Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
I'd read some of Cole's books before now, trying to see what all the fuss was about. Frankly, the two that I read (both featuring pirates/andor/seafaring which I usually love) were pretty bad and I thought that whatever the hype was, it was obviously misdirected. Then my good buddy lisabea sent me the first three installments of the Immortals After Dark series. Aha! Now I get it. These were seriously entertaining.
A Hunger Like No Other has the unenviable task of being the first introduction to this new world and suffers a bit from the strain of setting up the world, establishing the parameters, introducing the various characters, the various races and their feuds, etc. There are a LOT of immortals running around and they all seem to have quite a history with each other.
Our story begins with Lachlan MacReive, the leader of the Lykae (werewolves), being tortured for a few hundred years beneath the catacombs in Paris. The dastardly vampires put him down there and since he is blessed (cursed?) with immortality, every time he burns and dies, he wakes up and lives again...only to keep burning. Um, ouch? Lucky for Lachlan, his one true wuv aka MATE happens to walk across the ground above him and being the extra-sensory perceptive immortal that he is, he can feel that she's there. His instincts kick in bigtime and this gives him an extra boost of power to throw off the shackles and free himself...but only after ripping one of his legs off. Well, hey at least he's free and can regenerate minor things like missing limbs.
Lachlan's mate Emma is a half-breed. Born of a Valkyrie mother and a vampire (oh noes!) father, she is blissfully unaware that a big angry Scottish wolf-man has the hots for her. Until of course, he finds her, kidnaps her and comes onto her in a majorly alpha male way. Oh it's steamy stuff and only in the first chapter! (inwardly, I gave a cheer, outlook for hot sexy book favorable!) However, despite all the rough and provocative almost-sex, Emma and Lachlan spend the majority of the book fighting about how she doesn't buy into this whole mate thing and Lachlan fighting himself over the fact that he's meant to be with a vampire (remember the bit about them torturing him for 200 odd years). Emma was raised by a coven of kick-arse Valkyrie warrior women and she has always been the timid protected one. Throughout most of the book it is like she can't decide who she is. At times she is so whiny and TSTL as to make me shake with rage. At others, she grows a backbone out of thin air and dislocates Lachlan's jaw. You go girl. Just figure out which of your multiple personalities you want to settle on and then give me a call when it's over.
So did I mention the sexxoring? It's pretty hot stuff, although Cole makes us wait for the big moment of truth. I suppose that's the difficulty of using this 'fated to be mated' concept. Where's the tension if they're together from page one? So instead we have lots of near misses, hot buildups without the payoff and sexy naked showers. heh. Well, no one ever said that lots of foreplay wasn't a good thing.
The action picks up near the end of the book and Emma gets a chance to save the world (apparently she decides that the strong her is the personality she's going to stick with after all). Her Valkyrie aunties get a chance to make me really weary of them. Lachlan gets a chance to ditch his fake Scottish accent...oh wait, no that didn't happen. Lachlan gets a chance to move beyond his prejudices and accept that love conquers all. Awww, it really is romantic.
Despite some frustrations, overall this was a very fun read. I appreciated that women in this alternate universe are not wrapped in cotton wool and that they're allowed to have some good dialogue lines too. And I think that Cole has set up a very interesting world and I look forward to spending more time in it.