Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review of "Vampires, Inc." by Rick Taubold and Chris R. Hosey

This book was released some months ago, and one of the authors contacted me to see if I was interested in review the book, to gain a little more press. After reading the first chapter online, I was definitely on board. I'm so glad I got a chance to read and review this book.

Disclaimer: I received this book, and this book only, in exchange for a review. So money or anything else was given to me for a review, be it positive or negative.

Type: I'd say Urban Fantasy.. or maybe even Urban Fiction with Vampires.

From the back of the book: " 'Vampires, Inc.' is the first novel of a trilogy that follows the stories of the twenty-two-year-old vampire Adrian Shadowhawk and his mentor Eli Howard.
These are not your classic vampires. They don't have fangs (regrettably for some); they're not predators. They still require human blood (voluntary donations), but they also eat regular food. They have telephathic powers. And they are mortal.
Thousands of vampires exist in the world. At one time normal humans, now they are infected with a unique, transmissible-by-blood virus that has changed them into what they are. For centuries, most vampires have lived a peaceful existence in secret among humans.
A hundred and forty years ago, Eli Howard murdered his slaveholder's family during the temporary madness brought on by the infection. In 1905, he helped quell in a violent conflict starting in Europe against humans by dissident vampires. Since then, Eli has kept to himself, trying to erase the violence in his past. He teaches at a Detroit collect, to help humans better themselves. Adrian Shadowhawk, on the other hand, is less judicious in his behavior and flaunts what he is to his human friends.
Then Cyrus Hayes, the vampire behind the murder of Eli's first love, arrives in Detroit. On a quest to make vampires the mast race, Cyrus performs unconscionable experiments on humans. With the future of humans and vampires at stake, Eli can no longer stay in the background. "

You know, it's been so long since I read the back cover, I had forgotten it was part of a trilogy. Thank goodness! I don't think I could handle it if it didn't continue. I need to know what happens to everyone, now that certain things are set into motion. Let's delve right into it, shall we?

This book is very character driven. There is, of course, an overall plot, but this book always felt more like an introduction, rather than a full story. Which is perfectly fine if it is the first book in a series, like this one. I will warn, that there are plenty of characters you need to keep track of - but every character had a part to play, and they were all necessary and important, so after the initial "Oh, here's a new one!" moment, you can easily keep everyone straight. The characters are likeable (at least the ones you're supposed to like), but they're consistant, which is always a good thing. And it was great to see some characters grow throughout the story. Eli started to learn he can't just sit at home anymore, Adrian... well, Adrian still had his wild streak, but he stepped up to the plate when necessary. I can't wait to see how these two fair in the upcoming books.

And continuing with characters - I love their version of the vampire mythos. There are so many old legends with vampires, so many different takes on what makes a vampire, how they become vampires, whether they are immortal or not - I think the vamps of "Vampires, Inc." are a fascinating new breed, so to speak.

"Vampires, Inc." started somewhere so different, something interesting all in itself, and ended in a place even better. At the beginning of the story, vampire Eli Howard witnesses an attempted rape, and finally decides he has had enough of letting his city fall to ruins. He plays to enlist the help of a few friends to clean up the city, but in the process of doing so, he comes to find there are a lot worse things occuring than that. Cyrus Hayes, the big bad of the book, has come to town and has "revamp"ed the Vampires, Inc. organization. Hayes is creating drugs for the vampire population, as well as doing other biological experiments on not only vampires, but humans as well. And he has plans on top of plans, not to mention safety measures in place should something happen to his work. And that is what leads us into book two.

I really enjoyed "Vampires, Inc." and I'm so glad I got the chance to review this book. I hope to read the rest of the trilogy, as well as see more books popping up like this in the future. A fascinating plot, a host of loveable, genuine characters, vampires... It has everything I love in a book. Which is why I'm giving "Vampires, Inc." a FIVE out of FIVE!

I hope you all get to check out "Vampires, Inc." and I do hope we see more from these two talented authors - especially the rest of the series!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lori Foster Author/Reader Get Together

Well, I had quite the weekend! It all started out on Friday. I worked, then ran home to change, and straight off to a wedding, which was wonderful. Then home that night, only to get up bright an early the next morning to head to the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get Together. This wonderful event happens every year, but this is my first time attending, and I'm so glad I got to go! Tons of authors (75-ish) from the Ohio area come to hang with each other and readers, there are raffles, great meals, some fun parties, and TONS of free swag and books! Not only that, but if you registered in advance (or in some cases, during the presentation before hand), you could get a pitch meeting with an agent or publisher. I even met two ladies who came from Oklahoma to pitch their books.

I was so overwhelmed by everything going on, I didn't even attend any of the lectures/presentations. In fact, I think I spent most of my downtime going through all of the beautiful promotional items.
I know, I know, the quality is terrible - but that's just SOME of what I received. Three of the books were bought, and I won a goody bag in a raffle - I'll get into that a little more in a moment!

Everyone received a goody bag when they signed in - a wonderful, sturdy totebag full of swag, and at least one free book. I went to the get together with my Mother and Aunt - each of them got two free books, but I just got one. But no worries, I ended up buying several books that will keep me busy for a while. Not to mention my already huge TBR shelf! I probably looked crazy carting my bags everywhere.. I already had a purse, my bag with my clothes in it, a laptop bag, and the new tote bag I bought and decorated for authors to sign. And to gain several more bags to carry around? Quite the load to carry, but man was it worth it!

Now on to the raffle and other great prizes. There were well over a hundred raffle prizes, and while I didn't win any - my Mother and Aunt both did. I'm planning to steal the books while they're not looking. Now, there were your regular types of raffle prizes, the kind you'd expect - some with wine and glasses, some with books, a tote bag full of goodies, etc. But there were a few baskets that includes brand new eBook Readers, and the biggest one included a brand new Apple iPad. If I had won, you'd know by now. While I didn't win any of those, I won the raffle Desiree Holt was having at her table.

If you stopped by to visit and chat with you, you received a ticket you wrote your room number on. While resting in the room before dinner, I got the call saying I won! I found her later, after dinner - and what a great prize pack it was! I got a signed book by her, "Cocked and Loaded", some very steamy looking cover copies, a signed Tshirt, and it all came in a Desiree Holt Tells All totebag.

And of course, Barnes and Noble had set up a small "Store" selling books by some of the attending authors. And I believe someone mentioned eBooks were for sale as well. Quite the smart decision on their part, to be included in the event, because they got thirty plus dollars out of me, and I'm sure quite a bit out of everyone else that attended. I picked up "The Taking" by Erin McCarthy, "Ecstasy Unveiled" by Larissa Ione, and "Jared" by Sarah McCarty. And my free book - "The Next Best Thing" by Kristan Higgins. I got both Larissa Ione and Erin McCarthy to sign my tote bag, yay!

I'm so going back next year. And I hope anyone in the Southwestern Ohio area that has yet to hear about this great event will look into going next year. Registration was extremely cheap, and well worth it.