Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hunter of the Dead by Stephen Kozeniewski



I never pass up a chance to read one of Kozy's books.  He's one of the few authors that I keep funds set aside for.  That way, as soon as a new one is released, I can immediately order it.

Now, because Kozy is one of my favorite authors, I know for sure that I'll love the book.  So, I don't bother reading what it's about.  I just pick it up and begin devouring.  You can get an idea of what sort of book it is by the book cover.  If I had to give you a quick plot summary, I'd say that we have vampires, Inquisitors, and the Hunter of the Dead.  He's the real star of the book, even though we rarely see him.  He doesn't seem to care who he kills.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a Twihard.  Now, that's not to say that I'm against vampires that have emotion.  P. Ambroziak's work is a perfect example of how 'good' or 'moral' vampires can exist in a way that I'm not frustrated and angry.  It's believable.  It's not simpering idiot vampires who's only job in life is to find someone they can obsess about.  There are no sparkles and no bad acting.  Anyway!  I digress!  In THIS book, Kozy brings back the horrific side of vampires.  These aren't simpering fools who are out for a good time with their beloved.  These are artful, intelligent creatures of destruction.  People are food.  It's that simple.  They give no more thought to dismemberment than a hunter would field-dressing a stag.  It's scary!  It's what vampires are supposed to be!  A master race that only needs us to feed off of!

Though I've come to expect unusual plot lines from Kozy, I wasn't a bit disappointed with this.  I won't say he reinvented the vampire because that would be both silly and untrue.  What he has done is undo some of the damage that Twilight and similar silly fodder has done.  He's brought vampires back to their respectable place.  He's made me stop hating them.  #VampireLivesMatter.  Yeah....my first hashtag ever and it was caused by reading this book.  Now I feel corrupted.

As always, Kozy brings perfect balance to horror, drama and humor.  You don't have a chance to be overloaded by any of them.  Instead, you find yourself riding a wave that you don't want to ever stop.  Speaking of which, the end of this book leaves it wide open for a sequel...possibly even a series.  I am putting in my vote now that that not happen.  I would read it, happily.  However, I love that everything Kozy writes is unusual and I'd hate for him to stick with one thing and get in a rut.  He's far too talented for that.  Keep bringing the fresh plots that I adore you for!

Oh yes!  Horror!  Drama!  Humor!  I haven't read such terror since Poppy Z. Brite!  I was really impressed by the fact that I was almost grossed out!  Now, had this been a movie instead of a book, I probably would have only made it through about two minutes!  Luckily, my brain loves gore.  It's just that my eyes seem to be more tender towards such things.  My favorite character is Price.  He makes Harry Dresden look like a chump.  I'd follow Price into the depths of Hell without blinking.  Well that's not true.  I'd make sure I had a babysitter first.  But after that I'd follow without blinking!  He's imperfect and wonderful!  I truly believe he's one of the best characters Kozy has created to date.

This was another great read by Kozy and worth every penny.  I'll definitely pull it down and read it again, but not until after the kids all get a chance to read it.  Grown-uppish kids.  I'd never let a little kid read this.  My goodness!  We'd have serial killers all over!  'Look at me!  I'm the Hunter of the Dead!'  *POW* *SPLAT*  We don't need that.  However, I bet the older kids will get some great Halloween costume ideas from this!  If you can handle the darker side of vampires, this is a bloody good ride!!

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