The Hunt
by Susan Sizemore, fantasy (1999)
Ace, $5.99, ISBN 0-441-00660-4

Now this is a good book to tide me over until the next Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake book. I'm not saying Laws Of The Blood: The Hunt is a pale carbon copy of Ms Hamilton's series, which would be wrong. Susan Sizemore's first installment in her new vampire series isn't exactly a romance in the sweet and pleasant manner, but nonetheless I'm hooked. It's dark, violent, erotic, and even twisted at places - perfect for a vampire fantasy story.

Selim is an Enforcer, which is like a lawman among the vampires. He has a mortal love, Siri. When Selim is ordered to supervise a vampire coven's hunt in an alternate-universe LA, things get complicated when old friends/enemies from his past catch up with him. There are also traitorous vampires to get rid of, a messy love affair with a human woman to sort out, and some Oedipal complex issues he has to work out with with his old lover/bloodmother (that is the vampire who made him one) Valentine. Oh, and Valentine is writing a screenplay based on her life as a vampire.

Sounds messy, and maybe it is, this story. But once the action starts, oh my. Is there any sociopathic vampire sexier and hotter than Selim? That man can make ripping one's heart and eating it some sort of sick sexually-charged act. Siri is a worthy love interest too as she tries to survive all this bloodsucking, heart-ripping nonsense with her life and sanity intact. This especially when she becomes the target of Selim's enemies.

It is unfair, actually, to compare this new series to Anita Blake. It's a different world altogether, this one where the vampires find romance with humans even as they deal with internal and external threats to their race. And The Hunt makes a powerful bang of a series starter. I'm definitely hooked.

Isn't it fun? Another bloody, gory, sexy Twisted Tale to read, just in time for Christmas too. Readers aghast at acts of violence and ambiguous happily-ever-after, needless to say, should spend their $5.99 elsewhere, but me, oh my oh, I want more.

Rating: 88

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