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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

City of the Damned (Collection) by Marie Treanor

City of the Damned (Collection)by Marie Treanor
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (193 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

In the depths of nuclear winter a self-sufficient cop leaves the safety of her Dome City and travels north in search of her missing brother. In the City of the Damned, where radiation poisoning has created new mutant species, April sets off a chain of events and deceptions destined to change the life of all the city’s inhabitants.
For Max, who has felt little but blood thirst for many years, the blinding sexual pleasure he experiences with April becomes an obsession. When wolf and vampire collide, one will be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, for the survival of their world.

Like wolves, the lupi mate for life. As for vampires… they mate for something more…

The devastating war is over. The world as we knew it has been destroyed, and the survivors struggle daily to meet basic needs. Life is split between those in the Dome, and those in the ruined city known as the City of the Damned. Those in the Dome believe in their superiority, while those in the City realize that it takes many different kinds, working together, to make survival possible. The inhabitants of the City are seen as mutants, because the radiation after the war brought out latent tendencies that were long dormant. Those in the City include werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings. This collection tells the history of three of these couples.

Loving the Wolf: Will and Lara’s story. Lara is a police officer in the Dome City, but ventures out to search for her brother, who went missing after leaving to follow a girl he believes he loves. She comes to the ruined city, and is struck by the devastation and despair. Hitting the clubs, she soon discovers a side of life unknown to a cop from the Dome.

As she makes the rounds, she soon notices the same man, a mysterious silver haired Adonis, watching her. She is attracted to him, and eventually they cross paths and he helps her find her brother. Will, the silver haired man, is determined to bring order to the chaos of the city, although even among his people the Lupi, he is shunned. Once they locate Lara’s brother, she knows she should return to the Dome and to her life, but she can’t leave Will behind.

The post apocalyptic world that Marie Treanor has created is dirty and gritty, but the people she inhabits her world with are fascinating and well-developed. Lara is a police officer, strong, intelligent and independent. She ventures away from safety and security to find the only family she has left. Will is a loner, strong, handsome and a born leader, fighting to bring order out of chaos. When Will meets Lara, he knows she is the woman he wants as his mate, but can a full human love a shifter? I love the interaction between Lara and Will, and the way he gives her time to know him, while having the hottest sex she has ever known.

Loving the Vampire: April and Max’s story. April is Lupi, but has never been comfortable with that side of her nature. After a battle between hunters and Lupi, Max, a very powerful vampire, takes April. The attraction April feels toward Max is something she has never felt before, and she wants to explore this new feeling. Max is older, and has become bored with life until meeting April. Max was a scientist before the war, and he may be able to bring the sun back to the people of the City, but it will take cooperation with all the different factions to make it work.

April is young, and uncomfortable with her Lupi side. I loved her decision to take a chance on Max, in spite of his declaration that he is too old and jaded for her. There is an inner strength in April, and is shows in many of her actions toward her friends and family when they are threatened. I liked Max: in spite of what he says, there is a spot of optimism hidden in his heart, a heart long devoid of emotion. I enjoyed the way April was able to bring emotions back to Max, and give him back the joy of living. This is a wonderful story of rebirth and renewal, and I loved the passion these two share.

Loving the Man: David and Katia’s story. Katia is a vampire, and quite tired of her life. When she encounters a human scavenging in the City, she soon becomes fascinated by what he is doing. David is collecting things: books, equipment and machines that could help to rejuvenate the City. He is working with Will and Max to create a better set of living conditions in the City. Katia can’t understand why David is not afraid of her, and becomes more attracted to him as they spend time together. They become lovers, but Katia believes David will leave, as everyone else has left her.

Katia is a very insecure woman: strong, with the preternatural strength of the vampire. But she is also intelligent and lonely, and in spite of everything, she grows to love David, even as she believes he will leave her. David is a caring and determined suitor to Katia: he just refuses to give up on her. The passion that becomes love is strong with them, and leads to many scorching scenes of hot vampire sex. I loved this story because it reinforces the idea that love can’t be directed, but happens when and where it will.

These three stories are all about finding the ways we are alike, in spite of any differences we may have. I loved that in every one of these stories, love is able to bridge the gap between, not only people, but also species, uniting people for a chance to create a stronger society, one that, while not perfect, is a great improvement over what is in place. Marie Treanor has created a world where life must continue, and love is where you find it. And she does it with humor, passion, excitement, danger, and lots of screaming hot sex, in totally unexpected places. Read this, but bring the ice and the fan, because this one is hot.

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