The vampire population may have created an economic boom in Alaska, but their altered energy field fries most technology. They rely on hard-living—and short-lived—couriers to get business done…couriers like Sydney Kildare. Sydney has survived to the ripe old age of twenty-six by being careful. She’s careful when navigating her tempestuous clients, outrunning hijackers and avoiding anyone who might distract her from her plan of retiring young to a tropical, vampire-free island.
Her attitude—and immunity to vampires’ allure—have made her the target of a faction of vampires trying to reclaim their territory. Her only ally is Malcolm Kelly, a secretive charmer with the uncanny habit of showing up whenever she’s in trouble. Caught in the middle of a vampire turf war, Sydney has to count on Malcolm to help her survive, or the only place she’ll retire is her grave…
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
I was looking at Carina Press’ weekly new release e-mail when I noticed the title which was rather intriguing. Then I looked at the blurb and thought that I would enjoy this different take on vampires and humans so I decided to get it. Overall I really enjoyed reading this with a few quibbles and when I stated that on Goodreads I was asked if I was going to review it, which I wasn’t but decided I would. As a result this will be a shorter review then my usual ones :).
I enjoyed how Ms Summers pulled different aspects of vampire legend together. For example the mind control and also that their blood could possess healing properties that didn’t always work as planned. I liked how the couriers were considered fair-game by the vampires instead of being off limits so they were forced to develop methods of self-protection and disguise. The couriers had their own rules and tried to mentor the new ones yet each was responsible for their own survival. I found it fascinating that even though the courier companies were independent it almost seemed like certain individual couriers were considered property of certain vampires. And given how vampire politics tends to operate that could contribute to the shortened life expectancy of the couriers.
As much as I liked Ms Summers’ idea I still noticed some things that bothered me. It is mentioned in the blurb that vampires and technology don’t mix well but I didn’t get to see that in action and I wanted to. Even with that limitation it seemed they still had ways of finding out information that was kept hidden. I did think that the couriers would have a closer finger on the “political” pulse of their area since they went everywhere making their deliveries. No, they might not know what was in the messages they delivered but the overall feel/tone should have told them something. Looking back over what I have written so far I really haven’t talked about Sydney or Malcolm. Sydney is pretty much as described in the back-cover blurb and I never really got a feel for Malcolm. I was enthralled by the world and the action and not as much with the characters. I think if Don’t Bite the Messenger had a longer word count the main characters could have been fleshed out more while maintaining the same level of action.
I really hope that Ms Summers continues to write in this world because I do want to see more and I liked the ideas she presented. I give Don’t Bite the Messenger a B-
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