So much blood. So much death.
When we first met Dez, a Latent in a world of monsters, he was a loner. Now Dez has friends: siren Iris, pyrokinetic Michael and Levi, a fellow Latent who may have a secret. Friends are helpful in this world because maths … increased numbers could mean that you don’t die as quickly because you can surround yourself with literal human shields. However, friends are also liabilities. Caring for anyone means they can be used against you in hostage situations or as bait. Still, you don’t want to travel this world alone.
Dez and co. are currently on a suicide mission to rescue Dez’s girlfriend, Susan, and Iris’ five year old daughter, Cassidy. Susan and Cassidy were taken during the battle at the Four Winds Bar and sold to a horde of vampires.
The stakes are well and truly raised in this book. Well, they would be if they were useful weapons in this world but these are not Buffy’s vampires. They’re super fast, super strong and they’re the biggest Bads in a world almost exclusively populated by Big Bads. Basically, if their head is still attached to their body, you’ve got a problem.
“You came at feeding time,” Quincey said. “Thank you for that.”
There’s plenty of bloodshed in this book, some of which Michael conveniently sleeps through. On their way to Blood Country, Dez and his friends encounter plenty of once upon a humans: cannibals, trolls and, of course, vampires. They’re pretty much everywhere you look.
While so much of the action results in bodies that look like they’ve been through a meat tenderiser, there are some tender moments too.
“You came back for me,” she said.
“I always will,” he answered.
This is a fascinating but deadly world. Some of the other potential nasties to look out for are werewolves, witches and nuckelavee (straight out of Scottish mythology, they’re sort of like a centaur but creepier). There’s also talk of the Children (ten feet tall subterranean creatures) and there’s definitely something lurking in the water.
I didn’t understand why vampires would keep something where they were living that had the potential to harm them but that’s just one question mark surrounded by the exclamation marks that populated my mind every time someone’s insides became their outsides.
While I often find sequels a bit of an ‘are we there yet?’ journey on the way to the big finish of the third book, I actually enjoyed this one even more than The Raven. You could read this book without having read The Raven but you’ll have more fun if you read them in order.
I’m keen to sink my teeth into the next book. There’s something to hope for that previously wasn’t even an option. I like Dez and his friends, new and old, and there’s a vampire child I need to get to know. Bring on the carnage!
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Three years ago the world ended when a group of rogue scientists unleashed a virus that awakened long-dormant strands of human DNA. They awakened the bestial side of humankind: werewolves, satyrs, and all manner of bloodthirsty creatures. Within months, nearly every man, woman, or child was transformed into a monster … or slaughtered by one.
A rare survivor without special powers, Dez McClane has been fighting for his life since mankind fell, including a tense barfight that ended in a cataclysmic inferno. Dez would never have survived the battle without Iris, a woman he’s falling for but can never be with because of the monster inside her. Now Dez’s ex-girlfriend and Iris’s young daughter have been taken hostage by an even greater evil, the dominant species in this hellish new world: Vampires.
The bloodthirsty creatures have transformed a four-story school building into their fortress, and they’re holding Dez’s ex-girlfriend and Iris’s young daughter captive. To save them, Dez and his friends must risk everything. They must infiltrate the vampires’ stronghold and face unspeakable terrors.
Because death awaits them in the fortress. Or something far worse.