Real Vampires Take No Prisoners (Real Vampires #3), Amy Fecteau
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Tags: Violence/Gore, Humour, Romance, Sex (Gay) – Including Aggressive BDSM/Violence, Series
Length: 411 Pages
Matheus believes that getting Quin back will help him deal with the pressures of a vampiric war, but his hopes crumble after his soulmate fails to remember him.
The tattered remnant of their mystical connection appears to drive Quin’s erratic suicidal behavior, threatening their bond and their very existence. While Matheus pines for his former love, a hurt and betrayed Alastair must watch the man he loves chase another. Feeling inadequate as a leader, Matheus searches for a way to make Quin remember him, no matter the cost.
With Apollonia is closing in on their home, he must act soon. And to make matters worse, his mortal―and pregnant―sister begrudgingly sets aside her contempt for vampires to ask his help to protect her unborn child from their insane father.
Terrified of losing Quin for good and of facing his father, Matheus faces a damning choice: kill the man he loves or attempt an untested ritual that might destroy them both.
First of all, this cover seems like a graphic novella or some pop culture YA book. The cover concept is far, far removed from the nature of the story being told, it breaks with the theme of the other covers in the series as well. I didn’t think it was the right book at first when looking to buy it. I simply do not like it. It’s disappointing starting with such a strong negative reaction because for me this is the best book in the series.
Once again book #3 starts immediately after the end of book #2. Quin is back but he is not himself. He was effectively lobotomised by the procedure Matheus’ father uses to turn vampires back into humans – the word human being subjective with what Carsten Schneider does to vampire subjects. Near the end of Real Vampires Do It in the Dark, Heaven let Matheus know there is a way he can turn Quin back into a vampire, which Matheus’ went through with Quin. It works but Quin has amnesia after 1960, which means he has no idea of who Matheus is or what he means to him, how he calms him. Definitely no recall of turning and claiming him, and that they share a bond, which is muted and… off.
“What year is it?”
“1960,” said Quin.
“Christ.” Matheus’s mouth dropped open. He closed his eyes, shaking his head. “You’re about fifty years off.”
“I must have been hibernating,” said Quin.
“You weren’t hibernating! You were out killing people and committing heinous acts!”
The Quin that joins them is physical and brutal, with scant regard for anyone but himself, and it’s clear to see why the others are scared of the seventeen-hundred year old vampire. He bickers and banters with Matheus but for a while he’s nasty and physical with it. He puts Matheus in danger on at least one occasion, something the old Quin wouldn’t ever do to his ‘Sunshine’.
The war between covens and factions continues, as does Carsten Schneider’s sadism in the name of his warped ideas of saving the world and Christianity. That his son is now one of the undead has him more crazed and unstable than ever before. Even loyal Fletcher tells Matheus to look out.
“Was it not enough to kill my son? To mock me with his words and his visage? You had to taint my daughter as well? But you failed, dämon, Die Hand Gottes wird überwunden. The pure soul remains. I shall claim him from the darkness and raise him in the light of the Lord.”
Freddie, a werewolf who joined the coven after proving himself in battle in book #2, has an attachment to Alistair and it’s nice to see someone actually think Alistair is special. Alistair still holds a torch for Matheus, but Matheus cannot give him what he wants. Freddie is a distraction but there are definitely some developing feelings from Alistair toward him too.
Fletcher raised her annoying head again. I’m not bothering with her MacGuffin moments.
While he won’t readily admit it, Matheus loves Quin, even when Quin wasn’t the Quin he got to know after his turning. Ordinarily they are a yin and yang pairing – Matheus can whinge, Quin can be a hard-arse, Matheus is stubborn, Quin is amused, they each give as good as they get. They simply go together.
Matheus really does put himself on the line in the third book. He decides on some scientific experimentation of his own, placing himself in the sun during full daylight because he is all bar sleeping now. This creates even more of a buzz in the coven, and further afield, where they think he is the second coming, at least the original vampire –
Milo pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose with his pinky. “You survived a day in the sunlight.”
“I did realize that, Milo,” said Matheus. “I was there.”
“People are saying… Protos.”
When it’s worked out what is wrong with Quin, they sort it, once he gets over wanting Matheus to kill him because of the seeming duality inside his head. There is a relationship and there is sex in book #3. It is intense and often violent – Matheus loves rough sex and Quin’s not about to dissuade him if that’s what Matheus truly wants. There isn’t a lot of it but it does exist. It’s very rough and violent, and they both like it that way. While there is a consent of sorts, they are vampires and there is dysfunction – for one because of original era born, and for the other it’s family – it’s all relative to this story line. I’m just making it clear for readers who like to know that it isn’t safe or sane, but they’re both pretty redundant words in the overall context of this book.
Once again there was action aplenty in Real Vampires Take No Prisoners. More properties burned down – god, I hope someone had insurance. Crossbows reappeared, some guns this time, assholitry abounded, and the regulars shone quite brightly – Joan is still wonderfully bloodthirsty, and full of revenge, bless her –
“Those bastards put a big-ass hole in my chest. I want some fucking revenge.”
“And you think chainsaws are the way to go,” said Matheus.
“Fuck yeah. I don’t care how immortal your ass is, a chainsaw rips you in half, you’re not getting up in a hurry.”
Milo is as droll as ever, Alistair has deep emotions. Speaking of emotions, I disliked the way this book ended for Alistair, he deserved better. Juliet was her usual intriguing self, is it a compliment? Is it a threat?
“Lenya asks after you, pet. It’s quite troublesome.”
“Oh,” Matheus said in the face of Juliet’s expectant expression. She looked at him as though waiting for the next line in the script. “I’m sorry?”
Quin and Matheus find one another fully when Matheus realises he wants and needs Quin in his undead life. Matheus loving Quin’s calloused hands, hands that always steady him. Quin loving blond, blond hair and someone who won’t just back his ideas no matter what, someone with a stubborn streak a mile wide, and one with a somewhat twisted acceptance –
“I don’t even care if this is Stockholm Syndrome.”
“I love you too, Sunshine.”
It is all quite romantic. Well, as romantic as this sniping pair can be, and especially as Matheus is more of an ‘I’ll do something for you rather than be romantic’ individual. However, Quin finally explains why he turned and claimed Matheus, and while some of it was quite, uh, random, I won’t explain in a review, the reasons why he called him Sunshine from day one was rather lovely-
The violence and battles, paranormal and UF writing were all appreciated by this reader, I felt satisfied with my well rounded yet bloody fix as it drew to a conclusion, a rather violent one.
I enjoyed spending my time with these characters for over a week as I read over a thousand pages to reach the end. The ending was a tad abrupt but maybe I just wasn’t quite ready to leave this universe. I’m still sticking with Alistair deserved better. Realistically there could be a new adventure for all these characters, but I’m surmising the author wrote this book as a finale for those who waited the three years between books #2 and #3. I’m very glad Amy Fecteau put the last piece in place for series readers, especially given book #2 ended on a huge cliffhanger, as there’s nothing worse for devoted readers than a series left unfinished.
In the End:
I enjoyed this series as a whole, I read all three books back-to-back. It wasn’t a cheap series to buy, so you can be sure I was invested. It offered gritty paranormal with bloody vampires, humour, snark, some well written banter – when it wasn’t drawn out – and flawed but infinitely likeable characters, certainly interesting, smattered throughout the ensemble cast. It also provided emotional moments, betrayal, strange family dynamics, and some hard to define camaraderie. That the romance was a subplot made the series stronger. I like the paranormal and UF elements to standout with a balanced relationship ’round and about. The series was finished on the best book. 4.5 Stars.
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