A Blood and Bone Novel
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Length: 260 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Agent Luke Bennett proved that humans could rise just as high in the ranks as their vampire colleagues—until a kidnapper held him captive for a year and turned him without his consent.
Now he’s Took: a reluctant monster afraid to bite anyone, broke, and about to be discharged from his elite BITERs unit.
When an old colleague suggests he consult on a BITERs case, Took has little to lose. The case is open and shut… but nothing is ever that easy. As he digs deeper, he discovers a lot more than one cold case is at stake, and if he wants to solve this one, he’ll need the help of the BITERs team. Even if that brings his old commander, Madoc, back into his life.
Luke Bennett endured a year of torture and pain that left him dead—literally. Now a vampire or Anakim as they are known, Luke cannot bear to remember who he once was and has taken the name Took –a rather obvious reflection of being taken against his will. He lives in fear of being snatched again and, while he has gone to every scheduled counseling session and has yet to pass muster, he still doesn’t remember much of his lost year in captivity. But one thing that hasn’t changed for Took is the fact that he is till part of the BITER’s unit and when an old colleague recommends him as the investigator to dig into a closed BITER case he accepts.
What should have been a hopeless cause, getting a mass murdered out of the prison called The Salt before he is executed, turns into a dangerous task, one that will bring Took back into contact with his old supervisor, Madoc. Working together they must untangle a deep and twisting trail of clues that will lead them into danger and force them to acknowledge what Took has been avoiding—an attraction to each other that runs hot and fierce.
Please forgive my sketchy summary of the incredibly complex new novel by author T.A. Moore entitled, Dead Man Stalking. It also appears this one will begin a new series so realize that the novel in hand is not going to answer all your burning questions or necessarily tie up all the many plot lines it opens. I am in awe of Moore’s ability to build such a complex new world along side what amounts to a mere glimpse at the lives of a few characters who make this book so interesting. To say that Took (aka Luke) and Madoc have backstories that are just barely scratched at is a real understatement. I think their life histories could fill at least two more novels. For that idea alone I am eager to read the next book to come out in this series. Took and Madoc are intense together and every little drop of information about them was intriguing to read. I kind of live in fear of the idea that T.A. Moore will give us more background on Took’s year in captivity—what little we get in this story was just horrible to think about and made me want to protect poor Took from ever being hurt again.
Unfortunately the one thing that was so interesting about this novel was also the element that often left me a bit confused and that would be this new paranormal world the author has created. It felt as though each chapter brought with it more information that was just skimmed over—never really unpacked or explained but given just enough page time to make us aware and little else. From the various types of beings that inhabit this new world to the differing levels of abilites amongst the vampire race, I was constantly trying to keep track of what different species were and how they mixed into this new society.
For instance both Took and Madoc were vampires but Took was called an anakim and Madoc was a cardinal. Alongside them were dhampirs, boyars and more—all were some type of vampire. This differentiation was due not only to the number of years they were vamps and how they were turned but also it defined their abilities and status. Then there were other species such as Hounds, Lycanthropes, and Goats which I still am not sure about. It felt as though there was this constant glut of world building and paranormal reveals that often left my head spinning with more new information. For me, it was just hard to keep track and I must admit I wished for a glossary explaining all the various species.
Overall, however, this was a small annoyance when compared to a story that was incredibly fascinating, fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to reading more in this series and learning about this amazing world T.A. Moore has built for us. Dead Man Stalking gets a definite thumbs up from me.
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