Review: Immortalis: Hunters & Prey by Katie Salidas

January 26, 2011 Review 4

Hunters & Prey Title: Hunters & Prey
Author: Katie Salidas
Series: Immortalis #2
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Rising Sign Books (December 14th 2010)
ISBN-10: 0984419659
ISBN-13: 978-0984419654
paperback: 300 pages
publisher: rising sign books (december 14th 2010)
isbn-10: 0984419659
isbn-13: 978-0984419654


The Book Depository

Source: Author
Reviewed by: Julia

Description

Becoming a vampire saved Alyssa from death, but the price was high: the loss of everything and everyone attached to her mortal life. She s still learning to cope when a surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the friend she s missed more than anything.

Alyssa breaks vampire law by revealing her new, true self to her old friend, a fact which causes strong division in the group that should support her most: her clan.

Worse yet, her revelation entangles Fallon in the struggle between vampires and hunters and The Acta Sanctorum is ready to attack again, with a new army of hybrid creations: the Frenzy Soldiers.
If Alyssa hopes to survive and keep her mortal friend safe, she ll have to be willing to make a deal with the enemy, and regain her clan s support. It will take everyone working together in a precarious truce to fight against the Acta Sanctorum s new threat.

 Review

Vampire stories have become so prevalent in today’s fiction that even readers outside the genre are aware of the trend.  This preponderance of preternatural fantasy can make it more and more difficult to find a truly original spin on the vampire myth.  Sparkles, soul mates, daywalkers, and boarding school… even though there are great examples of each of these tropes, sometimes it’s hard to find the good hidden amongst the derivative.  HUNTER AND PREY stands out from the crowd by being retro, embracing parts of the old school vampire myth that are largely neglected in Urban Fantasy today.

While I applaud Salidas’s willingness to explore the less popular, more gruesome end of the vampire continuum, her execution left me wanting more.  A good premise only gets me through the first few chapters, and unfortunately, the characters in HUNTER AND PREY never really stepped in to pick up the slack.  The heroine, Alyssa, justifies killing a human every night with the explanation that she eats “murderers.”  This nod toward the Dexter defense didn’t hold water for me, as Alyssa has only the most circumstantial evidence before she chows down.  Every night she ventures out into the Las Vegas darkness, and if she sees you attacking someone, discussing attacking someone, or just generally hanging out in the wrong part of town looking like a threatening man, she’s going to eat you.  The book opens with a particularly gruesome “feeding”, showing right off the bat that Alyssa is not a fainting flower.

To be honest, other than some qualms about Alyssa’s profiling methods, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with Alyssa’s diet if she herself didn’t have bizarre mood swings associated with it.  Despite inappropriate giggles and torturing criminals, Alyssa is angry that she is not able to feed without killing (both due to blood lust and the need to kill her victims to keep vampires a secret).  Despite being a new vampire surrounded by ancients, she doesn’t back down.  Salidas is obviously setting Alyssa up to be a force for change in the vampire community, and I imagine future books will continue to explore potential changes to their lifestyle (yes, I just called killing and eating people every night a “lifestyle.”  That’s pretty much how Alyssa treats it.  It’s like she wants to become a vegetarian and her parents won’t “let” her).

The vampire responsible for thwarting Alyssa’s quest for a more vegan-vampirism is her lover, Lysander, an odd mix of absentee landlord and controlling boyfriend.  Only a few pages into the book he’s dismissing Alyssa’s concerns about Santino, using vampire mind-tricks to control her emotions, and trying to convince her that a “quickie” will cure all her ills.  Lysander’s antiquated cure for female hysteria not withstanding, his patience with Alyssa’s mood swings and rash decisions is charming.  Over two thousand years old, Lysander is learning to open up as much as Alyssa is learning to grow up, and there is enough chemistry between the two of them that I have hope that they’ll someday meet in the middle.

Light on character development and long on old school vampirism, HUNTER AND PREY is good for those who are more interested in world building than the characters in it.  If you miss the olden days of skulking vampires and hedonistic human-draining, this series is worth a peak.

Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes, mentions of rape.

My Rating:

 3/5
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.

Previous books in the series:
  1. Carpe Noctem

Also reviewed by:

4 Responses to “Review: Immortalis: Hunters & Prey by Katie Salidas”

  1. L. Blanchard

    I really like your system for reviewing. I thought you brought up some really valid points. I haven't read the book yet but I would probably move it down a notch in my TBR file.
    Thanks for all you do. Great blog.

    Laurie

  2. Julia

    Natasha, it was kind of you to think of us. Also, your blog header is gorgeous, thanks for the link!

    Laurie, thank you for your kind note, I'm glad this review was helpful. This review ran very long, even after I cut out a whole digression about Eddie Izzard's "Light Night Shopping at a Petrol Station" skit, as that was all I could think of every time Alyssa ate a criminal. (Link below…"Hello, we're murderers. Ah… Twix, please.") I'm glad the details I pared it down to were helpful, once this bubbles to the top of your TBR pile I'd be interested to know what you think of it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCvbmW3bxt4