The Law of the Blood states "A companion is a vampire's property. They may do with their companions as they will." It is a law that many companions want changed. But for a companion to even think of changing things is like an act of treason, with a high punishment. Even so, there are a few brave ones. They have an elite chat room where they secretly speak with each other and plan what they will do differently once they have grown fangs. None of them knows the real names of the others or where they reside. The ID of each is gender-less. No one speaks of what they do for a living. They vent about their "Friends" and make plans.
Selena and Istvan must join forces to investigate the murder of a vampire and maintain the secrecy of the vampire race. But when they find the killer and learn her motive, they find out that there is an even bigger threat and it hits even closer to home! Things are about to get very, very personal.
***** Outstanding! Author Susan Sizemore has outdone herself in this one! The story is well written, believable, and the main characters are so wonderful that I could not help but like them. There are even a few cameos, which I did not expect to happen so soon in this series. Highly recommended! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
This does take a little getting used to, but it is well worth perservering with. The proof is that the books are just as enjoyable when being read for a second time, and I have no doubt this will hold true for future readings as well.
This particular book tells the story of Istvan, The Chief Enforcer for the vampires. For Enforcer read Cop he ensures that the local vampires obey the Law, this is not human law with courts and jails, break vampire law and you will die.
The other main character is his human companion Selena who is a human cop, a homicide detective who comes from a family which possesses pyschic abilities in abundance, yes really. Their two worlds collide when a vampire is murdered and they both end up investigating the crime
This story is intriguing, because it stays away from all the usual vampire stereotypes, no silver bullets, they like garlic, and sunshine does not kill them. It is entertaining on both the fantasy and detective story levels, I thoroghly enjoyed it and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Istvan is a dhampir born over five centuries ago - he actually worked for Count Dracula for awhile. He hates vampires and has killed many over the centuries; even though he was turned into a vampire himself (a dangerous mistake rectified in the laws soon thereafter - there is no more formidable vampire killer than a dhampir who has been turned) and works ceaselessly to defend vampire law, he has always kept himself apart from a traditional vampire lifestyle. That includes the taking of a companion, a practice virtually all vampires engage in. A bit of deception, though, brought him together with Selena Crawford two years earlier; he has fought the bloodbond that was forged between the two, however, and pretty much left Selena alone. She herself both hates and likes the situation; while she wants nothing to do with Istvan, the bloodbond is a powerful force that cannot be defeated by even the strongest of personalities - and Selena happens to have one of the strongest personalities you will ever encounter.
Now, Enforcer and companion are brought together once again, however, in the search for a vampire killer roaming the streets of Chicago. Selena is a homicide detective, but she knows that a beheaded vampire dumped in an alley falls under a very different jurisdiction than her own. While the local enforcer Ariel and eventually Istvan take over the "case," Selena does plenty of work on her own, identifying the killer and, blaming a particularly despicable vampire for indirectly causing all the trouble, takes the initiative to do something about the evil perp. Companions are not supposed to even know of each other's existence across the different cities of the world, yet there is a cybersecret support group for them, and this connection with others like herself provides Selena the support she needs to stage a mini-revolution among the ranks. In essence, she takes on the role of Enforcer among vampire companions.
The story of the killings and the thrilling conclusion of events makes for an engaging read, but it is the relationship between Istvan and Selena that makes this book such a triumph. Selena does not act like a companion; while the heat of the bloodbond keeps driving her and Istvan together in the most physical of ways, she refuses to fawn upon him or allow his actions to go unchallenged. This both antagonizes as well as delights the chief Enforcer of them all. Their sporadic relationship is remarkably human in several ways, boasting the kind of give-and-take you won't find elsewhere in the vampire world. Heck, she even tries to kill Istvan a couple of times, and that is something companions are really not supposed to do. You'll find a lot of humor in these pages alongside plenty of vampire action, but the heart and soul of Companions is the amazingly nontraditional relationship between vampire and companion. If you are tired of the same old vampire plots of old, you would do well to give Susan Sizemore a chance to impress you with her increasingly beguiling reworking of the vampire myth.
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