelle’s bar is memorable and there is a scene where even though both Michelle and her husband are under Underwood’s influence, they still manage to show their love for each other.

The only thing that bothered me a little was the ending. It made sense and kept true to the themes of the book, but there was one loose end that needed to be tied up. There are more books scheduled in the Underwood and Flinch series and I hope Mike Bennett does as good with the next book as he did on the first two. Bonded In Blood is a good example of how great vampire fiction can be. Even if you don’t like vampires, you will find something to like here.

Free Fiction Friday: Thirst

2813885This week’s Free Fiction Friday selection is Thirst by Pyotyr Kurtinski. Thirst is the story of a vampire named Van Diemen who was raised in the Old World, changed into one of the undead in the Balkans and is now on his way  to America to feed on new victims. He can change from a blood thirsty man to a vampire bat and nothing can stop him from killing.

I haven’t read this book but from what I hear the vampire named Van Diemen is writing an autobiography where he talks about fighting with the mob finding love and lots of killing. This book was released in 1995, it has great cover art and it looks like this is the only book this author has written.  This book could be a really fun read if you want to take a chance on it.

Be the first to comment on this blog post and you get the book. Good luck!

Free Fiction Friday: Mick Farren

1101963For this weeks Free Fiction Friday, we have two vampire books up for grabs. These books are two parts of a four part series and are written by  punk rock singer/Journalist/Author: Mick Farren.  These are the first two novels in the Victor Renquist series. Victor was born in the 12th century and now lives with a colony of  four other vampires.

The first book is The Time of Feasting and it originally came out in 1996. Tired of living in hiding and feelingimages contemptuous of humanity, the young vampires in Victor’s coven have challenged him for supremacy.  To make matters worse, a city cop and an ex-priest have uncovered the secrets of the coven, putting all vampires in danger.  Its up to Victor to squash the rebellion and stop the two humans before they inform others.

The second book of the series is Darklost and was published in 2000. Victor has moved his vampire colony  to Los Angeles but not all is well. Victor has an uneasy feeling that someone is messing with dark magic that can destroy all of civilization. He finds out that there is a religious cult is trying to summon Cthulhu and bring an end to mankind. Humanity’s only hope rests with a small group of vampires that have to overcome their differences to save us all.

The reviews that I’ve read for The Time Of Feasting and Darklost all say that they are great vampire novels and some of the author’s best work. Not only is Mick Farren author of several horror, cyberpunk and sci fi novels he is also the lead singer of the punk rock group: The Deviants. If you want to get your hands on these two books all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog and while your at it tell me about your favorite vampire novel. First comment gets the book. Good Luck!!!

Free fiction Friday: A Vampire Double Feature

For this weeks Free Fiction Friday, we have two vampire books up for grabs. These books are two parts of a four part series and are written by  punk rock singer/Journalist/Author: Mick Farren.  These are the first two novels in the Victor Renquist series. Victor was born in the 12th century and now lives with a colony of  four other vampires.

The first book is The Time of Feasting and it originally came out in 1996. Tired of living in hiding and feeling contemptuous of humanity, the young vampires in Victor’s coven have challenged him for supremacy.  To make matters worse, a city cop and an ex-priest have uncovered the secrets of the coven, putting all vampires in danger.  Its up to Victor to squash the rebellion and stop the two humans before they inform others.

The second book of the series is Darklost and was published in 2000. Victor has moved his vampire colony  to Los Angeles but not all is well. Victor has an uneasy feeling that someone is messing with dark magic that can destroy all of civilization. He finds out that there is a religious cult is trying to summon Cthulhu and bring an end to mankind. Humanity’s only hope rests with a small group of vampires that have to overcome their differences to save us all.

The reviews that I’ve read for The Time Of Feasting and Darklost all say that they are great vampire novels and some of the author’s best work. Not only is Mick Farren author of several horror, cyberpunk and sci fi novels he is also the lead singer of the punk rock group: The Deviants. If you want to get your hands on these two books all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog saying what your favorite vampire novel is and why. The best answer gets both books. I want these two books for myself so I’m going to make things a little harder then usual. Good Luck!!!