‘Rise of One’ by Dixon Reuel – Review

*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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The outbreak began in springtime rumors.

Then, the airways and cables of the world charted the outbreak and panic, as the disease overwhelmed every population. Bombs and walls of fire tried to contain it. Chemical purges charred cities indiscriminately. In all, Rise counted barely five months from the beginning of the outbreak until everything was stilled, from late spring to mid-autumn. A lone SOS in Morse code was the last they heard from the human race, before Rise and his coven packed away their broadcast equipment, their radio, computers, and TV, putting it all into the depths of the root cellar. He waited a further full month, October. Then, and only then, did Rise leave the house.

Synopsis –

A Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic tale about soulmate MM (male/male) romance with dark, esoteric themes.

Set in a zombie-ridden world packed with myth, vampires, and occult vengeance, Rise of One begins an epic new Paranormal saga, The Blood Brute Series, from award-winning Irish author & poet Dixon Reuel.

After a zombie apocalypse drives humanity to near-extinction, a vampire coven is one of the few peoples left alive, who’ve hidden from humans across all of history.

As Rise explores the world beyond Owl Court’s walls, tensions emerge among his fellow vampires and the rescued humans. A terrible fate unravels, revealing a society of vampires beyond what everybody at Owl Court had ever realized!

Thoughts –

A post apocalypse novel involving the threat of a zombie virus and the enticement of a vampire coven, Rise of One tells a now all too familiar story of isolation and being stuck inside. Set after a zombie apocalypse has over run the world, one small coven of vampires and their one human family member, must take risks to venture outside of their safe walls and attempt to rescue and obtain more human members. But the terrifying legends of old are still prominent in survivors minds and convincing these people to opt for one horror monster over another, is not as easy as they’d hoped.

A fresh take on the modern vampire, Dixon Reuel creates rich and compelling characters in a setting both alien and painfully close to home. Her vampire coven is a symbiotic family filled with love and disfunction, jealousies and betrayal. Dixon’s writing is descriptive and nuanced, and her representation of queer and diverse characters is strong and enticing.

With a twist at the end that I did not see coming, book one of the Blood Brute series is sure to have you waiting impatiently for the next in the series.

About the Author –

Eve is an award-winning author and poet, most notably being runner-up for The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award & winner of The Arts Council of Ireland’s writing residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

Rise of One is a finalist in The Wishing List Indie Book Awards and welcomed great NetGalley and Kirkus reviews. Eve holds a First in History & Early Irish Studies and another First in Creative Writing. She is a lifelong nerd and devoted hobbyist of cosplay, video games, and other surely worthwhile pursuits.

Learn more at dixonreuel.com

Read and Review –

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‘Nocturnal Farm’ by Villimey Mist – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given 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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My hands shake from holding the gun. Holding it brings back memories. The last time I held one, I shot a man in the thigh. I helped kill him.. It’s the same heaviness, the same stench of gunpowder in the air. There’s also the disgust at countless other people having touched this one with their dirty hands.

“You know you don’t have to do this,” Dad says.

I grip the handle tighter. “Yes, I do. I have to be prepared for anything.”

I hear a scream. My eyes dart around, but there are only my concerned father, with his hand stretched toward me, and my annoyed little brother, who has his arms crossed against the bitter cold. No one screamed. It was just a wraith from my haunting memories.

“You sound like one of those doomsday preppers,” Nathan says. “You know that, right? Are you gonna build a bunker in the woods?”

I shake my head and adjust my focus to the red-and-white circle fifteen feet away from me. They don’t know what I’ve been through. I have to be ready. Mom, Dad, and Nathan were safe because Sophie and I left Anchorage, but what if vampires come after more of my family? What if those nocturnal creatures ignore the pact? I can’t take that chance. I can’t tell my family what happened to me, but I can be prepared if all hell breaks loose.

Synopsis –

Leia Walker has been training to protect her family from vampires ever since her best friend died six months ago. That humans are disappearing all over Europe is a distant worry — Until her little brother goes to Amsterdam, meets a Sangue — a vampire familiar — and disappears.

Leia knows she can’t save him alone. To bring him home, she must take up arms with the Owls, a group of vampire hunters, without her vampire protectors or the Owls becoming aware of each other. Under Amsterdam’s streets, she discovers dark secrets, a vampire who is immune to sunlight, and a threat that turns humankind and vampires alike into feral killers.

Can Leia hold on to her belief that everybody can be saved while she fights to bring her brother home — Or will she end up as a human blood bag on the farms?

 

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Thoughts –

Nocturnal Farm, Book 2 in the Nocturnal Series by Villimey Mist, brings the story of Leia and her vampiric associates from Anchorage, Alaska, to the historic city of Amsterdam. Book 2 follows Leia as she attempts to find her brother, missing on a school trip to Europe, and she is convinced that he has somehow gotten himself involved with the vampires she was too afraid to tell him about, or possible kidnapped by a Sangue – a vampire familiar.

While the first book in the series was about the unshakable friendship between Leia and Sophie, book two gives a wider view of the vampire world, the myriad factions across the globe that fight for power, control, and to keep their citizens in check for the protection of the species. Leia’s love for her brother and her family is still present, but she is often distracted by the strangeness of this new city, and the increased opportunity to get herself in trouble. She seems to be breaking free from some of her anxious habits, but is still taken aback when a young vampire hunter actually starts to flirt with her. Could it be the start of a romance or is their world far too dangerous for that?

While the driving force of Sophie and Leia’s friendship was missing from this novel, it was still action packed. Travelling now with an immeasurably wealthy vampire elder and her vampire friend Kenji, there’s a lot more luxury as opposed to the bitter journey taken in the first book. The vampire universe of the Nocturnal series is expanded, and with it, the dangers and threats to the human race as well.

 

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It seems the more Leia learns, the more she has to fear, and with the bombshell ending of this book, book 3 is sure to be another whirlwind of emotion, blood, and shocking twists.

 

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 –

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‘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