Cherie Priest has joined my short list of automatic buys, whether she’s writing a new zombie thriller or an urban fantasy/paranormal featuring Raylene Pendle, vampire and thief.
Raylene thinks she’s a real bad-ass, and so she is. She’s all that and more, although as her list of housemates grows to include not only the homeless orphan human kids, Pepper and her brother Domino, but the blind vampire Ian Stott, and Adrian deJesus, ex-Navy SEAL drag queen, you’ve gotta wonder if she’s got a live, beating heart.
This adventure has Raylene’s business associate, Horace, cutting her in on a deal worth millions. All she had to do is steal some outrageous magical artifacts (you’ll laugh your head off when you find out what they are) from some old guy in the suburbs. The trouble is, a powerful magician is after the same artifacts, and it looks like Raylene and she will have to duke it out to gain possessiom. Not so easy, even with Adrian’s help.
At the same time, Raylene has to intercede on Ian’s behalf in a feud between hostile vampire “houses’, then convince his family he’s…er…dead. And, oh yes, try to rescue Adrian’s deaf vampire sister, while she’s at it.
Often hilarious, full of action and great characters, Hellbent is another terrific read. I can’t wait for the next book to see who else Raylene’s gonna add to her household. I just hope they all like kittens.
Reviewed by C.K.Crigger, September 2011.