Author L.X.Cain sent me an e-version of Bloodwalker for review. I wish I didn't have to always write a disclaimer, but I guess it's required (heavy sigh).
Bloodwalker is basically a murder-mystery, but there is nothing basic about it. Set in middle Europe (Hungary and Romania mostly), our story follows the lives of an itinerant circus and at the same time a group of Bloodwalkers. For your information, Bloodwalkers are those women who have historically been the caretakers of the dead, preparing them for burial. There are more things they are capable of, but that is part of the story you need to read for yourself.
Those who are familiar with my reviews know that I don't deal in hyperbole or overly effusive language. But I have to tell you folks, this book is nothing short of awesome. Cain weaves a tale of such horror and darkness that the reader can't easily put it down. To label Bloodwalker a "page-turner" is to damn it with faint praise. It is riveting.
So many themes are integrated into the story so well it amazed me. Issues of murder (of course), mistrust, self confidence, mans inhumanity to man, forced marriage, spouse abuse, personal redemption, superstition, love, loyalty and justice, just to name some (I don't think got them all). You may think that with so many themes the story might become off as preachy, fear not, it doesn't. What it does come off as is; one hell of a good book.
Bloodwalker also gives insight into the culture of circus performers and workers. These people live by their own code of honor and loyalty. It is in fact this code that is at the very heart of the story. Our hero Rurik and our heroine Sylvie stick to their individual codes of ethics throughout the story. They won't, and don't, compromise these principles. It's nice to read a story where the main characters do not have situational ethics no matter what.
Bloodwalker is a good horror story, not just in the evil that men do sense, but also in the real there are grotesque monsters out there. The geographic setting for the story is perfect. Think the eerie atmosphere of Dracula, Frankenstein and other such horror classics; dark, creepy and spooky.
Bloodwalker has not yet been released (current scheduled release date: Oct. 4) so I am not able to post my review in all the familiar places yet. I believe it is available for pre-order at Amazon.
I have not had the pleasure yet of reading any other work by L.X. Cain, but wow, Bloodwalker was a great way to be introduced to this author. This book is a must read. Enjoy!