Sunday, March 31, 2013

Subspecies by Mike Arsuaga

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 seven hundred 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.

As I read Subspecies, I thought about how the old lore surrounding vampires and werewolves seems to have disappeared.  Everyone is writing his or her own mythology surrounding the “Critters of the Night,” which is what Sam and Jim call the support group they start where they conduct Twelve-Step style meetings for vampires and lycans.  That said, I like Sam and Jim even though they prey on humans.  They try to limit their prey to people who won’t be missed and without whom the rest of us can sleep more safely in our beds, and they try to kill humanely most of the time, sedating their prey first—Sam (the lycan) with an herbal tea, and Jim (the vampire) with a drug his body manufactures.

The characters were really well-drawn and engaging, and the plot drew me in and moved along.  Mr. Arsu

aga’s world-building was first-class, with the subspecies being born, developing more slowly than their human counterparts until “emergence” when they catch up and surpass humans overnight, except in the area of fertility.  While long-lived, they are not immortal.

The book was a bit high on the sex and body count for my taste, but I tend to be prudish that way.  I rarely buy from the hot side of any publisher.  Still it was a good book.  I recommend it.

Length:  201
Price:  $5.95

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting.  RIW