Excellent urban fantasy/horror

The Turning - Jennifer Armintrout

Opening Line: “I read a poll in the newspaper once that said the number one fear of Americans aged eighteen to sixty-five is public speaking. Spiders are second and death is a distant third.”

Wow, this was a fun. Not quite what I was expecting but as it turned out a great ride. For some reason I went into this thinking paranormal romance which is so not the case here. I would categorize Armintrout’s world as urban fantasy/horror. Its dark, violent, blood spattered and often gory and that would include the sex scenes (notice I said sex and not love.) I should also mention that even though this is not my genre of choice I did really enjoy it.

The Turning is unique and let’s face it that’s saying something with all the vampire books on the shelves these days. The writing is smart, sassy and the overall plotline managed to surprise me several times along the way. Each chapter comes with a title heading, which I loved, there’s a love triangle (of sorts) and a wonderful balance of good VS Evil, made all the better because once I got to know the back-story of the characters I was sympathetic to all of them. Yes even the sadistic and maniacal Cyrus, which to me is the sign of some clever writing when you feel for the bad guy. So be warned there aren’t any sparkly vampires here and it’s a bit of a blood bath but its also super good.

Dr. Carrie Ames is working in the ER the night they bring in the horrifically injured “John Doe”. Through his one remaining eye, he seems to reach out to her, and when he succumbs to his injuries she is drawn to visit him in the morgue. Bad idea Carrie. John Doe is the evil vampire Cyrus Kerrick and Carrie’s blood is what he needs to heal himself. Through the violence of Cyrus’s feeding (attack) Carrie ingests some of his blood and the “blood tie” is forged. Over the following weeks as she recovers Carrie undergoes some major changes including a new sensitivity to sunlight and an insatiable hunger that no amount of food, drink or cigarettes will quench.

Eventually Carrie is found and rescued by Nathan Grant, a member of the “movement.” (His job is to destroy all non affiliated vampires and protect mankind.) Nathan takes Carrie in and quickly schools her in all things vamp which includes reading the Vampire bible (available on eBay FYI) He then offers her a choice; join the movement or be destroyed.

It should be an easy decision right? Especially with the growing attraction between them but Carrie can’t get past the invisible leash that binds her to the monster that sired her. She is quite literally a slave to the evil yet arousing Cyrus and he is of course #1 on the movement’s hit list and Nathan’s arch enemy. When a jealous witch vying for her sire’s attention casts a spell over Nathan the only way Carrie can save him is to give herself over to Cyrus for the cure. And that’s when the games begin. Hang onto your heart folks. Cheers