Category Archives: Katie Salidas

Review: “Hunters & Prey” by Katie Salidas

Hunters & Prey (Immortalis #2) by Katie Salidas


The exciting sequel to Immortalis Carpe Noctem.

Rule number one: humans and vampires don’t co-exist. One is the hunter and one is the prey. Simple, right? Not for newly-turned vampire Alyssa. A surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the human friend she’s missed more than anything. Now she has some explaining to do. However, that will have to wait. With the Acta Sanctorum hot on their heels, staying alive is more important than educating a human on the finer points of bloodlust.




Details:
Kindle Edition
Published November 23rd 2010 by Rising Sign Books
ASIN#: B004DNWEGS


My rating:

Read: 25 June 2011

Whilst definitely better than the first book, Alyssa’s actions are the main reason for my low rating.

Alyssa is incredibly selfish and stubborn, believing she is right and the 2000 year old vampires are always wrong. She doesn’t listen, she doesn’t care about her own safety until her life’s flashing before her eyes. She involves others, namely her best friend Fallon from her former, human life despite knowing there would be serious consequences from being warned enough times to never reveal who she is to any human or show herself to anyone from her human life.

Alyssa deserved a severe punishment for her reckless disregard for the rules but when it came down to meting it out Lysander backed down. I couldn’t believe it! Alyssa’s begging and whining reminded me of a two-year-old child who didn’t know when to let it go all ready. Despite her behaviour, in the end she was rewarded for the trouble she’d caused and the danger she’d put everyone in. Fallon should’ve run from Alyssa and the others after everything they’d put her through. I couldn’t understand why she’d stayed. There doesn’t seem to be much between Fallon and Alyssa other than that they say they’re friends -we don’t know why or how they’re so close.

I believe it’s the same with Lysander and Alyssa. I kept waiting for him to wake up and behead Alyssa. Sex must’ve addled his brain. She’s not worth the pain and suffering she causes. At least she’s going to be trained to act like a soldier now, and Nicholas is not the soft touch Lysander is. I hope he beats the selfish, cocky attitude out of her and drums some common sense into her obviously empty head.

Again, Santino, the villain of the piece, was the character I liked the most. If only he’d killed Alyssa at the beginning when he had the chance. Unable to think rationally before she acted annoyed the hell out of me and completely ruined my ability to gain any enjoyment from this book.

*Although this was a free e-book from the author this did not impact on my rating or review.

View all my reviews


Series Reading Order:

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Immortalis, #1) Hunters & Prey (Immortalis, #2)  Pandora's Box (Immortalis, #3)

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Review: “Immortalis Carpe Noctem” by Katie Salidas

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Immortalis #1) by Katie Salidas

Explore the emotional upheaval that is the transformation from human to vampire.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by the cold and aloof, vampire, Lysander. Taking pity on her, he shares the gift-and curse-of immortality. She awakens as a vampire and is soon devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: An unyielding thirst for blood as well as the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.

As if having her humanity stripped away was not enough to make life interesting, Alyssa finds out her “turning”, did not go unnoticed by the rest of undead society. Old enemies; an ancient sect of vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, as well as a powerful Vampire mistress, each set plans in motion to destroy both Alyssa and Lysander.

Only by accepting her new-found immortality, seizing the night, will Alyssa hope to survive. She and Lysander must fight together against two sets of enemies bent on destroying them both.


Details:
Kindle Edition
Published March 2nd 2010 by Rising Sign Books
ASIN#: B003AYF3NW


My rating:

Read: 12 June 2011

I’m going to be honest, the first 30% was 1 star. I struggled against the awkwardness of the writing and really wanted to put it down and read other things especially when Lysander, the 2000-year-old vampire and leading man, openly admitted to his newly sired vampire child that he’d watched with curiosity while she was tortured, almost raped and about to be dealt a death blow.

‘I regret that my fascination with the brutality of their attack prevented me from stopping them before they had done too much damage.[…] She was an innocent. A young woman. Too young to die.’ ~An excerpt from Lysander’s journal.

He only stepped in once she’d been stabbed and lay badly beaten waiting to be raped and murdered. I think in all the time he’d been alive he’d seen women beaten, stabbed and possibly raped before -why would he be curious about it now? Had he no feelings about it at all? I understand he was disconnected from the world but that stuck with me through the whole thing.

Anyway, after that first third of the book, the writing changed, new characters were introduced. The book lost that cabin-fever feeling with both Lysander and Alyssa getting at each other’s throats and avoiding embarrassing lust-filled moments with only moderate success. The visiting clan of vampires brought with it 3 characters which made a true impact on Alyssa and the story: Jessie, Rozaline and Crystal. Jessie as the reckless youth and the others as wise elders.

