Posted on June 16, 2009 by Matt-M-McElroy
The latest book in the ongoing saga of vampire hunter Laura Caxton, 23 Hours details the most harrowing and dangerous battle yet. Laura has to not only deal with savage vampires and the violent “half-deads” that serve them…she has to do it with almost no weapons, no back-up and an ever dwindling time-line.
While this book does change in scene from the previous books, Laura still gets to hunt vampires while outgunned and lost in the dark. This time she is confined to a maximum security prison that has been overrun by the monsters. She hardly has any weapons and no communication with the outside world. To make things more interesting, she made “friends” with some very nasty inmates early on the story…naturally, they are on the loose as well during the battle and they don’t want to make things any easier for Laura or her allies.
The action keeps going in this volume, even more than the previous book, Vampire Zero. In that book readers got to know a few new characters and learn a little more history regarding Jameson Arkely and his family. In this book Laura has to keep moving and keep fighting pretty much non-stop. She is on a deadline (hence the title) but she never knows just who or what is going to be waiting around the corner.
The primary antagonist in this story is Justina Malvern, the old hag of vampire who has been around since the very beginning of the series. This time she has consumed enough blood to be mobile and no longer needs to be carried around by younger vampires. This makes for a very, very dangerous opponent. She does have several half-deads and even turns a couple of hard-core prison inmates into vampires early on in the story. I don’t want to spoil very much, but some of these folks are very, very nasty.
The book ends on a massive cliff-hanger that had me slightly frustrated (I want to know what happens next) and somewhat happy at the same time (hey, we get another book!). Laura’s adventures are not over and she has a little more hunting yet to do.
So, if you are looking for a violent, bloody vampire hunting tale, this series is worth the investment. I’d highly recommend starting with 13 Bullets and working your way through them. You certainly can read this book as a stand alone tale, but you’ll miss out on the personal history between Laura and Malvern that gets deeper throughout the story.
Review by Matt M McElroy