PREDATORS OF DARKNESS
By Leonard D. Hilley II
Book 1 in the “Predators” Series
Published by: Originally published by Outskirts however, currently available only in ebook format @ ebooksforpleasure.com
First Printing: April 2007
Concept: “Fear What Lurks In The Shadows
The desolate streets of downtown Pittsburgh in 2073 are a reminder of the missile attack that forever changed the lives of the surviving scientists and students hidden in the fallout shelter of Helmsby's Genetic Research Center. Believing themselves to be the only survivors, they station themselves inside the center until food supplies near depletion. Thinking the fallout has lessened, they emerge three years later to discover strange creatures patrolling the streets in search of human flesh and blood. The creatures possess the ability to shift their genomes and alter their appearances by realigning their genetic sequences. Daniel Hutchinson, their leader, teams with Lucas Ridale and together they set out to scavenge the area for food and supplies with the hope to find other survivors. But Daniel's most recent journey uncovers mysteries more frightening than the shifters. He discovers the tip of Pittsburgh has been fenced off from the rest of the area. Low-flying helicopters observe the streets, making him ponder the question: Were the shifters released as simply part of a military experiment with humans being their prey?”
Review: I’m going to start this review by telling a little story of my own. Grab a cup of joe, this might be a little wordy. Via e-mail, I received a request from Mr. Hilley to review this book. I’m assuming he saw our Book Lover’s Hideaway blog from a blog tour or something, and wrote requesting the review. In my Cinderella world though, I’m going to say that he saw some of my reviews posted on Goodreads or on the blog and was so stunned by my book-reading-and-reporting capabilities, that he just HAD to have me read his books. Yeah, that’s the story I’m going to stick with. ANYWAY, I wrote him back and on the off chance that he HAS read some of my previous reviews, I wanted to let him know that I am a brutally honest reviewer. I do not candy coat my reviews. I offer my honest opinions. You know what? He still wanted me to read his book! For some reason, our e-mailed conversations impressed upon me that this author is really a cool guy. I liked him immediately. BUT, I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of my honest review right? Of course right.
Then he told me that this book had some shifters in it, but it wasn’t really a romance type of book. That’s okay too, because as many of you know, I am pushing myself to step outside of my true love, paranormal romance, and go into other book genres. It hasn’t been too successful for me either has it? In fact, I just shelved a book in historical fiction (my third try in this genre) the other day because I couldn’t stick with it. So along comes this book which is a Sci-Fi book. Okay, Jurassic Park was Sci-Fi and I loved that book when I was younger. It was truly one of the most scary books I’ve ever read. I was the one who saw I am Legend and loved that. So I was game to give this book a shot.
With all that background, I am here to tell you that if this book is Sci-Fi? I love it! And to quote the famous song, “if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” This was a fantastic ride into a world I hope never happens but could and you never doubt that for one moment while you are reading this book. I kept telling my husband while I was reading it how good this book was. ::nudge, nudge:: Honey, this book is REALLY good. “Are you surprised?” he asks me. “Yes. It’s a sci-fi book!”
It’s Pittsburgh in the year 2071 (I would be a mere 112) and boy are we in bad shape. There’s been a missile attack (the description really made me think of the movie “The Day After” with Jason Robards from back in the late 70’s I believe) and we are introduced to some of the surviving students, scientists and other folk that have taken cover in Helmsby’s Genetic Research Center’s fallout shelter. The survivors come out looking for new supplies via their leader, Daniel Hutchinson, and his best friend, Lucas Ridale. The world is now an ugly place. Like life forms with with glowing eyes that eat human flesh. Things that rape women with uncontrollable desires. (I have to interject here, the shifters have the ability to inject the women they are raping with a drug of sorts that makes them just love doing the nasty. Isn’t it just like a man to dream this up? Hehehe) These creatures have the ability to shift their appearances back and forth as well as heal from certain types of wounds. They are almost indestructible. Yanno, nothing can come back from a good beheading though and that’s the case here as well.
There IS romance though! You’ve got Daniel’s kind of wife and a fellow survivor who has the hots for Daniels AND, enter a mysterious hot enchilada that kicks kind of wife’s ass for the title of Daniel’s new squeeze. (Leave THAT for a man to think up too eh? Hehehe) It was great excitement . If I had any complaint about this book it was that. The romance could have been just a tad more. But hey, I understand this isn’t a romance genre book. But it COULD be with a little tweak here and there.
So the story follows Daniel through some scary and mysterious discoveries. All sorts of questions about people around him arise. Are they who they say there are? The bad guys, these shifters, how did they evolve so quickly and how did they get there? Could they be part of some military experiement??? There is lots of gore, moments where I had to go ewwww, but, thankfully, there were NO moments where I didn’t understand what was going on. The plot points were clear and thought out and they sucked you in and held you there. I loved it!
Now, I am certainly not qualified to point to great literary classical authors. I can't point out exquisite proses in literature. But I know a good, fun read when I well, read one. This book is very fast paced, super exciting and one that I would imagine most people, whether or not they are sci-fi addicted, would pick up and read and enjoy. I would highly recommend and even URGE any one of you to get this book and read it. I am almost positive you'll enjoy it. As of the writing of this review, there are 2 other books in this series, Beyond the Darkness and The Game of Pawns. I’m kinda hoping that Mr. Hilley still loves my reviewing skills and wants me to review them as well. If not, I’m gonna have to buy them because this is a story I must have more of. Thank you Mr. Hilley, for the pleasure of reviewing this book.
What I liked: I loved the erotic undertones to this book. It didn’t make the pages turn, but when it was hot, it was sizzling hot. Or, it was gross. Both sides of the erotic coin were very much on display.
What I disliked: The story is sometimes is very close to truth and what possibly could happen. It’s not a far reach at all and that fact alone is something I don’t like. Unfortunately, there’s nothing anybody can do about that is there?
My rating: 4.5 feathers
Kelly for Book Lover's Hideaway