This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, L.D. Rose. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Black Bullet by L.D. Rose
Series: The Order of The Senary #2
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Source: Author, L.D. Rose
Purchase at: Amazon
Fledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.
Not even his past life as a former Marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.
After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who've wronged her, including every member of Jon's vampire bloodline. But Jon's soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.
As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear--
Graphic, intense, and action-packed! Dang! This story started off with a bang! This novel starts the story off with events that shaped the main characters. There are transitions between past and present and it is through these transitions that we understand the history that has brought the characters of this installment to the point that they are at. It is also where we are first introduced to Lawan Knight. We are able to learn about the catalyst that has turned her into the hybrid we know today. Let me just tell you that those scenes with Lawan were, as a woman, horrific and nightmare inducing. They made me cringe and shudder with horror!
The setting for this story is in a dystopic New York City. Over fifty years have passed since the Insurgency where the Vampires crawled out of the shadows and started a hostile takeover. Most of Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and all of Staten Island and New Jersey had been taken over. Millions of people had been killed as food and for fun and now human beings are an endangered species. The Temhota are the largest vampire army that residing in NYC.
The order of the Senary are a covert order that are a branch of the United States government tasked with the goal of keeping the vampires from spreading. The order is comprised of hybrids. Hybrids are being that were created as an experimental merging of human and other. Many of these hybrids has special skills like pyrokinesis, psychic capability, shape-shifting and more.
Jon once a human man was mortally wounded at the end of book one but his human mind and soul was bound inside a fledgling vampire hybrid and unbeknownst to others he was not bound alone. Jon who hates vampires is not thrilled about what he wakes up as. He has anger towards Rome and Shaul who were responsible for his binding. Accepting of his responsibility within the order Jon goes about life killing vampires. Unfortunately, there is also a presence within his mind that he is able to dismisses that is until he meets Lawan Knight. From the moment she leaps onto the pages Lawan has Jon fascinated and the voice within his head also starts to take a greater role.
Lawan Knight is a female hybrid, a rarity as all the other female hybrids had been exterminated. Not only is she the only known female but she has a special ability that makes her a prized possession in the wrong hands. Having been the victim of countless horrors at the hands of the Gemini Twins, Regin and Taylon Ramsden, Lawan lives for only two things revenge and intoxication. She is a complete badass! Taylon had been essentially killed in the previous book only Regin remains and it is for him that Lawan hunts.
I loved the struggle that takes place within Jon. It adds such an interesting twist to the overall plot. In the beginning you dismiss the thoughts that he has as just that, thoughts, but once the nightmares and clear voice starts to come through it adds a “what the hell” element. It adds a creepy vibe to every interaction between Lawan and Jon. It is also a secret that Jon guards closely. Love it!
What I loved about this story was that it brought me in from the start. The writing is fantastic. Every emotional high and low that the Author intended was spot on. I felt a variety of emotions coursing through my body while reading this book. The vampires are definitely the villains and Regin is the biggest villain of them all. His character is one that you can absolutely feel yourself hating. The pacing was fast and the action kept you on the edge of your seat. I found the relationship that developed between Lawan and Jon to be believable. There is not what I would call a romance between these two characters but there is an attraction that leads to some pretty hot sexy times. I liked that the Author developed the attraction the way she did, given Lawan’s experiences anything different would have taken away from the story and made it a bit of an eye-roller.
What do I wish was different? Hmmm, maybe “different” is not the correct term, more what do I wish had been better developed? The supporting characters. I enjoyed every single member of the Order and they were developed but they all had a “lone ranger” feel about them and I wish that we would have been able to see more of them in action. They were a team and acted as one but there were some characters that felt like strangers even within the team and that took away the cohesive feeling for me.
The ending is very satisfying and I think it is very appropriate. I can say that I enjoyed every minute of this story and although some of the scenes made my stomach a bit nauseous I still found the writing fascinating. Can this book be read as a standalone? Yes, the Author does a great job in the beginning of bringing you current from the events of the previous book. If you read them in order it would make the characters and premise more familiar but I was able to pick up what I needed to from this book. If you enjoy dystopian fantasies, don’t mind gore and can live with vampires being true villains then I highly recommend this book to you!
*Thank you to Author L.D. Rose for this eARC of Black Bullet*