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4.3 out of 5 stars
Laws of the Blood 3: Companions
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on October 22, 2001
This is the third in a series of vampire stories that focus on enforcers, a vampire form that specializes in carrying out the laws of the vampire council. Enforcers are special, with additional powers and strengths that aid them in a job which often involves the control and killing of other kindred. In one other way are enforcers notable. Their natural food is not us humans, but the vampires that feed on us. They are the stuff that vampire nightmares are made of.
Each volume in the series focuses on some aspect of the special underworld Susan Sizemore is constructing. "Companions" is about the humans who are part of the vampire world. Theoretically better than slaves, in most cases there is little to tell of the difference between them. Like slaves, companions are the vampire's property; the companion's special position comes from having drunk their master's blood. Eventually, if they survive, they will be made into vampires. But the vampires powers and the influence of the blood bond turns most of them into little more than obedient servitors, completely subject to their vampire's will.
There are exceptions, though. Selena Crawford, a homicide detective in Chicago, is such. Two years previous to this book she came into contact with Istvan, a 500 year old enforcer. Istvan is not just an enforcer, but a dhampire, child of a human and a vampire, making him such a deadly threat that the vampire council has banned making such a vampire ever again. Tricked into bonding with Selena, Istvan is an unwilling master. And Selena, part Gypsy, has no intention of being a willing servant. To avoid perpetual conflict they have been separate for the last two years, ignoring the blood bond to maintain independence.
Not unexpectedly, the two protectors of different laws are doomed to confront each other again. Istvan is dispatched by the council to look into the murder of a vampire in Chicago, and Selena is assigned the same case. Other than enforcers, vampires cannot kill vampires (or so it is said). Even for those who know how, killing a vampire is a difficult task. But in a very short period of time two identical killings occur, and the same chainsaw used to dispatch the two vampires is used to cut of the arm of a third. Istvan and Serena switch from conflict to love to detection and back again repeatedly as they pursue a trail that leads to Denver and then into the eerie world of vampire politics.
Istvan (usually called Steve, nowadays) is your basic super vampire, and his character development is sufficient, but not overwhelming. His casual sarcastic style is entertaining, but he lacks the depths of Serena's personality. She is not only a detective and a companion, but witch and gypsy as well. The Bailey's of Chicago were touched by magic long before coming to America. Led now by Aunt Caetlyn, Serena's godmother, a spellcaster, and a fine vampire healer as well. With a background like this it is no surprise that Serena's personality strikes sparks.
Sizemore has created an online support group for companions, which is a thoroughly novel idea in vampire fiction. Indeed, this may be the first vampire tale where surfing the net plays an important part (besides Buffy).
While there are some connections between "Companions" and other parts of the series (primarily with "The Hunt"), calling this is a series is still a bit of a misnomer. The books in this set are completely independent tales. This is the first volume with crossover characters (Siri, Yevgeny and Jebel Haven). Yet these characters still only put in guest appearances, albeit important ones. But one can see how the books are beginning to come together, and there is much promise for the future.
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on September 22, 2002
This is the story of Istvan, the head Nighthawk, and his companion, Selena, a psychic, and homicide detective. She was not willing to become his companion, and he really didn't want one, which leads to many complications. When someone starts killing vampires and leaving them for humans to find, he actually suspects her. A very old vampire from Istvan's past has designs on her cousin, so Selena enlists the help of a group of unwilling companions to save her, since Istvan is gone, or is he?
This is an even better novel than the one before. The main characters are more evenly matched, and we find that the Enforcer of Enforcers has weaknesses and a previous life. Enjoyable.
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If you are into Vampire stories with mystery as a subplot then, "Companions," by Susan Sizemore, is the book for you. Ms. Sizemore does an excellent job mixing the two genres, her characters are fun and exciting, the dialogue moves along nicely, and the plot is interesting. (Even though this book is part of a series it stands very well on its own which is a plus as far as I'm concerned.
John Savoy
Savoy International
Motion Pictures Inc.
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on June 29, 2003
I like these books of Ms. Sizemore's. I say like and not love because of all the convoluted politics going on that I don't understand. Maybe she will shed more light on it in futher books, I certainly hope so. Don't let that stop you from enjoying these as they are a fastpaced, delicious read. I've read all 4 so far and will buy the 5th as soon as it is available
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