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Laws of the Blood: The Hunt
Susan Sizemore
Ace Books, 288 pages

Dave Dorman
Laws of the Blood: The Hunt
Susan Sizemore
Susan Sizemore has done historical romance novels, time travel romance novels, a contemporary suspense romance novel and a media tie-in novel for Forever Knight. She likes to travel, has an affinity for just about anything canine and collects art glass. She's a fan of good coffee, Terry Pratchett books, Star Trek and movies with explosions. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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A review by Steve Lazarowitz

I am not a vampire aficionado. When I selected The Hunt for review, I had no clue that it was a book about vampires. My first reaction was less than ecstatic, because I felt that everything that could possibly be said about the "creatures of the night" had been said already. I was wrong.

The Hunt is a fascinating book that deals with the problems of an organized vampire society. The conflict here is between vampires and other vampires, and the problems that arise are specific to that species. The book raises some very interesting points. If vampires had somehow survived into the 20th century, wouldn't they have constructed a set of laws to govern themselves? How would they go about escaping detection? How are outlaws dealt with and who has the authority -- and the power -- to dole out punishment?

Enter the protagonist Selim, who is essentially the sheriff in town. He is the law in Los Angeles and the man who is responsible for vampire-kind in that vicinity. Selim has a host of problems, not the least of which is Siri, a mortal companion, to whom he is far too attached for his own good. Throw in a group of highly agitated vampires who are literally dying to hunt (pun intended), a renegade ready to reveal to the world all of their ancient secrets, and a host of competitive, businesslike vampires, who continually manoeuvre for their own personal gain, and you have an idea of what poor Selim is up against.

The characterizations are excellent, the plot strong and the pace well implemented. This is not an action book and there is little gore. Instead, Sizemore emphasizes interpersonal relationships, politics and emotional tension, to great effect. I found myself empathizing with more than one character and hating a number of others.

I enjoyed this book and certainly hope that a sequel is forthcoming. There are still several issues of vampire life that I'd like to see addressed.

Copyright © 1999 Steve Lazarowitz

Steve Lazarowitz reads and writes fantasy and SF. His work has been published in a number of online 'zines and he is the editor of the Dragonclaw Showcase. His short story anthology A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation is due out from Domhan books in 1999.

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