Hellbent by Cherie Priest

HellbentSource: ARC for review
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths.  Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right?

If you’re looking for an urban fantasy book that is not your run-of-the-mill vampire novel, then Hellbent has got to be your first choice. I don’t consider myself to be an urban fantasy reader, but I just love Cherie Priest’s style and her characters; especially Raylene Pendle, the vampire narrator in the book. Her wit, charm and honest assessment of herself, and those around her, are refreshing, and one cannot help but be sympathetic to her and her causes.

In Hellbent, following hot on the conclusion of Bloodshot and the events in that book, Raylene has multiple issues that she needs to deal with: some personal, others purely business. When Horace calls her in for a lucrative gig, Raylene readily agrees to take it on – until matters at her first destination turn rather destructive. Matters aren’t helped when Ian’s House attempts to recall him, and the fact that Adrian/Sister Rose’s sister’s whereabouts are still unknown is a further problem.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a well-written urban fantasy, even if they don’t like vampires much. One doesn’t have to like vampires to love Raylene’s take on life – or is it the undead life? This fast-paced book will stop you from putting it down until it’s finished, and you’ll definitely be left wanting to know what happens next.

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