‘Nocturnal Blood’ by Villimey Mist – Review

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

You can also see my video review of books 1 & 2 in the series on my BookTube channel here or read the review of Book One, ‘Nocturnal Blood’ here.

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Violence doesn’t worry me anymore. It happens all around and I know there’s nothing I can do to stop it. In my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, news about another war or another violent shooting has become part of the daily routine. We have the highest crime rate in the country, with 813 violent crimes per 100,000 residents – hearing there’s been another murder or that another person has gone missing doesn’t surprise me anymore. I’ve seen those acts of violence happen to others. They’ve happened to me as well. 

Maybe I had it coming. I think I’m a pretty clear target. I might as well draw a big, red circle on my forehead. Anyone could take advantage of meek little me. 

 

Synopsis –

Anchorage, Alaska. A place where people don’t care if someone goes missing. A place where Leia Walker tries her hardest to hide from the world, wanting a normal life without anxiety and OCD.

But Leia’s bubble pops when an old friend is back in town and twists Leia’s reality . A bloody event proves what Leia is scared to learn—Sophie Gardner, her old high school friend and saviour from the bullies, is a vampire.

Forced to run away with Sophie, Leia’s life takes a terrifying turn when vampires and hunters come after them.

The only thing preventing them from losing themselves is their friendship..

But will it be enough to escape the inevitable blood bath?

 

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Nocturnal Blood, the first book in the Nocturnal series by Villimey Mist, is a vampire YA novel that doesn’t hold back. Filled with blood, guts, tears, and a friendship that goes beyond the simple ties of right place, right time, Nocturnal Blood is the story of a journey of two friends, thrust into a violent and unrelenting world that wants both of them dead. If you’re squeamish about blood, I’d perhaps sit this one out.

Our protagonist Leia (yes, named after THAT Leia) is a reclusive young adult dealing with myriad psychological issues, including anxiety. I can’t to her other diagnosis, but I can say that Leia’s experience of anxiety and it’s symptoms were very close to my own. felt reflected in her difficulties and worries around other people, yet her strength to keep going when the odds were stacked against her rings true as well – the irrationality of the disorder is presented brilliantly here. Still clinging to the friendship she had with Sophie, the girl who saved her from her bullies and took her OCD tics as just another part of her, Leia is overjoyed and traumatised when Sophie reappears after four years to save her yet again – though this time with fatal consequences.

On the other side, Sophie’s character is cool and tough, but just under the surface of that hard exterior is a girl who had to fight tooth and nail to survive as a monster she never wanted to be. Kidnapped and turned vampire as a teenager, she never got the guidance she needed, the protection she deserved, and as reckless as it may seem, she has now pulled her best friend Leia into the midst of a world gone mad, determined to cling onto the last vestiges of humanity she has left.

As far as friendship goes, this story is built on the unshakable bond of these two girls, the devotion they have for each other, and the lengths they will go to protect one another. Neither can make the journey that needs to be made alone, and for readers, despite knowing that you would be first on the lunch menu if you ran into these two, you want to root for them anyway, because they deserve a nice warm meal.

With a twist and an ending that was unexpected, Nocturnal Blood is a hard hitter for the first book in a series, and makes it all the more difficult not to immediately pick up book two.

 

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Nocturnal Blood is a vampire novel that takes the genre back to it’s bloody beginnings. An unstoppable thirst for blood, an unshakable friendship between two young women, and a fight to save both of their lives. Not for the squeamish!

 

About the Author – 

Villimey

Villimey has always been fascinated by vampires and horror, ever since she watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula when she was a little, curious girl.
She loves to read and create stories that pop into her head unannounced.
She lives in Iceland with her husband and two cats, Skuggi and RoboCop, and is often busy drawing or watching the latest shows on Netflix.
You can find her on her Twitter or her Instagram.

 

Read and Review –

Goodreads.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

‘Behemoth’ by HP Newquist – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Charlie didn’t know how long he’d been asleep. Maybe minutes, maybe hours. It was very dark and so very cold. He awoke with a hazy start, thinking he heard screams – maybe Terry’s, maybe Kevin’s. His eyes fluttered open, and he called out. His voice was a croak, not even a whisper. “Terry? Kevin? Guys?”

No response. 

He’d been dreaming. From where he lay on the seat, Charlie could see stars twinkling through the open window. His brain was foggy from so much beer. He tried not to think of the pain in his arms and legs. 

They would be back soon. They promised. 

Charlie started to black out. As his eyes lids shut, he saw a tremendous hand, like a claw, reach into the car and grab his chest. It must be the paramedics, he thought dreamily. But where were the flashing lights? There were no ambulance lights. No sound. No sirens. 

He could feel his rescuers pulling him out of the car. He looked at them through blurring eyes that couldn’t focus. Their hands felt like talons. Their distorted faces looked like a horror movie monster peering in at him. 

This is going to be a fucked-up dream, Charlie told himself as he slid back towards sleep. 

He let out one last breath as the flesh was torn off his body. 

 

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Synopsis –

An unfortunate car accident involving three teenage boys outside the small and isolated town of Morris sets in motion a chain of events that turns journalist Robert Garrahan’s life upside down. Caught between helping a young girl and her mother in danger, and a religious prophecy that may be more true than he thought possible, Garrahan must find out as much as he can before Morris swallows him whole.

 

Thoughts –

Behemoth is the story of a small town called Morris that takes the phrase ‘living in the past’ to new lows. Starting off with an eerie bang introducing the reader to the dark mystery that is the monster, the Behemoth, a biblical creature that has a town wrapped around it’s talons, the story quickly takes a sharp turn from mystery to violence. Research is expected as the main protagonist of the story is the journalist Garrahan, and for the most part the balance of action and exposition is handled well, however at times, telling is prioritized over showing or simply progressing the story. Though time is constantly of the essence and the structure that so many of the citizens of Morris have lived under for so many decades it in danger of collapsing, our protagonist reads textbooks and diaries, his day to day life a dream of a memory. Given that the story unfolds over the course of a week at most, it felt distracting and pulled the reader away from the fear that should have emanated from the monster, a monster that by the end of the book feels less like a God and more like an unruly dog that no one has bothered to train.

Behemoth explores the infallibility of man and faith, and the lengths zealots will go to hold onto power. Doled out in the same meaty morsels that are fed to the creature in supplication, the story is one of cultish undertones, modern incredulity, and good old fashioned virgin sacrifice.

Suspension of disbelief is difficult to hold onto at times when a town hell bent on keeping their secrets and their unorthodox way of life hidden from the outside world at all costs, asks a newspaper editor wanted for possible murder and kidnap to research their entire history and help them cover up what could be a catastrophe. However the story is still enjoyable, there are scenes that make the skin crawl, that bring the terror of life in Morris to the forefront, though perhaps a few more would not have hurt.

 

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A monster of biblical proportions that brings out the worst in it’s worshipers, Behemoth will make you wonder about that strange town down the road and it’s even stranger inhabitants.

 

About the Author –

Newquist

HP Newquist’s books and articles have been published all over the world, and his writing has been translated into languages from kanji to farsi. Newquist’s books cover the same array of topics as his magazine articles, from brain science and space exploration to legendary guitarists and the strangeness of the Internet. To date, he has written over two dozen books. And he’s already committed to writing many more.

 

Read and Review –

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads.com

 

Do we need to bring back virgin sacrifice? Do you prefer to see the monster or keep it on the fringes of your vision? Let me know down below!