I found this an exciting and original take on the vampire theme. The writing is strong and the characterisation vivid. There’s a lot of dark humour here, and also a good deal of true horror and a fair amount of erotic writing.
The moral issues which surround the theme – a sadistic lesbian vampire who often abuses women against a gang of vicious human traffickers who abuse women far worse – are not skirted about, and I really liked that.
I was impressed with the research – both technical and historical, that must have been done to make this gothic story set in present day London so believable .
Suzy Kew, four hundred and something, a lonely siren of a vampire, is both a detective and a pole dancer, and this clever;y reflects to some extent her frozen identity, for while she worships an aspect of the Triple Goddess, she cannot ever relate to the mother and crone aspects of the female deity – she will never be a mother and she can never age.
I was interested in the occupation Suzy uses as a pole dancer as I have always taken the view that women who do this while imagining that it is ‘empowering’ them are sadly mistaken and objectified, but there is no way that Suzy is ever a victim. She wishes to keep an unobtrusive eye on the underworld from her pole…
Some of the jaded weariness that would inevitably form the background to an immortal’s life is shown here. I would have liked to have learnt more of the problematic – to say the least – relationship between Suzy and her first love, her husband who ‘turned’ her originally – and I think that shows how vivid this writing often is.
I was dismayed by how savage Suzy’s new love interest Cleo rapidly becomes as a vampire – and how she uses sexist terms to dismiss one of their victims, Jenny – ‘she’s a blonde and slut’ – but perhaps this shows her possessive jealously. She is depicted as a muddled teenager, and as Suzy herself comments, she's going to do a lot of terrible things in haste that she is going to regret - for ever...
This is typical of the complex portrayal of moral issues in this story – the edges between right and wrong, abuse and vengance, abuse and abuser are shown to be blurred at times. At one time, I found myself feeling a savage pleasure in the murder of a rapist human trafficker – implicated in the inhumanity myself, the 'rage of Artemis' mentioned by Suzy.
Overall, a disturbing, often erotic, exciting and well researched read recommended for lovers of new takes on the vampire theme.
Before I go any further with this review, let me make one thing clear - the author really isn't joking with his content warning. The book contains lots of quite graphic sex, mainly but not exclusively of the lesbian variety. There's also a good deal of gore. You probably know yourself well enough to know whether you find that to be a positive, neutral or negative thing, and if you've got the slightest doubt about whether you're comfortable with graphic all-female sex, do yourself a favour and stay away - don't read now and give a negative review later.
For the first few chapters of this book, the sex was particularly in evidence, more or less to the exclusion of any other kind of plot. I got the impression that this was going to be basically erotica - not a genre I remotely have a problem with, but not something I particularly make an effort to read full-length novels in either. Luckily, after a couple of chapters, although the sex continues to make regular appearances, it's joined by a combination of a surprisingly sweet love story, a gangster/private investigator storyline and a well developed vampire history. If you read the first few chapters and aren't sure whether this is for you, I'd encourage you to push on and you may well change your mind. I do however feel the book would have been a bit better if there was a more balanced plot:erotica ratio from the word go.
In many ways, this book is predominantly a character study. It's told in the first person, from the point of view of a 500 year old vampire (currently) called Suzie. She has a taste for designer stilletos, dramatic outfits and Illamasqua make-up, as well as strong sugary coffee, classical music and expensive wine (all of which, apart from the sugary coffee, I can wholeheartedly support). She works partly as a very accomplished pole dancer and partly as a private investigator, drinks human blood, has killed huge numbers of people, and seduces anyone who takes her fancy.
Personally, I love both her ruthless streak and her glamorous side, but I can imagine some people finding the character shallow and hard to like and I suspect that whether you love or hate the book will depend in large part on how you feel about Suzie. There were the odd scenes (some sex of dubious consensuality, two seemingly innocent men who were killed slowly) that made me a bit uncomfortable and made it harder to root for her, but give me that over a weak, "might as well be human" type vampire any day. And equally, there were some great scenes of her getting vengeance on some really quite horrible humans and at the other extreme, showing some touching vulnerability.
The vampiric and historical aspects were very well done. Suzie trod an interesting line between normal woman and mythical creature, with the supernatural elements tending to be downplayed. There were some great flashbacks to her early life and creation in sixteenth century Britain and Italy, and some wonderful scenes of her sometimes scandalous and sometimes depressing life in later centuries. Relatively obscure historical characters were tied neatly into the narrative.
