Wednesday 26 April 2023

Book Review – Devoured by Cassie Carnage

By Cassie Carnage

Jonah, a newly turned vampire, must fight the National Center for Rejuvenation (NCR), a company that is hellbent on filling the world with more of his kind. Just when he thought things couldn't get worse, he discovers that NCR is experimenting on creating unstoppable mutant werewolves.

In order to save his ex, and the world, he must join an uneasy truce with a group of deadly mercenaries as they fight to destroy the source of evil that NCR is hiding.

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A newly-turned vampire, Jonah has to acclimatise himself to a lot of change very quickly. Firstly, he is now a killing machine, with a hunger for blood that it seems he can never quite fully satisfy. Secondly, there is an evil vampire queen hellbent on controlling him and making him a part of her brood. And thirdly, there is a man who was supposedly his fiancĂ©, although he has lost all the memories he ever had of Doctor Mallory Conrad, who is involved in secret organisations he never knew existed, even before he was a vampire. 

Jonah finds himself taking lots of different sides, going against Mullo, the vampire queen, and finding himself among a group of highly trained mercenaries, fighting to rid the world of all vampires and werewolves, and to stop the organisation that’s trying to fill the world with the supernatural, and mutating vampires and werewolves with a hidden evil, to make them much more deadly. 

Jonah is not your typical newly turned vampire. He doesn’t have an identity crisis, or struggle morally as he realises he must kill to survive. A killer instinct sets in, and he adapts to survive in an instant. This book very much portrays vampires as having a hunting instinct that takes over almost immediately, and it is clear that Jonah’s entire personality changes. He is not a human who must drink blood to survive, but a human who has been turned into an entirely different species. This was a very interesting portrayal of vampires, and one that comes across as much more real in the telling than other, more moral, vampires. 

Something I particularly loved in this book was the way Mal and Jonah’s relationship changed so dramatically. They were betrothed, but being turned into a vampire took away all of Jonah’s memories of Mal, as well as changing him as a person. Mal knows that Jonah is different, but when he looks at him, he still sees the man he wanted to marry. For Mal, it seems infinitely harder to be around Jonah, for he still has the memories of their relationship before Jonah was turned. Throughout the book, though, their relationship continues, although it is much more toxic than before. Their relationship becomes an addiction, rather than love, with Jonah feeding off Mal and the both of them getting a high from it. As the book progresses, this grows worse for both of them, and it definitely added a layer to the story, with both needing the other, and both struggling with the memory of their human love in the past, showing how much they have both been affected by Jonah’s vampirism. 

With the different organisations, either fighting vampires and trying to rid the world of them, or trying to create more, and mutate them, there are a lot of characters who you are not sure are trustworthy. Not many people trust Jonah, but he doesn’t trust a lot of them either. Most of the vampires can’t think for themselves, they are controlled by Mullo, but Jonah has his own mind, although the more time that passes, the more animalistic he becomes, the more memories of his past life he loses, and the less people trust him. It’s incredibly rare that the vampires in this novel are, for lack of a better word, sentient, so Jonah is a mystery in himself. The entire portrayal of vampires in this novel is original in itself, I have never come across a lot of aspects that the vampires in this book possess. The author has done a fabulous job at making these vampires incredibly believable. In my opinion, they are a lot more believable than mainstream vampires. 

While Jonah is a killer, although that is not exactly his own choice, he is still a rather likeable character. He doesn’t exactly detest the fact that he must kill to survive, but he doesn’t agree with vampirism, or that vampires and werewolves should be free to roam and kill as they please. He wants to destroy them as much as the mercenaries do, and his supernatural abilities certainly help him in his mission to rid the world of the supernatural evil. And as much as his relationship with Mal is toxic, there is still an element of care between them, to the point where it’s difficult to figure out if Jonah is really a good guy, or if he himself is evil and is ruining Mal's life by being around him.

This is an incredibly unique vampire novel, and certainly one I enjoyed reading. This book has been sat in my e-reader for months, and I definitely wish I read it sooner.

Cassie Carnage

Horror connoisseur. She who types too fast for her computer, and shall one day cause her keyboard to catch on fire. Lover of cats and monsters.