19 August 2014

Hunters of Demons by Jordan L Hawk

 Unregistered paranormal Caleb Jansen only wants a normal life. But when a demon murders his brother, Caleb knows he has to avenge Ben’s death, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, his only allies belong to an extremist group who would kill Caleb if they found out about his talent.

Gray is a wandering spirit, summoned to hunt and destroy demons by drinking their blood. This hunt goes horribly wrong, and for the first time in his existence Gray is trapped in a living, human body. Caleb’s body…and Caleb is still in it.

Hotshot federal agent John Starkweather thinks he’s seen it all. But when he’s called to exorcise Caleb, he finds a creature which isn’t supposed to exist outside of stories. For Gray is a drakul: a vampire.

Having spent his life avoiding the government as an unregistered ‘mal, Caleb can’t let himself trust a federal exorcist, no matter how sexy. And he certainly isn’t going to give into the heat growing between them and sleep with Starkweather.

Can Starkweather win Caleb’s trust and convince him he isn’t the enemy? Can Caleb keep Gray under control, as the drakul experiences the temptation of a living body for the first time?

Because if he fails and Gray gives in to bloodlust, Starkweather will have no choice but to kill them both.

In a society where NHEs (Non-Human Entities) –otherwise known as demons– overtake a human’s body and raise all hell, SPECTR (Strategic Paranormal Entity ConTRol) is the government agency tasked with either exorcising said demons or destroying the host if exorcism isn’t possible. It sounds simple, but is anything truly simple? Jordan L. Hawk creates a world that is contemporary and yet not. Taking place in the Charleston, South Carolina, it feels like now and yet it’s a whole new world.
I won’t retell the blurb as it is stated so well, but one of the things Hawk does well, is keep a story moving. I couldn’t put this book down. Nor the one after it, nor the one after that. She describes so well the emotions of the main characters and how they are reacting to their situations. Poor Caleb has been taken over by a drakul, through no fault of either of them. As far as Caleb knows, Gray is a demon who, if left inside too long, will take over. Gray thinks most everything is nonsense except hunting demons which he has been doing for thousands of years and sees no reason to stop now, even if he is in a living host. John is a do-gooder, tries to see the best in everyone, and believes strongly in what SPECTR is doing. His struggles with his SPECTR training and his attraction to Caleb are believable and well-written.
The places they go, from the abandoned buildings housing ghouls to the headquarters of SPECTR, or even to John’s condo, feel real. You can see them, feel them, almost touch them. John’s condo feels warm and friendly. SPECTR feels cold and industrial. Hawk does an amazing job of researching her subject and building it into an amazing story. Also, one of her finest writing techniques is not giving everything away at once. Instead she leads the reader along piece by piece until you finally get the full picture.
I definitely give this book 5 stars. The world of SPECTR, NHEs, demon hunters, and an underworld we may only have dreamed of grabbed me. Caleb and John were characters I became friends with and I really like Gray. Will they exorcise the drakul and set Caleb free? Well, that answer I’m not going to give you. But I do highly recommend you read Hunter of Demons.


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