Finally, the book had a surprisingly feminist slant. Suzie talks at length about how awful life was for most women for most of history, and her sex and shopping lifestyle takes on a new significance when viewed from the perspective of someone who can barely believe they are allowed to exist independently of a man. There's a running theme (hence the title) of many humans being worse than the vampire heroine, in many cases because of their crimes against women.
All in all then, this probably isn't a book for everyone, but if you like vampires and can cope with erotica (or like erotica and can cope with vampires) I'd definitely give this a go. If you like both genres and can get behind the main character, you just might love it.
This is a typical MALE attempting to write female sexual content yet again. I really wish that when a HE "THINKS" they can write from a female perspective, that at least they would get descriptions of some kind written in a way that is true to form. I feel that this is a mans fantasy and had HE just brushed over the sexual content, and just concentrated on the storyline, he would probably have a better book to offer his audience. A tunnel? Really? I am so put off by writers who think that we women have tunnels. How big are these girls? I imagined a giant with cars driving through when I red that. Seriously, not cool, women are sensual creatures, if you are targeting a female audience, then please write for them. Your product description? Is it erotica (I can answer that...NO) IS IT explicit...(YES) Your choice of certain female anatomy descriptions are crude. Again...choose words that females connect with and not those that a man would say to his buddies at a bar. Over use of words like 'SHE GASPED' it gets boring. Why not elaborate on what's going on with her body, her surroundings, your thoughts (As the first person seeing it) This story needs to be edited so that it flows. I found myself stopping and re-reading sentences, some I thought were written to add to the word count of the story to bulk it up rather than concentrate on how better to tell the scene with fewer words that would have a better impact. I'm not sure where the author was coming from with this book cover, in my opinion, it looks like a teenage girls story. You want impact, you need a cover that fits the bill, this does not do that. I got this book for free, I'm glad it was, I would have been pretty annoyed to have expected better written content. Perhaps if the author was to get the opinion of other female writers/editors and smooth out the sexual content so that at least it wouldn't make me or other female readers cringe, and then get the choppiness structured, he may be able to avoid lower ratings in the future. I would definitely have given higher stars had I read content that was truly aimed at the intended audience.
This book is unlike any I've ever read before. At times I struggled with keeping up with the POV and the events taking place or where in the time-line they were occurring.
Because of the type of material I read on a daily basis, I turn to novels with a seventh grade reading level to breeze through, enjoy the plot, the characters, and the overall flow of the book. This book left me out of sorts. I believe there is something more within the texts that places this novel in a different category than the usual paranormal romance novels. It is not explicit, you don't know what will happened to the characters, and the characters are not molded into a stereo-type to be able to predict. This was the trouble I had the entire time I read the novel and I blame my stubbornness and inability to persuade myself into a different mind frame. That being said, this novel may be great for someone who likes the complexities of dissecting a story and isn't motivated by the need to like the characters in the story. I, on the other hand, am a reader who must love or love to hate the characters in a book in order to fully immerse myself into the story. Without that connection, it is difficult for me to care about what happens in the overall plot.
First let me start by saying that I love to read adult paranormal books, especially books about vampires. I was elated to discover that this book was nothing like the other paranormal books I have read. This story focuses on Suzie, a mildly self-hating lesbian vampire. Suzie is private investigator and this story follows her in her search for a missing girl. When she is not investigating, she is working as a....Stripper. To me this profession is ingenious for vampires because it breaks traditional proxemic boundaries. It places her intimately close to her "blood donors" without giving anyone a reason to raise questions. The author does a great job of providing a background story for Suzie and incorporates a very good supporting cast. The flow of the story seemed choppy at times and I found it hard to follow in some areas. However, the sex scenes were HOT, there was a certain level of angst and there was a consistent amount of action that kept my attention throughout the story.
*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Suzie is a lone wolf (or Vampire in this case) who loves fashion. Club hopping and pole dancing are a great past time for her. Her sexual preference is women, which is pretty obvious in the start of the book. Private investigator with skills to get the answers she is looking for.
I feel this book was all over the place for me. I didn't mind the Strong f/f sex. It is a book...lol But it just jumped around so much. I wasn't captivated by the story. I found it difficult to finish. Suzie is looking for a missing girl which I thought was the main objective but the story goes off on several tangents. I think the story was a fantastic idea, just not a home run for me.
Not saying I don't like the writing, I just long for a story to suck me in until it is over. One where I just can't put it down.