Hunting Memories | Book Review

All the Blood, None of the Shimmer
Cheryl Kobs
Staff Writer

With the recent surge in vampire fiction lately it is hard to know what titles are actually going to be worth it and which ones should be placed in the circular file with all of their shimmery goodness. Barb Hendee’s Hunting Memories is one of those stories I can actually encourage you to take the time to read. Not only because it is a far superior work to some of the vampire work (coughtwilightcough) out there, but because it is innovative and fun all on it’s own.

The story revolves around the idea that vampires all have telepathic abilities which they use to feed on humans with out killing them, altering the victims memory so it seems they somehow fell, got mugged, or otherwise sustained trauma that explains their injuries. However, when Julian Ashton is ‘made’ he does not have this ability and he’s forced to kill humans in order feed. The elders decide that this cannot go on so he must be destroyed. Julian’s reaction is to kill every vampire he encounters with even a hint of psychic powers. Vampires throughout the world are pushed even further into hiding for fear he may show up at their door ready to kill.

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Eliesha Clevon is one of these hidden undead. After a close call with Julian, apparently in the previous book of the series, Eliesha decides to create a sanctuary from Julian in an old church in Portland, Oregon. She is accompanied in this endeavor by her conflicted vampire boyfriend Phillip, a human telepath Wade, another vampire named Rose and Rose’s nephew who has been unable to leave her side since his death. The characters are very complex but not overly sentimental or dreary. There are even exceptionally funny moments, like when Phillip begins to freak out because he discovers that his long hair makes him look like an 80’s rocker and no one told him he was out of touch.

Yes, they are all worried about the inevitable fight with Julian but they worry about other things as well. The author does a wonderful job making every vampire very distinct from the other in looks, mannerisms, and even their personal reactions to hunting humans. The inclusion of ghosts in the story is interesting to me because I have never seen the combination of the two so skillfully presented, but it makes sense that in a world where there are vampires that there would be ghosts. One of these ghosts is a teenage girl that Julian calls back from limbo in order to use her as a spy. He specifically searched through newspapers for a suicide that was “just trying to get mommy and daddy’s attention but didn’t anticipate they wouldn’t come rushing to her aid”. He reasons that such a suicide could only result from a superficial attention whore who will thus be easier to order around.

Needless to say, the book is for mature audiences and doesn’t pander to a younger group of readers just to make more money. There are some gruesome murders, a few nice intimate scenes, and no one fucking shimmers. It is truly enjoyable to read and rather addictive. You want to know what is going to happen to the characters next and I think that is always an earmark of a good book. So, if you have a taste for blood with an enjoyable story, pick this up. Hunting Memories is certainly worth your time.

Final Verdict (out of 5):