Book Review: The Immortal Hunter
I first opened this book on an airplane over the Pacific. Had I done even the smallest bit of research, I might have held off until I reached more private surrounds. Hopefully, the guy sitting next to me didnt peek.
I even managed to get a fair deal into the book before becoming self-conscious. You see, The Immortal Hunter does a great job of
hooking you in, masquerading as a serious piece of vampire fiction and starting off with a parallel world as plausible as most other
vampire-realities I have read so far. Sands wastes no time getting to action, introducing the principal characters and establishing the
basis of the plot.
Decker Argeneau is a vampire cop, part of an organization designed to make sure vampires subsist on donor blood and refrain from taking
anything from living people unless absolutely necessary and even then, only taking enough to get by without endangering the life of the
forced donor or engaging in unlawful human-to-vampire conversion. His organization has him on the trail of a group of rogue vampires, one of
whom is old, powerful and insane, and also the trail of a family member who is helpful from time to time while still being an outlaw.
The twist comes when Decker and his comic relief associate Justin rescue one would-be victim but fail to recover her sister. Other than
the effort to find and rescue her sister, the real complication is that Decker finds he cannot exercise any mind control over the one
they did rescue, Danielle McGill. In Sands world, a vampires inability to mind-control a human marks that human as a natural
life-mate. Thus the action, violence and reasonable attempt at an interesting world gradually gives way to more important themes in a
romance novel. After the long road to figuring out and accepting that there are vampires, Dani has to struggle with how a complete stranger
is talking about life-mates while her sister is in serious danger. It is a difficult struggle at that, because she fast discovers that all pleasure life-mates give to each other is shared, doubling the ecstasy and causing sex good enough to make any normal human being
At that point, or close to it, the workable beginning of the novel slides into several back-to-back scenes possibly an entire chapter or two of different kinds of sex. It continues this way until the big baddie of the plot, dissatisfied with only having one of the sisters, blindsides the romantic progression by kidnapping Dani at an opportune time and giving the reader narrative whiplash.
No intentional deceit occurred in this book, really. My first warning sign came up when a friend in Melbourne dragged me to a
romance-only bookstore, and Sands appeared to have a nice little section of her own. I am sure anyone seeking this book already knows
what they are in for; if not, well, you definitely know now.
While the book is descending into long sections of erotica, several odd things are revealed that both attempt a unique or
little-used angle of vampire literature and make the thing seem ridiculous in my personal opinion. You see, this whole vampire thing
got started on the lost continent of Atlantis, where an advanced civilization cheated old age and death by inventing nanomachines that
maintain your health. The downside of these nanites is that they do their job fueled by human blood, and with the exception of rare
no-fangers, the creation of fangs to help you drink the blood is part and parcel of the technology.
There we go. Nanite sex vampires from Atlantis.
Sands also ditches some of the exotic and overused locales of vampire literature in favour of parts of Canada familiar to many
people living near Toronto. Going for different scenery in horror was cool when Lovecraft did it, and fun whenever Stephen King decides to
stick another fearsome thing somewhere in the American Northeast, because that part of America can be fairly creepy especially in the
Pine Barrens. Im not sure the parking lot of Vaughan Mills Mall does much for me as a location, though. I can picture it vividly without
much effort, but for the rest of Canada, let alone the world, it could be any parking lot in any mall.
The return to thoroughly described action and violence rounds out the end of the novel and sets up sequels.
If you would like to enjoy a bit of erotic vampire fiction, give The Immortal Hunter a try. It might scratch that itch. If youre more keen on the interesting vampire concept side than the eroticism, there is a chance you might be disappointed by this novel. To be fair, for a genre designed to prioritize the erotic, it spends a decent amount of time vividly constructing the framework.