The Horror Zine
Blood War
The Horror Zine Review

Blood War

by Dylan J. Morgan

Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Pill Hill Press (April 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1617060755
ISBN-13: 978-1617060755
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches

Blood War

Blood War

by Dylan J. Moore

Review by Matthew Munson

A blood feud between werewolves and vampires has raged for six hundred years out of sight of humanity, each side committed to the destruction of the other. But when a new species comes on the scene – the hybrid offspring of forbidden unions between the warring species – everything suddenly changes and feuds have to be put aside to fight the new enemy.

I really liked the premise of this book; being a fan of all things fantasy, it was good to see Morgan bringing a fresh take to the age-old mythology of vampires and werewolves by introducing the hybrid race to the page. Although this has been touched on before, it was good to see the dynamic played out here.

The main leaders – Markus for the vampire coven and Isaac for the werewolf pack – were characters that really led the story forward, and they both leapt off the page right from the beginning. It was an interesting contrast; despite both believing in the superiority of their own race – and the subservience of the other race – both were remarkably similar, and I mean that as a compliment. Both came across as powerful, strong characters with a confidence and arrogance that belied their positions at the top of the food chain, and their ambitions to ensure their own species’ dominance over the other.

The hybrid species was intriguing, although I never felt as fully engaged with the hybrid's journeys through the book as I did the other factions. I suspect that it was mainly due to the fact that there were less hybrid characters through which a reader could learn about their struggles. A lot of chapters that featured them spoke in more general terms about the race and their on-going war with the two “parent” races, but it was difficult to entirely get under their skin. Whilst Tamara and Simon helped us understand their motives, there were fewer opportunities to really see their world in any depth.

That said, the war between the three species was played out superbly; the interplay between the warring races was intriguing and kept me turning the page. There were layers of subtext and plots within plots as the werewolves and vampires turned from implacable enemies to reluctant allies, and the chapters always ended at a point where you just had to find out what was going to happen next.

Humans didn’t feature much in the book, as you can imagine, but Morgan cleverly weaved a couple into the story. I can’t tell you too much about them without giving things away, but suffice to say, they were cleverly written – and the two human characters both underwent plot twists that, if I’m truthful, I didn’t see coming at all.

I found myself being drawn into a lot of the back-story that the author constructed around the characters and the war, and I would have loved to have learned more about some of the supporting cast; their characterisation hinted at some dark secrets, and I would have loved to have known more about them – maybe there’s a sequel on its way?

Blood Wars is an enjoyable read; you won’t be disappointed if you buy it. Keep an eye on Dylan Morgan; I suspect we’ll be hearing from him again in the future, and I for one can’t wait to see what else he’s going to write – maybe even a sequel to this book, as there’s still a lot to explore in his superbly-crafted world.



You can buy Blood War HERE.

About the author

Dylan J. Morgan

Dylan J. Morgan

Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.

Find Dylan online here:

About the reviewer

Matthew Munson

Matthew Munson

Matthew has three distinct career paths; as a civil servant, where he randomly shuffles pieces of paper around a desk, a Sign Language student and a fledging writer. In the world of writing alone, he often feels like he's living four or five lives independently, and the grey hairs are rapidly approaching. See more about Matthew HERE.