Welcome to the Book Blog Tour of Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club by Susan Sizemore!
Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club is set in a future world populated by a variety of intelligent species that originate from and inhabit different planets at a time when interplanetary travel is a reality. Descendants of man from planet Terra co-exist with various "suprahumans" that include werewolves and vampires. There are many other species as well and the different life forms trade, forge alliances and compete with each other. On the one side is the Byzant Empire (the "Empire") which has a royal family that originated from Terra. The most powerful enemy of the Byzant Empire are the Hajim.
In the course of a diplomatic mission on behalf of the Byzant Empire, Zoe Pappas and her bodyguard are caught in the middle of a surprise attack. Aside from being highly skilled and with expensive and rare technological implants, Zoe Pappas is somehow of great significance. While she is able to escape the attack, Zoe is among the prisoners brought to a Hajim underground outpost.
Zoe spars with the head of the human delegation, General Raven, but they quickly read each others' strengths and work together. General Raven's main goal is to protect the humans and help them survive captivity. Zoe wants to form alliances with the other captive species and nations and arrange an escape. While they work together to smooth volatile relations with the other captives and deal with Hajim, their mutual attraction spills over. Both Zoe and General Raven hold deep secrets. Will they trust each other and combat the increasing demands of the Hajim?
Dark Stranger: Book One of the Vampire Book Club is my first exposure to Susan Sizemore and her Prime novels. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The world that she created with the peaceful coexistence of the different intergalactic species reminded me of Star Trek in a good way. The Byzant Empire with its commitment to equality and fairness was not too different from the Federation. The main characters of Zoe Pappas and General Raven, the suprahumans (vampires and werewolves), and the romance took this book away from the Star Trek model.
In Zoe Pappas, Susan Sizemore created a strong, sympathetic and interesting action lead. I was engrossed in the book and very much look forward to the next in the series.
I highly recommend Dark Stranger to anyone looking for fun escapist fiction with fantasy, science fiction and romance.
Publisher: Pocket Star (October 27, 2009), 384 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Thanks so much Sarah and Pocket Books for this review opportunity!