Title: Sinister Hunger
Series: Bloodstream: Book One
Author: Katze Snow
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 212 Pages
Category: Horror, Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian, Vampires
At a Glance: There is no doubt that Snow has an engaging voice and writing style that’s easy to read, but sadly, I didn’t find the hook that’s going to keep me glued to my Kindle in anticipation of the next book in the series.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A world of intrigue. A life of lies. A future of sacrifice.
Vincent Hudson is a vampire hunter, and his life is about to be ruined.
When a hunting trip ends in tragedy, he is forced to do the unthinkable—seek refuge in Sanctuary Hope, where each family must nominate a member to the city council. But there is a catch.
In exchange for refuge, the nominees are turned into bloodslaves for an elite chain of vampires, and unaware of the gut-wrenching reality, Vincent nominates himself. He only wanted to save his group.
Now, a life of captivity and war await him. . .
Review: Categorizing a book as Horror is like catnip to me, which is why I was so tempted to read Sinister Hunger. Throw in a dystopian/futuristic setting where vampires and the humans who hunt them populate the post-apocalyptic landscape, and I’ll salivate for it almost every time. And, speaking of salivating, I also want to throw in a kudos to Jay Aheer, right here, for this cover and the interior graphics, which are both stunning.
The introduction of the world and characters in this first novel of the Bloodstream series is an interesting one, leaving some details open for possible exploration in future installments: Why/how do vampires exist? What more is there to learn about Vincent that will make him a more complete and dimensional character? Is Maddox Caine as benevolent a monster as he believes himself to be? And, perhaps chief among these questions, is how will Katze Snow redeem Maddox after the heinous and despicable things he’s done in the name of coercing Vincent to bow to his will?
The sympathy dredged up on behalf of the losses Vincent suffers is legitimate and carries throughout everything that happens to him after an attack on his group leaves devastation in its wake. Under the resulting circumstances, he makes the choice to lead the survivors of his band of Dusk Hunters to Sanctuary Hope—something he vowed he’d never do—where Maddox is governor and Vincent will volunteer as tribute in order to ensure the rest of his group will benefit from the vampire governor’s altruism. Vincent is chosen and enslaved by Maddox, for reasons that are more complicated than simple curiosity, and even though Vincent has chosen to make this sacrifice, that does not mean he surrenders without some resistance.
It’s under this premise that Maddox’s characterization becomes rather predictable in a scorpion and the frog type of way—don’t expect him to act contrary to his vampiric nature simply because he shows the ability to be kind and compassionate in certain situations. And it’s here that I’m going to throw out a few cautions to readers—this is not a romance novel. I would also hesitate to say Vincent or Maddox is gay/bi, as their sexuality is not integral to the storyline or to who they are. Maddox Caine enjoys playing with his food, so those who may be sensitive to forced sex as punishment and the non-consensual fondling of a character for the express purpose of that character’s humiliation and to instill fear in him should take heed. Also be aware of an on-page rape scene, of Vincent though not by Maddox. There’s also some gore, for those who might be squeamish, but no more than one should anticipate from vampires and the genre. As a means of shock value, it all serves its purpose, but I can say I’ve read more terrifying scenes in the genre with less elaboration.
There is no doubt that Snow has an engaging voice and writing style that’s easy to read, and I always appreciate a vampire novel with a nod to Caine, the progenitor. But I must say, at the 70% mark of this book I felt as if I was still reading up to the point where the actual story would begin. The series arc appears to be rooted in vengeance, from what is exposed here, and the challenge will be the building of any sort of plausible trust between Vincent and Maddox. That’s going to be an uphill battle. How will Vincent forgive, if not forget, what’s happened to him in a way that won’t weaken his character or compromise his principles, not to mention will dismiss or cheapen his rape as a cliche and simple means of creating angst/drama? And how will the author build a rapport between her readers and Maddox? His ability to wipe memories so his victims forget what he’s done to them is far too pat an answer for me.
If you’re a diehard completionist or merely not a fan of dangling endings, as I mentioned above, there are more questions than answers at the end of Sinister Hunger, so you may want to wait to read it until the next book is closer to publication. Sadly, I didn’t find the hook that’s going to keep me glued to my Kindle in anticipation of the next book in the series, but, as always, YMMV.
You can buy Sinister Hunger here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07C7QM9N9?d” style=”blue” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]