Those Who Hunt The Night (James Asher #1) by Barbara Hambly

Vampires have been living in London since the time of Elizabeth I. For now they have lived in relative peace but now some are being ruthlessly murdered; their coffins opened to the daylight that bring instant death. No vampire known can stand the sunlight to try and catch the killer so they are forced to turn to a mortal individual for help.

Enter James Asher – one time spy and now professor of languages. He returns home to find his wife in a kind of stupor and a strange guest waiting for him. Don Simon Ysidro is one of the oldest vampires, and while he is polite he leaves no doubt as to how powerful he is. Were they to flee, Simon would have little problem finding her and so Asher must reluctantly agree to assist.

However, Asher has strong doubts. Should he find the killer, what then? Now that he knew the truth about vampire, they surely wouldn’t let him live. Would they?

Those Who Hunt The Night is a book that harkens back to the original vampire stories. These vampires are not romantic, they are not moody pseudo-teenagers brooding about. These vampire are monsters and Hambly writes them exceptionally well.

With a story that evokes the feel of the horror of darker days, Hambly takes us on a meandering yet exciting ride from start to finish. I was especially surprised with the ending and who the actual perpetrator was. Looking back, one can see how clues were sprinkled through the narrative that eventually leads to the final reveal.

While some readers might find the book slow, I found it almost reminiscent of some of the vampires in the story. Like many of them, there is something to be said about enjoying the journey regardless of the destination. Vampires have nothing but time.

Readers who enjoy old school type horror novels will likely enjoy Those Who Hunt The Night. Being a fan myself, I did and look forward to reading the next book.

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne

To the casual observer, Atticus O’Sullivan looks like nothing more than your average twenty something tattooed Irish lad. Add a few zeroes to the end of his age and one will come closer to the truth – Atticus is actually twenty one centuries old. For the past few years he’s lived happily enough; he owns his own occult bookstore in Arizona and in his spare time shape shifts to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. Atticus is the last of the druids and the owner of the magical blade Fragarach – the Answerer.

Unfortunately, there are those who want the sword for themselves – one particular Celtic god has been trying to get it from Atticus for untold years. Now he’s on the verge of achieving his goal and getting his hands on the blade he’s coveted for years. Atticus, however, is not willing to give up the sword without a fight and he’s going to need all the help he can get from his friends to hang on to it.

Hounded was one of those books I saw mentioned on another website (this time Tumblr) and it immediately caught my eye. So of course I borrowed it from my local library and added it to my current queue.

Hounded reminds me a great deal of the early Dresden Files books. Our sometimes questionable hero is quick witted and funny, taking things serious but not too seriously. He is immensely likable. It’s little wonder the ladies’ in the books pages are drawn to him.

Hearne definitely did his research when writing Hounded because Celtic myth and mythos abound within the pages as well as mention of other belief systems. The subject is handled well without being too preachy about which one is “best” – though Atticus obviously has his favorite.

There were a few instances where the action was a little over the top but its easily forgivable. Overall, I thought Hounded was wonderfully well written. Fast paced and funny, I recommend it to any one who enjoys Joss Whedon or Jim Butcher. I’ve already gotten the next book in the series and cannot wait to read it!