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Good mix of hot romance and gritty urban fantasy

  • Nov 21, 2011

Mark Arsuaga’s Subspecies has a pleasingly up-to-date approach to the possibility of paranormal predators in modern American, with definitely gritty, rather than glittery vampires. Hidden in plain sight, these vampires keep their proclivities secret and use the best of technology to make their bite less cruelly horrific. But of course, they do still bite…
Not one for the squeamish, Mark Arsuaga’s novel is straight-forwardly clinical and logical about the needs of man, and not-quite-man. Sexuality is portrayed in intimate detail—intriguingly, most often from a male point of view—and the hunting and preservation of human “meat” would be seriously disturbing if it didn’t appear so natural in the telling.
A fascinating first scene has the vampire tempted and struggling to choose between hunting and seducing his prey, only to discover there are other subspecies out there who might hunt him. There’s a nice mix of lust, hunger and pathos in this tale, making it impossible not to wish the best for these predators. And there’s a wonderful mix of normal and paranormal characters, backed by great world-building and nicely told details. The author times his revelations well, avoiding the temptation to overwhelm readers with the intricacies of vampire and lycan societies. The result is a story that quickly grabs and carries the reader along, suspension of disbelief nicely balanced by well-timed introspection.
A good balance of individual and societal stories makes this a complete and compelling mix of urban fantasy and hot romance, leaving the door open for what will hopefully be a string of enjoyable sequels.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Sheila Deeth ()
Ranked #42
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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About this book


With Samantha “Sam” Johnson, Dr. Jim White, a 130-year-old Vampire, has the best sex of his life and it’s a shame she had to be his next victim. But she had a surprise for him. As a Lycan, she hunted him as he hunted her. After discovering each other’s secret, they cannot resist the physical attraction. Together they hunt and reach out to others of their kind using technology to form a support group. Sam and Jim become the first Lycan/Vampire pair bond.

As a mathematics professor and man of science, Dr. Jim rejects the ways and lore of old in favor of modern solutions that, if not acceptable to humans, allow Lycans and Vampires, The Subspecies, to live invisibly, because discovery is their worst fear.

The Subspecies are a mutation within the human genome. No more than 700 have been alive at one time. They cannot breed with humans or within their own group, but when the Sam and Jim get in a family way, a universe of possibilities opens for not only them, but all of The Subspecies with the promise of their lives being more than hunting, living in shadows, and fruitless mating.
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Publisher: MuseItHOT Publishing

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