It's Bonus Book Review Saturday, and today I'm going WAY out of my comfort zone to bring you a story of a sort I NEVER read: vampires. Thankfully, Heidi Angell does a great job of making me actually want to read the story…
What would you do if you found your town had been infested with vampires? For Chris and his brother Lucas, the answer was simple enough: you fight back. Gathering a small band of other people in their town who have been affected by the vampires, they begin a resistance. But after a year of fighting, they have only managed to kill a handful, while the vampire leader has turned five times that many.
Then two enigmatic strangers appear, changing the groups lives even further.
Fury and Havoc. They call themselves hunters, and want no part in this little band of heroes. Ordering them to lay low, the duo vow to rid their town of vampires. When Fury is injured, Chris aides these strangers, entwining his future with theirs.
Now that the vampires know the hunters are here, and that Chris and his friends have helped them, the group is in more danger than ever before. Lucas is torn between protecting his new family from the vampires, and protecting them from these seemingly inhuman beings who say they are there to help.
After all, what beings could be so powerful as to scare a vampire?
My Review: 4 Stars
Overall, I found this story enjoyable. The characters were good, the conflict gripping enough to keep me turning the pages, and the various plot elements drew me in.
I liked how the vampires were the enemy sort of like how the zombies are the enemy in the Walking Dead. There's no humanizing of the vampires or changing what they are—they're simply bloodthirsty monsters trying to kill.
I gave it a four-star rating because I had a hard time reading it. I can't say I found the story flawed, but I wasn't compelled to keep turning the pages. A solid book, well worth the read!
Here's a Taste:
As the door opened a shadow crossed the lamplight. Chris heard the woman gasp. As she slumped forward, Chris got a glimpse of blood-shot eyes and a pale face. Fury’s arm came up in an arc, a blade glinting in her hand. The head of the ambusher rolled over her shoulder, landing right between Chris’s feet. He recoiled in horror, recognizing the face of his newspaper carrier. Fuck, he’d never have thought of him!
He stared numbly and was unable to react as Havoc shoved him aside to grab the woman before she fell. “Move,” Havoc growled. “Move, get back in the car!” He shoved Chris toward the car where Ricky and Bianca were sitting, oblivious to the violence that had just occurred as swiftly and silently as the wind.
Even though he was carrying the woman, Havoc moved fast. Chris heard the sizzle and pop as the vampire’s body began to burn. Only then was it becoming clear to him what had just happened. He jumped in the front seat and could only shake his head to Bianca’s unspoken question. Havoc was already setting the woman down in the back seat.
“Fury? Fury!” Havoc whispered hoarsely. There was no response.
“Is she dead?” Chris asked, turning in the seat. She hadn’t even made a sound. Unbelievable!
“What the hell is going on?” Ricky snapped in confusion.
“Watch out the windows. They may attack again at any moment,” Havoc ordered. Chris was already on it. Every shadow seemed alive, yet when he looked closely it was only his imagination.
“Can’t you heal her like you healed me?” Chris spared a quick glance and realized Havoc was already trying. Two crystals were reflecting an ethereal blue light off the woman’s dark shirt. Chris only spared a glance before he was scanning the parking lot again, but in that glance he had been able to tell that she was badly hurt. There was a gaping hole in her stomach and blood was pouring from it. His preservation instinct kicked into overdrive.
“Havoc, we have got to get outta here. We’re sitting ducks.” Chris started the engine.
Havoc seemed to hesitate, uncertain what to do. “I need to get something.” In that instant, he leaped out of the car and headed back toward the hotel room. Chris watched him in absolute fascination as he seemed to merge with the shadows, slipping in and out of them to get back to the room. Bianca pointed to the room.
“It’s burning,” she whispered. “What happened?”
“Watch the window!” Chris snapped. “She was attacked.”
“Dude, this is seriously stupid!” Ricky mumbled. “What a stupid fucking move. What’s so important that he’s gotta go back in there?” Ricky pointed towards Havoc as he flitted through the burning doorway. Suddenly Ricky whipped around and stared out the window. “Cops’ll be here soon. We gotta move.”
“I don’t give a fuck about the cops. Where are the other vampires?” Bianca hissed, searching out the window. “God, I wish he’d hurry up.”
Chris opted not to point out that it had only been a matter of minutes since he and the woman… Fury… Havoc had called her Fury… had gotten out of the car in the first place. He couldn’t believe it himself.
“What the fuck happened!” Ricky yelled, pointing at Fury, seeming to have only just now realized that she was badly injured.
“A vamp attacked just as she opened the door. It… it must have stabbed her and then she lopped its head off… Is she alive?”
“Fuck if I can tell,” Ricky murmured. After a beat, he added, “She looks dead to me.”
“We gotta get out of here!” Bianca whispered. She was trembling from head to toe. At that moment Havoc backed out of the door and sprinted back to the car, throwing himself in the back.
“Where?” Chris asked hesitantly.
Havoc looked up. He was clearly lost without the woman’s guidance.
“We’ll go back to our place,” Chris stated.
“Is it safe?” Havoc asked uncertainly.
“Helluva lot safer than sittin’ out here,” Ricky muttered as he cocked his gun.
Chris peeled out of the parking lot and spun gravel as he pulled back onto the highway. Although he considered himself a pretty good wheelman, it took all his focus to maneuver the car at the accelerated speed he was attempting. He jerked a hard left, sending everyone sliding into one another, and was now on dark winding back roads. All his concentration was on the driving, but he tried to catch as much of the conversation around him as he could.
As Chris took a particularly sharp turn, Bianca turned in her seat. Holding onto the headrest of the seat, planting a hand on the dashboard, and bracing her back against the door, she managed to keep from being flung about the car. Looking at the woman in the back seat, her face paled. Chris wondered how bad it was. Unfortunately, he had no time to look.
“Is she gonna be alright?” Bianca asked nervously.
“For now,” Havoc responded tensely.
“Why isn’t she better like Chris got better?” Bianca asked, after quickly repositioning herself from another sharp turn.
Havoc looked at them carefully, a guarded look in his eyes as he seemed to debate his response. He finally shrugged. “The crystals are drained. I cannot heal her any more until I cleanse and recharge them. Her wounds are… more severe than Chris’s wounds were. He was mostly in danger of the virus, but her wounds are mortal.”
“So, she might still die?” Chris managed to ask as he pulled out on a short stretch of straight road.
Havoc nodded solemnly.
“Bianca, call Lucas, fill him in, and tell him to get Doc there,” Chris ordered. He looked back again and saw Havoc leaning over the woman… Fury…. His eyes were closed as he leaned over her and his lips moved silently, fervently. Was he praying? Casting a spell? God only knew. Chris groaned and debated praying, himself. It would be the first time in years… but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he fervently whispered “Please don’t let her die,” and hoped that someone answered, even if it wasn’t God. He couldn’t lose two people in one night. Lucas was going to kill him!
About the Author:
Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Series, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire.
When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her lovely family camping, hiking, swimming, or watching movies.
Find the book on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/270492
Read Heidi's thoughts on her website: www.heidiangell.com
Connect with her on Facebook
See her photos on Instagram