Creature Feature 2

     Author: Poppy Dennison                                              Rhys Ford

     Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

     Rating: 5 stars

     Buy Links: DSP and Amazon

     Type: Anthology

     Received from Author

 

Blurb:  Rise of the Revenants by Poppy Dennison
Vampyres are on the loose in Detroit, and novice hunter Taz Cohen is on the job. The mission seems simple: stop the vamps. But Taz knows nothing about the mythical creatures, so he’s in for the fight of his life. Then he meets insanely attractive construction worker Darren Foster, who jumps into the battle with both feet. Sparks and bullets fly as they struggle against the vampyre horde and their attraction to each other. Avoiding gruesome death from the undead might be easier than shielding their hearts from each other.

Legacy of Blood and Death by Rhys Ford
For Javi Navarro, Detroit will become another blood-splattered city in his rearview mirror after he puts its dead back into the ground. Expecting an easy hunting job, Javi instead finds a kiss of ancient vampyres on the hunt for a descendent of their long-dead creator.

Reclusive Ciarnan Mac Gerailt abandoned his family legacy of blood and death magic after it nearly destroyed him. Unfortunately, the Motor City can only be saved if Ciarnan resumes his dark arts and joins forces with Javi Navarro, the hunter who brought the vampyre apocalypse—and hope for the future—straight to Ciarnan’s front door.

 

Review: This is a great collaboration between Poppy Dennison and Rhys Ford. The first chapter sets up the premise for the stories, which are then told separately. The writing styles are very different, but each fits the individual story perfectly.

A construction crew opens a wall in a long-abandoned house and finds a horror waiting for them. They become the first meal in decades for a kiss of vampyres locked away with the bodies of Pierce Chapman and the Mac Gerailt, a life mage and a death mage, who fought to the death in a battle between good and evil. Now the vampyres are loose and Taz Cohen and Javi Navarro need to find and kill them before the vamps can hunt down the descendants of the two mages who died in the basement with them.

Poppy’s story concerns the descendant of Pierce Chapman. Taz Cohen is officially a werewolf hunter called in on this job to help out, so he’s already a little out of his depth. He goes looking for John Chapman, Pierce’s great-grandson, who should have inherited Pierce’s powers. Taz starts visiting the addresses of buildings owned by John, and meets a hottie named Darren, one of John’s employees, but before he can get any useful information, he and Darren have to battle a vampire. Once that’s taken care of, Taz learns that Darren not only works for John, but that the crew who discovered the vamps was working at one of John’s properties. There have been strange occurrences at other properties as well, and Darren had decided to do a little investigating, which was why he had been where Taz found him. John is out of town and it’s too late to call Darren’s supervisor, so they are going to have to wait until morning to get any more information. They decide to visit some of the other properties to see if they can find more vamps, but have no luck, so they end up back at Taz’s hotel where they get to know one another a whole lot better. They eventually get in touch with Pete, Darren’s supervisor, and go to see the house Darren’s crew has been working on. Things start to get very interesting when a poltergeist, a rogue werewolf and two vamps all show up. To make things even more complicated, Taz learns that John is back in town but completely unaware of the danger waiting for him. John comes to the house and hears the whole story, but has no idea if he has magical powers or how to use them if he does. Vamps are drawn to the house by John’s presence, but will he be able to figure out how to use his latent powers? And do Taz and Darren have a solid enough start on which to build something lasting?

The story by Rhys tells Javi’s side of the hunt. He’s gone looking for this generation’s Mac Gerailt, heir to the death mage who created the vampyres. Information leads him to Ciarnan Mac Gerailt who, contrary to Javi’s expectations, is not a warlock reveling in his dark powers, but a recluse whose only companions are his dog and his familiar, a death fae named Shaddock. Their initial meeting is notable for Javi showing up just in time to destroy a vamp Ciarnan is trying to kill with a shovel, and getting whacked in the head with said shovel. Ciarnan has no real choice but to take the unconscious Javi into his home and wait for him to wake up. He goes through Javi’s belongings, discovering that Javi is a hunter and, also, how he was able to find Ciarnan. Javi finally wakes up and meets his host. His first impression is that Ciarnan is smoking hot, an opinion he blurts out due to the influence of whatever Ciarnan had given him for pain. He tells Ciarnan the story of the work crew, the discovery of the location of the final battle between the mages, and Javi’s part in the subsequent hunt. Ciarnan affirms Taz and Javi’s theory that the vamps are drawn to the blood of the respective mages, but when Javi asks him to use magic to summon the vamps, he refuses, telling Javi that he no longer practices and dare not start again. Javi is less than impressed by Ciarnan’s refusal, but doesn’t have time to waste arguing since it’s obvious from sounds outside that vamps are attacking people on the street below. They go out together to fight the vamps, and manage to kill another one. Battered and filthy, they return to Ciarnan’s apartment where they finally act on their attraction. Ciarnan realizes that he can’t refuse to perform the ritual to summon the vamps and tells Javi of his decision, hoping that what he and Javi have found together is enough to keep him from succumbing to the darkness.

I really enjoyed this book. As I said earlier, the writing styles are different but definitely complementary and make this an excellent read. I would definitely recommend this to fans of Poppy and Rhys as well as anyone who enjoys an original twist on a familiar theme. You won’t be disappointed.
 

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