5 * Book review of BLOODWALKER by L.X. Cain
Lightning flashes. Another child disappears… Zorka Circus’s big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish. Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks-they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders. Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast. When more bodies turn up, the killer’s trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues-even if they lead to something unimaginable…
* I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review. *
Since I’m known for doing book reviews, I get approached all the time by authors begging me to read and review their books. I generally ignore them, as I already have plenty of books on my kindle to read. But I must have been in a mood for a good horror story, and the blurb sounded intriguing, so I agreed. And I’m glad I did.
The story takes place in Hungary, and it drew me in from the very beginning as we’re introduced to Rurik, who’s skulking around an abandoned train station, spying on children playing where they shouldn’t be. Rurik is Chief of Security for Zorka’s Circus, and everywhere the circus goes, children start disappearing. Rurik is trying to track down a mysterious person dressed in an old-fashioned clown suit. Why is he abducting children, and where are their bodies?
I really enjoyed the fact this story took place in Hungary and Romania. The story is broken into chapters that shift between Rurik and Sylvie. Sylvie comes from a small town in Romania where her mother is a Bloodwalker, and she has been trained to be one too. Each of her chapters start with an excerpt from The Bloodwalker’s Book, which gives a feeling of authenticity to the story. I even did a Google search to see if Romania Bloodwalkers were real, or at least, in the past. One of the tips from The Bloodwalker’s Book is to pour a thin line of honey around the corpse, so the lice leaving the dead body will get trapped, instead of infesting the Bloodwalker. Gruesome, but effective. I looked as forward to reading these little fun facts as I did the actual story.
This tale is fast-paced, gripping, and heart-pounding in places. It’s one of those sit-on-the-edge of your seat and can’t-read-it-fast-enough type books. The characters are well-defined and developed, and I wanted there to be a HEA for Rurik and Sylvie. But could there ever be? That’s one question we’re left to ponder at the end. After all, she’s a Bloodwalker, and we all know what happens to them . . . eventually.
I also love L.X. Cain’s writing. She uses such descriptive imagery without it being boring or slowing down the pace of the story. ‘Example – The Russian woman could be waiting to catch her, like some nasty old spider lurking in a web. It really puts you in the mood of the story.
My one complaint is the ending. I was totally caught up in the book until the end and the final confrontation. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I felt there were way to many of Them not to have been noticed before. And what about all the children they needed to live? Someone would have noticed something was amiss. It just seemed too contrived. For me, it was unsatisfactory.
Don’t get me wrong, what they fought against was quite evil and gruesome, and I wouldn’t want to meet one at night. No Way! But, I still felt disappointed.
The cover is awesome, the characters were likable and relatable, and the plot was somewhat lacking. I give it 4.5 feathers, rounded up to 5. If you’re looking for a refreshing change in horror, and love a good monster book, this will be right up your alley. I highly recommend it.