Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Icarus; The Kindred

Icarus; The Kindred
Icarus; The Kindred by J.S. Chancellor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Paranormal/Vampires Reading Level: Adult Available Currently Available from Rhemalda Publishers

Disclosure: I picked up a free eBook copy of this from Amazon after being informed of the sale by the publisher; there was no obligation, but I’m happy to provide an honest review.

Synopsis: Don t get me wrong; immortality does have its perks. Take dieting for example: kind of hard to do when you’ve only got two choices: fresh blood and slightly less fresh blood. The media makes it all out to be glamorous. Romantic, even. But the books, movies and witty television shows have it wrong. Especially the ones that make a big to-do about not being wrong (you know, the ones that spell vampire Vampyr, like it's original). And don’t think for a second that I was turned in some amazing, soul-binding, body-meshing way either. I don’t think my libido is damaged enough to forget that kind of rendezvous. Though, to be honest, I don’t recall anything about it. As soon as you’re turned, as soon as anyone is turned, the powers that be rush in like witness protection agents and whisk you off, never to see your family or friends again. Your life changes in ways you never imagined that it could. Like the fact that I was kidnapped last night.

Totally didn’t see that coming. Not being the Covenant-level assassin that I am (did I mention that already? I didn’t get much of a choice in that either: the profession I mean). Oh, and get this: the creeps who grabbed me claim that my mentor/should-have-kept-it-professional boyfriend Trinity is the vampire equivalent to the anti-Christ. Nice. And to think it's only Tuesday. But wait, it gets better.

See, there is one fact about vampirism that everyone gets correct: our bodies can’t biologically process natural light. Past that, all I know is that if I don’t partake of my usual dose of Icarus every seven days (provided via injection by the powers that be), I’ll lose my existence as I know it. It allows me to bask in the sunlight, keeps us from exploding into flames, and I’ve heard rumors that it's what makes us immortal. You know, little things. Now, since Head Creep removed the dosing disc from my arm, whether I had anything to do with it or not, I’m guilty of betraying High Coven. This fact not only sucks (pun intended), it means I’ve been condemned to death. An assassin condemned to death. Seems like kind of shitty deal if you ask me. I don’t care that Head Creep is hot enough that he gives Christian Bale a run for his money. He claims that Icarus is part of some massive conspiracy, that vampires are a perverse mutation of beings from another universe, and that Trinity (along with some dark army he 's supposedly in charge of) plans to exterminate the human race. Of course, he says this will occur in less than a week. And damn, wouldn’t you know he’d kidnap me on day six of my dose

My Thoughts: Having loved everything I’ve read from the very talented Ms. Chancellor, I was very excited to see what she did with vampires. I’ve already loved what she has done with angels and with faeries, so hopefully next it’ll be something like werewolves or zombies? I guess only time will tell.

Anyway, I’ve seen other reviewers comment on how Chancellor took a tired idea and gave it new life; this is indeed what she has done. These are not your parents’ vampires. Of course, I had to laugh about her claims of being old because The Lost Boys was out when she was in junior high... JUNIOR HIGH?? *laughs* I was in college when The Lost Boys (still one of my favorite “horror” vampire movies) came out.

I have to tell you, this was a really awesome book. The characters were all great – truly multi-faceted, hard to tell if we were really seeing the reality behind any of them through a lot of the book. In addition, some of them made some rather dramatic turnarounds. I loved the character of Tristan – yeah, he was the Big Bad through most of the book, but he was an interesting character. I also loved little Lucan, as little as he turned up – he was awesome. Quinn and Blake were neat as well, and I would have loved to have learned more about them. In fact, I’m sort of hoping that Chancellor continues this story, as I think there is more to tell. Things were left a bit up in the air.

There are some really great lines in this book. How about: The movies, television shows and novels have it wrong about us. Especially those bright stars who make a big to-do about not being wrong (you know, the ones who spell vampire Vampyr, as if that’s really original). They make being Kindred sound glamorous and romantic. Like all we do is drink blood and sit around discussing existentialism while wearing gothic garb and looking unnaturally beautiful. Another one I loved was Stop smiling like a cat with a fish-flavored arsehole. My cat enjoyed that one, too, especially the possibilities it raised.

I guess what I’ve been trying to say with all this gushing is that you need to read this book. You need to get this book and read this book – it is a completely new and different take on vampires, fresh and authentic, and just as beautifully written as all of Chancellor’s books have been. Very highly recommended for all who love a good fantastical story.

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