Alyssa struggles with her new life as a monster killing people every night to survive. She even tries blood from a butcher which proved she had to have fresh blood from the living. She can’t stand Lysander being right all the time and ignores his warning: “Immortality does not mean invincibility” defies him and follows another vampire’s example leading to an unintentional death which preyed on her conscience because he was innocent and she meant to only kill criminals just as Lysander does.

Longing for her old life Alyssa imagines telling her best friend Fallon what she is and ‘That I must feed every night, and because of that, I choose to feed from those who do harm to others? Even to myself, it sounded stupid. I sounded like some bastardized superhero.’ I like how this was addressed because that’s exactly how it sounds.

The adversary, Kallisto, was a woman scorned and we all know how that works. She’s Lysnader’s ex and believes herself worthy of worship and unending fealty as a sort-of queen of the vampires, as one of the eldest in existence. She’s power-mad, selfish and cruel. No one matters but her own needs and survival. Lysander was her former king and mate though she never let him go, he walked away. She’s given him every chance to re-join her and now she wants him dead because if she can’t have him, no one can.

The people to be even more afraid of were the Saints, men of the Roman Catholic Church who came together to specifically hunt vampires. They even turned a dying warrior, Santino, into the very thing they condemned in order to kill more vampires, promising automatic entry into Heaven. He fails to acknowledge that lie, no matter how many times Lysander presents him with it:

“I know the commandments you are supposed to live by. There is no fine print in ‘Thou shall not kill’.”

The love or rather lust-becoming-more was borne out of a lack of other options, for Lysander in particular. I couldn’t understand what he saw in 25-year-old Alyssa other than her youth and beauty. For Alyssa, on the other hand, she was presented with a knowledgeable older man who obviously wasn’t hurting for money -that much was clear when their financial situation was contrasted with the gyspy-like travelling vampires. Of course, she would be infatuated by him, he was her teacher. He had power and authority over her. Her forgiveness of his hesitation to save her life at the beginning came too easily and quickly. It was brushed aside as something that didn’t matter. No grudge, no fights over it. No disgust. Unrealistic.

I was surprised by Edmond’s actions towards the end, honourable though they were. He worshipped Kallisto but he meant nothing to her which she delighted in telling Alyssa with Edmond in the room. I’m not sure how Lysander trusted what he claimed when he divulged the whereabouts of his life work and I’m unsure of what Edmond had ever really done to Lysander to provoke the death sentence he demanded but I found myself liking Edmond’s character much more than Lysander.

Overall, I’m not particularly fond of the main characters. I liked the travelling vampires, Kallisto, Santino and Edmond. The writing was shaky and awkward to start with but improved as the author seemed to gain confidence in what she was doing, and the book became more interesting as a result.

*Although this was a free e-book from the author this did not impact on my rating or review.

View all my reviews


Related posts:
Steph’s review of “Immortalis Carpe Noctem” by Katie Salidas

Review: “Hunters & Prey” by Katie Salidas

Hunters & Prey (Immortalis #2) by Katie Salidas


The exciting sequel to Immortalis Carpe Noctem.

Rule number one: humans and vampires don’t co-exist. One is the hunter and one is the prey. Simple, right? Not for newly-turned vampire Alyssa. A surprise confrontation with Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter, sends her fleeing back to the world she once knew, and Fallon, the human friend she’s missed more than anything. Now she has some explaining to do. However, that will have to wait. With the Acta Sanctorum hot on their heels, staying alive is more important than educating a human on the finer points of bloodlust.




Details:
Kindle Edition
Published November 23rd 2010 by Rising Sign Books
ASIN#: B004DNWEGS


My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Read: 8 June 2011

Hunters & Prey picks up (we have to assume) shortly after Immortalis Carpe Noctem left off ~ Post-Kallisto & Acta Sanctorum-battle with Alyssa continuing to struggle between her need for blood and having to kill her victims to keep her existence a secret.

Alyssa, while being followed by someone her clan isn’t even sure is alive, seeks shelter in a cafe where she runs into her best friend, Fallon. Fallon hasn’t seen Alyssa in a while. Once she starts asking questions she shouldn’t know the answer to she finds herself sucked into a world she didn’t know existed.

