Book: The Pining 2nd edition
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Publication date: October 17, 2016
Length: 210 pages
Reviewed by Morningstar
Kevin's life changed forever the day he awoke to the face of a man with dark eyes. One bite transformed him from an ordinary suburban kid into a master vampire's drone.
Now Kevin struggles to adjust to his new life. Against his master's wishes, he refuses to hunt humans, but he knows it's only a matter of time before he caves. The longer a person is a vampire, the more compliant they are to their master's will.
When Kevin is finally forced to hunt, he's kidnapped by vampire hunters. Rather than endure their severe torture, he agrees to help them kill his master. The hunters' plan goes horribly awry though, and they flee the scene with Kevin. But they have to devise a new strategy quick. The longer he's away from his master, the more painful his life becomes. He craves his master. He hungers for him. He pines for him. And as they get close to enacting their plan, Kevin isn't sure if he'll be able to follow through.
There are so many things that I loved about this story. Devon is one of those writer that is really great at bringing to life a cast of characters and emotions that leave you on the edge of your seat.
Kevin was a young vampire who had been struggling with the things he had to do to survive. He had this core strength that came through at every turn, one that made his life with his “Master” not very easy. There was a literal war going on inside him, one that got harder to fight as the time passed. I loved Dax right from the start; he was funny and goofy and came across so young and full of life, for a vampire. Alyssa, the partner vampire to the Master that these three vampires were under, was a sick and twisted character. I never knew when or if she was going to go off the wall, but all the same she intrigued me as much as she scared the crap out of me. As much as we didn’t get a great sense of who the “Master” was until more toward the end; what we did know was that he was stoic, evil, and strict; but just enough good that I was never sure if he was who Kevin should be with at the end. The twist - and man did that come from out of nowhere - toward the end was a huge piece of the puzzle for this character, one which I thought was pretty simple, but was actually not. I loved it!
In this world of vampire Masters and their drones, we also have vampire hunters and what vampire story is complete without them? Ride and Morgan are our hunters, and even as simple as that would seem, these two were as complex as the rest of the cast Devon brought to life for us. I was always a little bit curious about Ride, was he bad or good, did he care for Morgan, or was he just using him to cure his own loneliness in the world he lived in? Morgan was immature in a lot of ways, being deprived of an actual childhood can do that, but he also was going through such a struggle with no one there to help him out.
I loved the world that Devon created with all the Masters, and struggles, and Hunters, and love. The cast of characters were complex, but not confusing to grasp, the internal and emotional struggle that Kevin had went through nearly all the story. I loved Morgan and his whole story - that we eventually learn - especially his connection to Kevin which as small as it started, was clear to me from the start. There is nothing more than kisses throughout the story, but yet again, it was perfect just that way.
The whole thing was told from Kevin’s POV, and it was best that way. I literally growled when my kids would interrupt my reading time because I needed to know what was coming next. And being the nice author that Devon is, he gave us clues, unraveling one thread at a time, until the very end when it all came loose.
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