Sunday, 22 June 2008

A Hunger Like No Other - Kresley Cole

This is the first full length novel in the Immortals After Dark series. The short story The Warlord Wants Forever in the Playing Easy to Get anthology I think is technically first, though some of that story takes place at the same time as AHLNO. LOL - yes we will be referring to the books using acronyms.

After enduring over a century of being repeatedly burned to death and then being resurrected Lachlain MacRieve is perhaps not in the best frame of mind when he escapes to search for his destined mate. He is even more upset to learn his destined mate is the (half) vampire Emmaline, especially as it was the vampire Horde who chained him up in front of a column of eternal fire in the first place. So begins the (very) rocky road of their romance. And just when it seems they have sorted their problems out, Emmaline's past finally catches up with them.

I know some people have a problem with Lachlain, taken at face value, his actions don't show him in the best light. To begin your courtship of someone by sexually assaulting them (not just once), is perhaps not the best way to start. But I think this has to be placed in context.

  1. His attitudes are 150 years out of date. That's how long he's been standing in front of a pillar of eternal fire. Which brings me to...
  2. He has been tortured in a way that is hard for us to understand, repeatedly being burnt to death with no hope of reprieve - for over a century. (As an aside somewhere Furie is being repeatedly drowned, I'm trying to imagine how hardass she's gonna be when they finally get round to rescuing her).
  3. So at the beginning of the book he is not in his own mind. He's running on instinct and fury.
Is his behaviour acceptable - no. But I think put into context it's understandable. Plus, this is a man prepared to rip off his own leg to get to his mate.

Emmaline on the other hand is a little bit wimpy in the beginning. Half vampire/half valkyrie, she seems to have more of the weaknesses of the two races rather than their strengths. It is through her relationship with Lachlain that she finally begins to stand on her own two feet and ultimately takes her destiny into her own hands.
"You're going to drink, Emma!" he bellowed.
"Get bent, Lachlain!!" she screamed back at him...
This was how it had to be, Lachlain had to be with someone who would call him on his behaviour. Initially he sees and refers to her as 'vampire' and not Emma, as long as he does this, she's just a thing to him - one he can do anything to because she's a vampire not a person. So for a lot of the book there is this understandable distrust between them. Not helped by the fact that Lachlain decides what's in Emma's best interests for her to know or not know.
"...Now she believes I'm a liar. Probably because I lied to her."
And whilst most of their confusions could be sorted out if they'd only talk to each other - it's very difficult for either of them to take that first step.

This book basically sets up the world and mythology of the Lore. Besides Lachlain and Emma we're introduced to numerous characters - Nix, Kaderin, Daniela, Lucia, Bowen - who has some of the best lines during his short appearance in the story
"After tonight, I see you've a verra delicate sparrow on your hands. I'll be sure to loosen up my jaw for her in case she wants to backhand me."
- so glad he's got his own book, Gareth, Uilleam, Munro. But Kresley Cole manages to keep all of her balls in the air. At the same time teasing us with frustrating hints about who might be characters in future books.

Even in this first book (not counting the short story) the cutting wit and banter between the characters is already here. Each character is incredibly well drawn and whilst we might not always like the way in which they behave, it's possible to understand why they might choose to behave in that way.

In case you haven't guessed, I love this series. :) Reviews of books 3,4 and 5 coming soon.


kmont said...

" "You're going to drink, Emma!" he bellowed.
"Get bent, Lachlain!!" she screamed back at him..."

LMAO! Oh my word, woman, THAT is what I needed to read on a Monday! God I love this book. Thank you, brilliant review as always. :)

Nicole said...

... you also remind me how much I love this series. Thanks! I need to do a re-read, I think, and then progress to the 3-5 books which I haven't read yet...

Christine said...

I love this series, too!!!! The characters--even the secondary ones--are so wonderfully developed and the dialogue is always fantastic!

I have books 4 and 5 on my TBR. Can't wait to get into them!

Tracy said...

Now she thinks I'm a liar...probably because I lied to her!

Love this series! I just love Cole's wit and humor. She just draws us into her stories and I think it's great!

LesleyW said...

Yay! Lots of positive comments for the Immortals After Dark Series.

Brie said...

This is really a great series. I love Cole's writing. It's witty and just plain fun.

Wendy said...

I love this book! seriously my favorite of the entire series.

Fabulous review! :)

Sarai said...

See I liked this book and bought them all based off of it. Now I just need to read the rest OMG I suck at that *g*

Carolyn Jean said...

I sort of enjoyed Laclain's attitude. I think you make really good points about why he is how he is, and it certainly made for some delicious romantic conflict!

Actually, now being on the third book, I think this one is still my fave!

Isn't it fun to have these all in print to tear through? And we don't have to wait?

LesleyW said...

Carolyn Jean - That's the best thing about leaving the books for so long. Having so much of the series readily available to read.

I think each one I've read I've liked a little more than the last. And maybe so far the third is my favourite because I had a soft spot for Bowen from reading about him in Book 1 and the minefield incident in Book2.