I rated this book of the Immortalis series 1/2 a ★ higher than the first. For me, this series takes me back to some of the first vampire novels I read where vamps don’t sparkle, they kill. The world Katie creates for us with this series is dark and, you’re not being paranoid, there are people after you. I enjoyed the twist of fate for Santino Vitale, the Acta Sanctorum’s most fearsome hunter. He continues to be a favorite character of mine. For those reasons, I found this books slightly more enjoyable than the first.

However, there are a few things that didn’t work for me. The first is an issue that I battle with when reading many “they don’t know we exist” paranormal/UF books. Some characters seem to be awfully accepting once they discover the things they feared in the dark really do exist. While I have no idea how I’d accept something similar and admit it must be hard to write about such an experience, I don’t always find the character’s reactions or acceptance believable. That aside, Fallon is a likable character and I’ll be interested to see how their friendship changes in future books in the series. The second issue I have is while Alyssa is trying to find a way to feed without killing, she continues to feast on those that “are criminals”. But, does she have much to back that up before diggin’ in? I don’t think so. She doesn’t want to kill humans, but doesn’t mind chompin’ down on someone she thinks is about to or has committed a criminal act. I’m hoping to see some growth in Alyssa’s character in the next book. Time to put her big girl britches on.

I will continue on with the series to see if she does just that. Book #3, Pandora’s Box, is expected 12 July 2011.


Series Reading Order:

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Immortalis, #1) Hunters & Prey (Immortalis, #2)  Pandora's Box (Immortalis, #3)

**Review also posted @ Smashwords

Review: “Immortalis Carpe Noctem” by Katie Salidas

Immortalis Carpe Noctem (Immortalis #1) by Katie Salidas

Explore the emotional upheaval that is the transformation from human to vampire.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by the cold and aloof, vampire, Lysander. Taking pity on her, he shares the gift-and curse-of immortality. She awakens as a vampire and is soon devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: An unyielding thirst for blood as well as the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.

As if having her humanity stripped away was not enough to make life interesting, Alyssa finds out her “turning”, did not go unnoticed by the rest of undead society. Old enemies; an ancient sect of vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, as well as a powerful Vampire mistress, each set plans in motion to destroy both Alyssa and Lysander.

Only by accepting her new-found immortality, seizing the night, will Alyssa hope to survive. She and Lysander must fight together against two sets of enemies bent on destroying them both.


Details:
Kindle Edition
Published March 2nd 2010 by Rising Sign Books
ASIN#: B003AYF3NW


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read: 21 May 2011

Immortalis Carpe Noctem was a dark introduction into the life and struggles of twenty-five year old, Alyssa. While walking home one night she’s brutally attacked and on the verge of death when Lysander saves her.

Lysander is an ancient vampire and he saves her by turning her. He “knew she was far too injured to survive if {he} left her. {His} sloth in attacking [the men that attacked her] would be the cause of her innocent death, and {he} couldn’t allow it. She did not deserve death, so {he} granted her immortality.”

While she struggles to learn about the life she’s been brought into, she also begins to fall for Lysander. When she initially tries to act on her feelings, he pushes her away. Not because he’s not attracted to her, but because “everyone {he} cares for -everyone {he} brings into this life- dies.”

The struggles she faces while adjusting to the need to drink blood, the smells and pulses of the humans around her were very well written. Taking a life for blood isn’t something Alyssa’s comfortable with having to do. But, she knows it’s required to survive. She slowly uses it to take down those that would do others harm.

The definition of the title ~ Immortalis (Latin) immortal| not subject to death; eternal| everlasting| perpetual; imperishable ~ Carpe Noctem seize the night ~ explains exactly what Alyssa’s trying to do … adjust to her life as a vampire while seizing the night.

While her story is interesting, there were times where I felt she was a bit of a Wendy Whiner, but who knows how you’d react in her position. Hard to say. I really enjoyed the journals Lysander kept throughout his immortal life. I have no doubt I would do something similar in that case. What a great way to track what could be a very long and interesting lifetime.

I enjoyed learning about the history of Lysander’s family and the battle with the Acta Sanctorum – the ‘Saints’. “Their church promotes the hysteria that all supernatural beings, and anyone else who might be considered different, are unnatural. They see us as nothing more than monsters. They use fear to allow them free rein to kill whomever they please, to rid the world of what they deem evil.” Santino is a very well written baddie.

The downsides: There was some repetition throughout and words which are inappropriately hyphenated (ex: to-night).

Overall, this was a nice debut to a dark urban fantasy series. I recently started reading book two, Hunters & Prey and am enjoying it. Looking forward to book three, Pandora’s Box which is expected 12 July 2011.

**Review also posted @ Smashwords