Go to Homepage   Susan Sizemore: The Hunt
(Laws of the Blood, Book 1)

 

Ace Dark Fantasy (Paperback),
ISBN 0-441-00660-4
"It's very high concept," Valentine explained. "Think Get Shorty with vampires." 

Who could resist a line like that? Who could resist a vampire novel that pits these glamorous monsters against their daytime reflections -- the predatory agents, producers, studios and other born bloodsuckers of Hollywood?  

To this delicious conceit Sizemore adds a thoroughly engaging cast of characters, and prose that pans and zooms like the very best camerawork. Calling this book a compulsive page-turner doesn't begin to do it justice. 

The Laws of the Blood demand that vampires periodically sate their blood lust through a ritual hunt of specific humans designated by the local vampire enforcer. The job of arranging a long-overdue hunt for the vampires of Los Angeles falls to Selim, an Armani-clad prince of his kind.  

But Selim can't just loose the vampire nests like so many packs of dogs. He must ensure that the vampires' predations go unremarked by the human community in which they live. Which suddenly becomes a lot trickier when someone starts circulating the script of his life/undeath story to all the major players in the film industry. 

Sizemore tackles a nearly impossible theme -- the impact of a writer's interior vision on external events -- and makes it tangible through strong characterizations and crisply described, plausible action. In less capable hands, the intersecting dream worlds of the film industry, the vampires and the oblivious mortals around them would collapse in a mire of tedious allegory. Sizemore keeps the reader focused on the story, the characters and the bizarre humor of their situation. The surreal aspects of Selim's predicament highlight the LaLa Land edginess of the book without ever confusing or boring the reader. 

My only quibble involved the ending, which despite its slam-bang Hollywood panache, didn't quite gel for me. Don't ask me why. The finale boasted more action than a Jackie Chan flick, resolved all of the book's major conflicts and set up the sequel. Maybe I just wanted the book to last longer -- which hardly counts as a criticism at all. 

Jean Marie Ward

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