Alex and his men left a wormhole in space prematurely and, instead of being thrust into orbit around Earth, they crashed in a remote area of Romania. It was rather handy considering their species are much like the vampires of myth and need blood to help sustain themselves. They are also light sensitive and have abnormal speed and strength, but their race is also capable of self control and keeping peace with their human counterparts and they have done so for centuries.
Unfortunately, a majority of the crew was killed upon arrival and those left ended up splitting into two factions—those loyal to their captain, Alex, and those bloodthirsty and determined to enslave the Earth under their dominion, who followed Dracul. Over the many years, the two groups have clashed with losses on both sides. No major wars have occurred for the last seventy years, but that is all about to change. Dracul sends one of his closest men, Adrian, to wreak havoc and go on a murder spree with the intention of luring Alex out and killing him. However, Alex is no fool and, despite his determination to end this ongoing rivalry with Dracul, he bides his time and patiently tracks Adrian to bring him down.
Alex runs an exclusive club called Lux, which features dancing boys and BDSM-friendly back rooms for its clientele. Quinn is fresh off the bus from Michigan, where he left after being thrown out by his homophobic parents. Down to his last few dollars and desperate for work, Quinn applies for the position of a dancer at the club and is taken in by Alex. After a short amount of time passes, the two men give in to the attraction they feel, with Alex being careful not to divulge his secret of who he really is, while increasingly fighting the hunger he feels to drink Quinn’s blood. Everything is about to come to a head, however, in spite of how cautious Alex is. Quinn is being stalked and soon to be the next victim of Dracul’s man unless Alex and his crew can take him down first.
I decided to read Samantha Cayto’s novel, Blood Dance, from the Alien Blood Wars series for my Past/Future Week pick in our Reading Challenge Month. Because the main characters are mostly aliens who crash-landed on Earth over a thousand years ago, but the book is set in the present day, it’s a great choice for the challenge. A brief word of warning about the story: there is a scene of brutal dubious consent for the purpose of breeding more aliens, as well as graphic details about the murders that take place, so proceed at your own risk.
Blood Dance ushers in a whole new race and world setting that is sure to evolve as the series continues on. In this first novel, we get just the basic groundwork about the hive existence Alex and his men came from and an introduction to their super powers. We also get little snippets of the fallout from their previous clashes with Dracul and a clear look at how disturbed and violent a leader he is for those who followed him. It is obvious by the end of this story there is a major battle brewing, yet there is no cliffhanger here. One could easily leave the series behind at this point or continue on as Blood Dance is a fairly complete story within itself.
This isn’t a mystery per se, but more like the beginning of an alternate world where everything you thought you knew about vampires is tossed aside to pave the way for a unique alien race Cayto is creating. I find myself intrigued by Alex and his men and wanting to know more. I will admit, the gore and dubious consent aspects of the book are not my favorite, but I do see that they are needed in order for the reader to understand just how polar opposite Alex and Dracul are from each other. I am sincerely hoping that the breeder Dracul abuses so horribly is rescued at some point in future installments, because the poor man is so deserving of his freedom from the monsterous Dracul. I also am excited to learn more about the men surrounding Alex and hoping they get their own stories, particularly Val and Emil.
Essentially, if one had to boil down exactly what this story is, I would have to acknowledge that there is an insta-love plot between Quinn and Alex, there is an intro to a new alien race and an alternate world, and there is a lot of action yet to come, no doubt in the form of some bloody conflicts. There are also a few steamy sexual encounters, as well as a great deal of affection and romance between Quinn and Alex. Blood Dance might just be the novel to fulfill many different reading tastes. For me, it is certainly a great beginning to a series I will pursue reading.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for Past/Future Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of two great book bundles from Carina Press (you can see the details and full event prize list here)! Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by NineStar Press: a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with 50 NineStar Press books! You can get more information on our Challenge Month here (including all the contest rules) and more details on Past/Future Week here.