Hunter of the Dead – Stephen Kozeniewski
Return to a time where vampires don’t sparkle, but instead hunger for the life that flows through our veins. In Kozeniewski’s 5th novel, we enter a world that feels like Bram Stroker’s Dracula and Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D. A world where blood and gore are the clothes of the undead.
This story takes you back to the roots of vampirism, where gothic horror is the genre vampirism was meant to be. There is tons of blood, guts, and creepy night crawling things to keep you awake at night.
And…of course, there is the quintessential Kozeniewski character that keeps you smiling with his light and jokey remarks even in the face of battle. However, it was more subdued in this novel compared to his others.
I have nothing bad to say about this story. I found it entertaining, engrossing, disgusting, funny, and completely appropriate for the genre that it is meant to fit into. It was way more engaging than the original Dracula was, since that bored me to tears. And I think it is a perfect addition to the gothic horror genre and a refreshing throwback to the vampires of old.
However, please make note, while I keep referring to Dracula, this story is nothing like Dracula and is a complete and unique body of work. I only reference Dracula because that was one of the first gothic horror vampire novels.
If you’re a horror/vamp fan, then I only see one outcome, and that is you loving this story.
Synopsis: Someone has begun targeting vampires.
Vampire leaders of the thirteen Houses attribute the string of recent losses to over-zealous vampire hunters. Only Cicatrice, the most ancient and powerful vampire in the world, suspects that the semi-legendary Hunter of the Dead may be the real culprit.
Carter Price, a vampire hunter who despises the way his profession is becoming centralized and corporatized, begins to suspect the Hunter of the Dead is back, too – and no longer distinguishing between vampires and mortals. Against his better judgment, Price agrees to work with Cicatrice.
The uneasy allies attempt to uncover the truth about the Hunter, while a vampire civil war brews in the background. But perhaps most difficult of all, they must contend with their new apprentices, who seem to be falling in love with each other against every rule of man and monster…
The Man Behind the Book
Stephen Kozeniewski lives in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where, due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s is in German.
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*I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.