Betrayed by one of her own and turned into a vampire, hunter Eve is consumed by her hunger for vengeance and has spent five years surviving hell, driven to take the life of the man she once loved. But just as she is about to close in on the hunter-turned-vampire, an event is set in motion that threatens to see him slip beyond her grasp forever—the leader of her bloodline has sent an escort to bring her to the family’s mansion. To a nest of the very creatures she once hunted and loathes.
A vampire assassin hardened by centuries of service, Tor is a man of discipline and loyalty, never straying from his mission or the rules set out for him, and has purged all his weaknesses, including his emotions.
But the moment he meets the broken, fiery female he is to escort to Oslo, something dangerous awakens in him, something possessive and powerful, and when he is pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who betrayed her, Tor discovers he will do anything to protect the woman slowly claiming his heart and give her the vengeance she desires—even break all the rules.
Can Eve embrace her new vampire nature in order to have her revenge and find a reason to live again in Tor? Can Tor and Eve stop the man who betrayed her and the deaths of thousands of innocents? Or will he succeed in creating a new army of hybrid vampires who will rise up against the purebloods?
Eve is a newly turned vampire who’s more than a little bit pissed at that revelation—given that she’s a former hunter of vampires. Add that with the fact that her old lover is trying to kill her and her newly found father is trying to influence her behavior by getting her to accept that she’s a pureblood vampire now—and then throw in a hulking, dark, vampire guard, and you have Hunger.
Hunger by Felicity Heaton is the eighth in her Vampires Realm series, and I will preface by saying that it is the first that I have read of that series. That being said, I’m a pretty huge fan of vampire fiction, though I generally like it a little closer to horror, a little less closer to romance. I also think that this novel holds up perfectly well on its own, so though I believe it would enhance the immersion to know more about the overall world (or, more importantly, the characters within it) I don’t think you’ll be left behind if you start here.
Because this is so far along in the series, I feel compelled to note that Heaton does a great job at bringing the reader up to speed. There wasn’t ever a point in the novel that I didn’t understand what was going on. Is there much that’s already happened that might have helped out with the story in general? Probably, but a story should be able to work on its own, especially for this genre where readers are very likely to pick up a book in a series (especially a long series) at random and start reading, and I think Hunger does a good job of telling its own story.
What’s fun about this story is how quickly Heaton gets into the action—you feel almost immediately propelled along in this world where everything is dangerous and pretty much everyone is trying to kill someone. Because of this, the pacing was rather great; the story happens rather quickly so there aren’t many opportunities for lagging—time is just moving too quickly for that. I also really enjoyed how conflicted Eve is about her newly found vampire life. It’s great to watch a character struggle through change—especially when it’s in the arms of a sexy man.
I also really enjoyed the class wars that seem to be prevalent throughout this world. Tor, the main love interest, is a hunter, which barely puts him above a servant to the pureblood vampires. And now Eve, the newly appointed “Chosen Daughter,” is of that ilk (she was a hunter as a human); it’s nice to see how things work themselves out between an upper class (no matter how much she might resent that) woman and a lower class man. It’s this kind of story developments that bring the realities of the world that Eve and Tor live in to life and makes for a more compelling read.
Aside from the action, the story is really introspective. I felt like I got to know Eve and Tor separately, rather than being able to watch them develop their relationship naturally through dialogue. Because so much of what happens to them seems to be instinctually driven, the dialogue seems to be placed second to the internal monologues. Overall, I wish there were more opportunities for the main characters to talk with each other—to really work out the how and why together, rather than how everything seems to happen (for the majority) inside of their heads. It would have made the quick development of Eve and Tor’s relationship a lot easier to buy into.
I also wish Adam, the antagonist, was a little more rounded. It was hard to get a sense of his character because he was pretty much portrayed as just being a “bastard.” I am assuming that if you’ve read the previous novels you have a better idea of where he’s come from and why he’s capable of doing what he does, but it would have been nicer to get a better idea of that in this novel.
This was a smartly paced, quick read that fans of vampire romance are sure to enjoy sinking their teeth into. If you’re looking for somewhat brooding, dark, and handsome vampires, mixed with plenty of danger and daring, then this is your book—it’s a little mystery, a little action, and a little romance all rolled into one.