When a synopsis says nothing about romance in a vampire novel, Hell yes I want to read and review! Ms. Weeks presents us with, if not entirely new content, definitely enjoyable work, with a story led by a strong, hurt hunter named Tuck. She hunts vampires out of loss and heartache, bringing a vulnerability to the story. Some of the characters might be a bit Buffy-esque, which is why I said above that it is not a totally original story. Names and abilities seem to be taken from the Whedonverse, but the plot is by far one of the most original I have read. There are three different strains of vampire, encompassing many different stereotypes and leaving very little out. There is a connection between one strain and hunters, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the story. It was fun, fast, and violent. I will definitely be reading more!
Eight years ago, slayer Tuck Houston lost two close friends to the same Damned vampire. She’s been hunting that vampire since the day she walked into the carnage he created. But Josef Dragos has hidden himself well in the underground, from both slayers and other vampires.
Tuck, however, never gives up. When slayers around the globe start disappearing, she’s put on the hunt—because the pattern matches that of Josef. When she finds him, she’s suddenly faced with memories she would rather keep buried, a powerful vampire who’s been hunting her since she was sixteen, and a dangerous strigoi guardian.
Welcome to the dark and blood-stained world of slayers and vampires. A world where enemies become allies, and the night proves just how deadly and heartbreaking it can be.
Tuck Houston casually strolled through the front doors of the ritzy hotel with a warm smile on her face, her hoodie and jeans soaked through from the rain. “Wasn’t expecting the downpour,” she said as she neared the front desk, cringing a bit inside as her boots left a bit of mud on the carpet.
The clerk chuckled as he regarded her. “I don’t think anyone was—forecast didn’t say anything about rain.”
“Damn weathermen can’t be trusted.” She laughed as she made her way to the elevator and clicked the button.
When the elevator doors opened a few moments later, she said, “Have a good night.”
“You as well.”
When the doors opened again, she made her way to her quarry’s room, letting herself in with the key she’d obtained the day before. Digital keys were much harder to obtain than the old metal keys smaller hotels or motels used. She’d charmed the male clerk into giving her a key so she could surprise her “lover.”
The room was empty, of course. As he’d done the night before, her target was having a “drink” at the bar before retiring to his room, courtesy of some idiot human. Even the Damned couldn’t kill everyone they fed from—got suspicious after a while, to humans and slayers.
Walking across the high-end hardwood floors spread over the entire room, Tuck sat herself down on a chair, kicking her wet boots up on the edge of the bed and placing her pure silver knives on her thighs, which had been sheathed at her waist under her hooded sweatshirt. They weren’t her favorite weapons, but they were best for close contact.
She’d been tracking Samuel Bellows for a little over six weeks, from Boston to San Francisco—the city she was now in. He was responsible for the killing of seven little girls, drinking them dry of blood then abandoning their bodies in the woods. She could practically taste his death on her tongue.
But those girls were not the reason she was after him. His power had lingered at the scenes of several missing slayers—she planned on having a nice, bloody chat with him about that.
Footsteps jarred the quiet about twenty minutes later. Samuel’s footsteps. No human would have heard his steps, but she was more than human—slayers had a predators’ hearing, and she clearly heard the delight in his gait. He had a new target, he had human blood on his tongue, and—she smiled to herself—he had no idea what was in his room.
The key card slid in the lock, the door clicked, and into the darkness of the room came Samuel Bellows—five-foot-ten, a bit heavyset, and reeking of glee.
He was a dead man.
She held her position patiently as he turned on the lights. The look of surprise in his gray eyes when he saw her was so comical that she actually laughed. “Good evening, Samuel. The name’s Tuck Houston. But you can call me Ripper, if you’d like.”
This series must be read in order. This is the first book. I can't wait to read Path To Damnation! •••I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review••• Tuck is a Slayer. One of the best. Most fear her. With a nickname like The Ripper it is with good cause. She is a legend and very well respected, even at her young age. Haunted by mistakes from her past and the loss of her best friends there are certain Damned no other Slayer would dare touch... At least not without her permission. Finding Josef again seems too good to be true... Especially since something is odd about the way everything is connecting. Is this a trap? Is she being set up? Will she finally get the chance to avenge her friends? Or will her list for revenge cloud her judgement and lead her to an early death? Can she trust in herself and her allies to end this vendetta once and for all? This is an unusual and unique vampire series with many different types and classes of vampires. The three main kinds are Strigoi (you must be born to them or at least have their blood in your bloodline to become one) which are the oldest and most powerful. The Vampyr who can be born or made but are immune to the sun and live mostly peaceful lives. Both of these types are at least loosely aligned with the Slayers as allies or at least not enemies. The Damned on the other hand are dark and evil due to their killing to feed and are destroyed by sunlight and silver. The Damned are evil and mostly mad. They are the natural enemies of the Slayers and reviled by the other two Vampire breeds. Humans are, of course, completely oblivious to all of this and live on in blissful ignorance. ***This series is suitable for mature young adult through adult readers who enjoy some horror in their urban paranormal action adventure thriller mysteries with loads of intrigue and wry humor :)
I love this story! I couldn't put it down! The mystery kept me wanting more and no I did not figure it out. The ending was nothing like I was thinking, which is good, because that's means the the author is a good writer. I really like October Weeks work and look forward to reading more of her books. Being the best Slayer ever has it's ups and downs. But if you love what you do and want to make a difference in the world, like Tuck Houston, then the good and bad come together. Slaying the Damned is the best part. Loads of fun, until a hunt goes bad and you loose loved ones in the process. But the slayer never quiets. Tuck is out to rid the world of Josef, a high and powerful Damned. Oh if you didn't know it, The Damned is one of 3 types of Vampires. The fight will be bloody and massive. She will need to bring outside help in. Not her usual way to work after the last time with her team went horribly wrong. Being reunited with a long lost friend, a bonded betraying her, hunting the Damned, being saved by one of your blood line and being know as the Ripper, is all in a days work and she will come out alive and better than before. That is why she is a slayer! If you like a strong women role, vampires and slayers, this is a story for you. October Weeks is an amazing writer!
Great first book in a series! Loved the hierarchy of the vampires, and that Tuck wasn't lusted after by all the them. I also loved that there were consequences to everyone's actions, and some of them were not pretty. Tuck is very kickass, but she's paid a high price for being a slayer. And you can see that in her choices and actions. She doesn't use the past as an excuse, and makes decisions based on the current situation, not what she wants to do, which is rather refreshing in the world of UF.
I absolutely could not put this book down. It's been a while since I've read a good vampire novel. I fell out of favor with this genre after the whole Twilight phenomenon. (I'm sorry, vampires should NOT sparkle!) I stopped reading vampire novels for a very long time. As a fan of Anne Rice, every other vampire book I'd ever read just could not compare--until this one. The pace is perfect, the dialogue witty and the characters are well developed. I cared about what happened with vampire hunter Tuck Houston. I think this is going to be a very good series & I cannot wait for the sequel!