The Draculata Nest is a recent addition to my Kindle library. I'd been 'umming' and 'ahhing' for a while about picking up this supernatural fiction, as the title didn't grab me and the cover design was not overly enticing. But, I am a firm believer of not judging a book by its cover, and I am honestly relieved that I didn't in this instance.
The Draculata nest by John Hundley, is a fantastic addition to this much loved and well-read vampire/werewolf genre. Bound by a carefully constructed plot and met with consistent and interesting characters, I found myself enthralled in this hidden world of darkness. But the most surprising and yet enjoyable aspect of the novel was that it essentially follows the inner turmoil of an older protagonist - an interesting twist on what is otherwise usually dominated by young, irresistible, headstrong characters driven by teenage notions of love, revenge and need.
At 65 years of age, Clifford Crane is the unexpected hero of this story. Born into an ordinary life, he become a werewolf quite late in the game. Though he maintains his 35 year old body, his mind and his experiences have aged with him, setting him up to be a protagonist that is both wise and alluring.
Yes, Clifford is a werewolf, but his expectations of that role are confused and unexplained. His best friend is a vampire, and the only wolf he's ever known died before uniting him with a pack.
Soon he is thrust into a situation where natural instinct overwhelms common sense. A vampire from a visiting nest is killed by his hand in order to protect the young college student he secretly lusts after. As events spiral out of control, Clifford is forced to reconcile his origins, open his heart to a pack of wolves that could help him out of trouble, and question his desires for natural attraction and dangerous liaisons.
For me, the writing was free-flowing and well interspersed with necessary dialogue and only short references of important information. The characters were consistent and well written into their corresponding parts. I liked that the author moved the focus from character to character depending on the importance of their role at the time, and I enjoyed how enmeshed their plans became as the story wove its final scenes.
My only moment of discontent came from the lesbian scene. I wasn't sure of its relevance as it added no real depth to the story and only hastened to confuse two of the characters roles for me. Perhaps this was to draw a tighter bond between the two characters that I had already come to believe were firm friends, or perhaps it was to add an element of sexual excitement for the reader - it didn't do this for me. Despite this aspect, I found John Hundley's writing intriguing, descriptive and thoroughly enjoyable. You will see me picking up more of this author's books in the future.
I rate this book four out five fangs.
Clifford Crane has led a tough life - failed marriages, bankruptcy, drug addiction, and a mind-numbing dead-end job. But he's made it through, and now he's nearing retirement. He's looking forward to his golden years, until he meets an ancient Uwharrie Indian shaman, who turns him into a were wolf. She believes Clifford is the red wolf foretold in prophecy, the one who will unite the wolf packs and lead them to victory over the vampires for once and all time. Too bad she doesn't tell him that before she dies.Now, rescuing beautiful young women from the clutches of the undead has its rewards, but will it pay the rent for the next thousand years? The Draculata Nest is the first in a series of Red Wolf novels, depicting a world where vampires are mere generations away from realizing mankind’s destruction, the ultimate goal of the undead and the mysterious beings that created them. In book one, Clifford finds himself a lone wolf, still grieving the loss of Claire Deerfoot, the one who brought out the beast that lay dormant inside him most of his life. Without the pack bond that keeps a wolf sane, he struggles with his dual nature and the strange compulsions that urge him to prowl the night. When he rescues a beautiful young coed from a visiting vampire, one hunting illegally in the territory of the local nest, he suddenly finds himself a target of revenge. The visiting Draculata Nest still thirsts for the blood of young Danielle, and now they want to spill Clifford’s blood as well. But an unlikely ally surfaces in Roland Trudeau, a high-ranking vampire in the local nest, whose welcome aid seems too good to be true. Soon Clifford finds himself in the middle of a vicious game of vampire politics, a game where the losers die.