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Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark #1)

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A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley ColeA Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #1)
Kresley Cole
Published: 2006 (Pocket)
Purchase at: Book Depository, Barnes & Noble or Amazon

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Emma is half-vampire, half Valkyrie. Raised by the powerful warrior women, she was taught to hate vampires and only drink blood out of a glass. At 70, she’s very young for a vampire, and finally decides to search out her father. Her mother and father had lived in Paris, and so she starts there.

Lachlain has been imprisioned for 150 years. The vicious vampires captured him and have tortured him in the catacombs below Paris. Fire burns him alive, only for him to regenerate. Though he’d attempted before, escape appeared impossible. That was until he scented his mate — the one woman he is meant to live for, who could save him — walking the streets above. After searching for her for hundreds of years, he manages to break free to seek her out.

Unfortunately, the woman he finds is a vampire. Her people tortured him and drove him mad, but as she’s the one who is supposed to calm his beast, he needs her near. So, being of old tradition, the werewolf kidnaps Emma and coerces her into returning to his ancestral home in Scotland. Early on in the book Lachlain is purposefully cruel, and uses Emma’s fear to get her to agree to sexual situations. He does not rape her, but she’s scared he will, and the exchange of promised freedom/phone calls for indulging him make you want to break the guy’s jaw.

He’s not the only one looking for Emma, though. Her Valkyrie aunts want her back and demons are attacking all the strongholds. Over time Lachlain comes to accept that Emma is his true mate and wants nothing more than to make her happy, but his early action terrified her. As he gets his beast under control, he vows not to touch her without her permission again. He promises to protect her — and he does. But he also fears the damage may already be done and worries she may never love him back.

I loved the world Kresley Cole created in A Hunger Like No Other. The interplay between vampires and werewolves is often seen, but the added element of the Valkyries was brilliant. The structure of the supernatural society — with periodic Ascensions with war — is intriguing and reason enough to continue reading the series. Additionally, Emma makes some nice, albeit rapid growth and gets in touch with both her warrior and vampire sides.

The problem here, for me, is how conflicted I felt about wanting a happily ever after here. Cole makes you want Emma and Lachlain together. You like them both, understand what motivates their actions. But, you see, even knowing the reasoning behind Lachlain’s early behavior, the idea of wanting a HEA between a kidnapping and sexual assault victim and her attacker makes me a little queasy. (And, to be honest, I want to know why no one warned me about that.) We get insight into why Lachlain behaved the way he did, and Emma lets it go, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.

That said, I’m game to read more Immortals After Dark books. Provided the next book doesn’t go the “rape her into loving him” vibe, I think I could really enjoy the series. The characters are intriguing, the world inviting and the romantic interplay steamy.

Sexual content: Graphic sexual scenes, some of which fall under “dubious consent”

 

9 Responses to “Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark #1)”

  1. Jazza says:

    I’ve read a few of her books, and quite enjoy them. If you want dubious consent read Lora Leigh’s ‘The Breed’ series (not vampire related). But I do agree that Emma does grow into her own self through them book.

  2. Ah, yes. I remember being extremely uncomfortable with how things were playing out during the beginning of the book. In the end, I almost felt guilty that I was happy the H/h ended up together. I’d like to say that the rest of Kole’s books move away from this, but a few of them still have that same rape undercurrent going through them. The heroines get stronger and more entertaining, though, and the worldbuilding and characters are quite funny, so I keep reading them despite some of the uncomfortable scenes.

  3. Rebecca R says:

    I have a friend that loves this series, but I don’t think I would be into it because of the whole kidnap/rape thing.

  4. Rebecca WS says:

    Yeah, I’m still surprised I stuck with this book, because the beginning is uncomfortable to say the least! It does get better, but you feel a little icky for being happy for them. I do like that Emma finds her strength; that pretty much saves it for me.

    The other books in the series are much better, and some of the later heroines are super funny and strong (as @Sandy Williams stated earlier).

  5. Kristin says:

    Will be starting this soon, but am dubious. We shall see.

  6. Karen says:

    I would have warned ya….lol Everyone recommended this one to me because of the “hot” sex scene in the beginning. I thought I was going to be sick after I read it. It was about as close to rape without rape as you can come.
    I did finish the book and was disturbed even more that I wanted them together.
    I’ve been afraid to read the rest of the series even though I’m curious about he world Cole created. I don’t think I could handle one more scene like that.

  7. Kelly says:

    I love this series and have all the books… Each character in each book is their for a reason amd all flow through the whole series, as well as dealing with there own problems that dictate their actions while trying to figure out why others are behaving the way they are. The world in this series has some very strong prominent characters with a good mix of both strong males and stronger females which is rare. It does pay to read the whole books and try to see things from the characters viewpoint though, putting yourselves in their shoes when their various histories are revealed.

  8. Jackie says:

    I hated this book!
    It’s a long time since any book character made me as angry as Lachlain did. He was vile – a complete sexual bully from start to finish. Almost as bad as my hatered for Lachlain was my disdain for Emma. What a sap!
    It’s a shame, because I really enjoyed the pre-series story and found the characters likeable – then I met these two who I have incidentally re-named ‘Knob Head and Wishy Washy’
    Yes , I know he’s been tortured – yadda, yadda, yadda, but my heroes do not act like that!

    On a serious note I found it highly distastful and irresponsible that an author feels it necessary to portray near rape and sexual humiliation as something that the female character gets turned on by.

    Will I read the next in the series? – Yes, but only because my ‘book girls’ assure me that the other books are not like this one. xxx

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