The Horror Zine Review
by Margaret L. Carter
by Margaret L. Carter
Review by Jeani Rector
Margaret L. Carter's Blood Hostage begins with action. The very first sentence in the novel reads: "The monitor displayed a woman unconscious on a bed, lying face up on top of the sheets." How is that for intriguing?
Blood Hostage is not just any vampire book. It has many unique twists and turns and has a different take on the legends. Although Carter's vampires are still allergic to garlic, many of the other folk tales about them are exposed as myths. Carter's vampires are a "species" policed by elders who insure that the vampires do not kill humans; instead, they use them as donors to drink a bit from, and then let the humans go after erasing the memory of the event from their minds. After all, if they left dead humans lying around all over the place, the human police would get involved, and vampires would prefer to keep a low profile. In fact, that is the very reason why vampires have never been proven to exist even though they do: because they fly under the radar.
Speaking of flying, Carter's vampires do not shape-shift into bats. But they do have other super-natural powers, including a Spock-like Vulcan mind-meld with humans, but only if they allow a human to drink their blood. That creates a nice twist in the story.
Now I am going to get to the main reason why Carter's book is so different from the rest of the vampire pack: sex. Lots of sex.
Blood Hostage is very erotic, as witnessed by this excerpt: "Clamping her legs around his waist, she rose to meet his thrust. The first stroke sent her over the edge. Keening her release, she rode out the waves of ecstasy. Through the crimson haze of her own excitement, she sensed his mounting urgency and his surprise at her explosive response. His lips branded her, his chest burned against hers, his cock seared her. She felt his muscles tighten and flex as he plunged deeper. As his rhythm quickened, she soared over and over, until she carried him with her."
If that doesn't get your excitement up and your blood boiling, then you're not un-dead, you are really dead!
Blood Hostage is about a love-hate relationship between Monique Dubois, the vampire, and Hal Bergson, the human. They meet on a college campus where Hal is the professor. They each share a common goal: for Hal, to rescue his cousin from the capture by Conan MacEwan, the evil vampire, and for Monique, to rescue her favorite donor from the same vamp.
Hal is understandably wary of Monique, considering what she is, so he kidnaps her. He needs her tied up safely in order to talk to her. Hence the opening scene where she is lying on the bed in his house, being filmed by a camera monitor. When she awakens, they do have their discussion, and then she convinces Hal that she is willing to help him.
And boy, is she willing. And I don't just mean about the rescue. Blood Hostage delves into the intricacies of a vampire-human relationship, both sexual and emotional. Margaret L. Carter is a very accomplished writer, so all of this not only comes across to the reader as very believable, but also as a fascinating, page-turning adventure. Each chapter brings the reader a new surprise.
Carter's writing style is vibrant and captivating. She does not waste the reader's time on tangents; instead, she keeps up a brisk pace that continues to accelerate until the end. Her characters are believable and multi-layered. The dialogue is snappy and clever.
Blood Hostage is not Twilight. Blood Hostage has likeable, relatable characters....and lots and lots of sex.
My only complaint is that at only 84 Kindle pages, this is a short book, but maybe Margaret L. Carter will write a sequel soon, because I haven't had enough of Monique Dubois.
You can buy Blood Hostage HERE
About the Author
Margaret L. Carter
Reading DRACULA at the age of twelve ignited Margaret L. Carter's interest in a wide range of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Vampires, however, have always remained close to her heart, beginning with her first book, CURSE OF THE UNDEAD, an anthology of vampire fiction. Her dissertation for the University of California (Irvine) contained a chapter on DRACULA, and its publication in book form was shortly followed by DRACULA: THE VAMPIRE AND THE CRITICS and THE VAMPIRE IN LITERATURE: A CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY.
Her fiction includes stories in small press magazines and in anthologies such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover and "Sword and Sorceress" volumes; a werewolf novel, SHADOW OF THE BEAST; a vampire novel, DARK CHANGELING, which won an Eppie Award (presented by EPIC, an e-published authors' organization) in 2000 in the horror category; CHILD OF TWILIGHT, its sequel, an Eppie finalist in horror in 2004; and other horror and paranormal romance novels.
Her first mass market novel, a vampire romance entitled EMBRACING DARKNESS, was published in March 2005 by Silhouette Intimate Moments. Her monograph DIFFERENT BLOOD: THE VAMPIRE AS ALIEN was a 2005 Eppie finalist in nonfiction. She has had several erotic paranormal romances published, most recently a werewolf tale, "Allure of the Beast" (Amber Quill Press), a ghost story, "Sweeter Than Wine" (Ellora's Cave), a humorous Lovecraftian tale, "Tentacles of Love" (Ellora's Cave), and a darker Lovecraftian romance, "Song from the Abyss" (Ellora's Cave), as well as "Blood Hostage."
She and her husband, Leslie Roy Carter, have collaborated on a fantasy trilogy beginning with WILD SORCERESS (Amber Quill Press).
For more information, visit Carter's Crypt: www.margaretlcarter.com
About the Reviewer
While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead. She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters. It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?
Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, Story Mania, Lost Souls, All Destiny, and many others. Her novel Around a Dark Corner was released in the USA on Graveyard Press in 2009.
You can learn about Jeani Rector HERE.