Tweet Crooked Fang, but here I am again with my review of the novella-length follow-up, Traitors.
Again narrated by sexy vampire bassist Xan Marcelles, Traitors picks up shortly after Crooked Fang. Xan is without a band, and bored in Pinecliffe, Colorado. The presence of Nin, a different breed of vampire, seems to give him something to muse about, but she's not especially trustworthy.
A late night phone call from his shadowy kinsman, M, brings Xan's past right into his present, and he's forced to pick up the threads of his previous work as a hitman of sorts, cleaning up the messes left by others. In essence, he's pretty much The Wolf from Pulp Fiction, just more prone to violence and happy to shoot on sight. Nin invites herself along, and the pair head off to Traitors, by turns both bar and vampire nest in Texas.
The thing I've always liked about Xan is, surprisingly, his humanity. He makes mistakes, and admits to them, and his fondness for humans makes him a likeable protagonist. He does stupid things, but when it comes down to it, he gets the job done, each time hoping that this time, he'll get left alone. Normally I don't like vampires due to their attitude problem but Xan's desire for peace and quiet makes him a lovable rogue. In Traitors, his time among humans has blunted his edge when required to fight, which makes Nin a useful addition to his life, and stops Xan from being one of those dull 'perfect' invincible heroes (*cough* Superman *cough*). He actually gets hurt, but he just keeps on swinging.
This being Xan, his soft spot for the ladies means there's obvious chemistry between Xan and Nin, and while I have to admit I found it really difficult to warm to Nin, she's not one of those princess type characters who needs to be rescued by the big strong men. Nin's more than capable of kicking butt on her own terms, and for that alone I suppose I have to salute her.
Traitors might only be a short work, but it's packed with action, and sets us up nicely for whatever the next instalment might be. Highly recommended, with five blunt pencils!
You can buy Traitors for your Kindle here or from Smashwords, here.