Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Draculata Nest

    “Must read!”        “Surprisingly wonderful read” 

“a fantastic addition to this much loved and well-read vampire/werewolf genre by Kristy Berridge”

The Draculata Nest: A Red Wolf Novel  by. John Hundley

Book Description

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 werewolf. 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.

My Review

As is my custom these days, I did not read the book description before reading.  I think I am going to start doing this more often, it’s like a little surprise every time!
There are a lot of books in this genre and it was nice to read a book did its own thing. I loved that it was a vampire-werewolf theme that kept it classic.  The alluring and seductive vampires came out at night to play and when they grow angry they become monstrous creatures.  And the werewolves didn’t just poof into fluffy big dogs, their bones cracked and the transformation was bone crackling and painful.
I think the book is not only full of action and adventure but also grief, pain, love and lust and at times it’s comedic.  One thing I can truly say is that it is never boring!
Clifford Crane is a loveable older gentleman who is trying to start a new life in college. He’s in his 60, but looks more like 30, because of the werewolf within. I thought this book was unique, in that it was the first one that I have read thus far where the werewolf is clueless about werewolves or werewolf etiquette. I mean he is so green behind the ears that his best friend is a vampire!
I think that John Hudley had an amazing intro. From the very first page I was intrigued. I was thrown into a dark parking lot, and shown that there are three different types of beings, the human, whatever Clifford was and whatever was lurking in the shadows.  At first, it was somewhat unclear and then you get a personal glimpse into Clifford’s journal. The beginning pages were perfectly executed. You as a reader go on discover that Clifford knows very little about who he is and about the supernatural world in general.  I think that John Hundley attacked this popular genre with a very unique touch, a little bit of  old school mythology mixed with new school fight scenes.
I give the story 4 stars because even though the book is almost 400 pages I wanted more.*  Also, I felt that the romance scenes weren’t necessary. That is not to say that they were not tastefully done. They were very well written, it’s just a preference of mine. (I guess because I write knowing my younger brothers and sisters will read my work.)  I feel like without the romance scenes I could have given the book 5 stars and been able to recommend it to everyone.

*I would have liked to know more about how his friend (Kent) became a vampire and how they managed to keep their friendship intact, also about Claire…   and, and, and!  But wanting more from a novel also tells how good it was!

Interview with the Author

Lost in Thought:  First I would like to that you for allowing me to pry into your mind for a bit!
John Hudley:  My pleasure.
LIT:  So, was this your first published book?
JH:  Yes, it was.
LIT:  I find that surprising, it was written very well. 
I've been doing an experiment lately where I don't read the book description and I just dive right in.  You instantly hooked me in.
You wasted no time and I liked that!
JH:  Good to hear. But, I have to admit, the pace of the start was a result of a re-write.
LIT:   Well, a re-write that was well worth it! The pace of your entire book was great. You go from one action scene to the next. 
In a world full of vamps and wolves, what made you write this book?
JH:  Well, I'm a big fan of werewolves. (Can't really get enough, myself.) So, I wasn't really thinking of the saturation of the current market. I just wanted to tell a story. And I have to credit the pace to my know-it-all-friend, David, who is the anchor of my editing team. He really coached me on that while I was writing that first book.
LIT:  That is the perfect answer!
 When I first realized that it was a were/vamp book, I have to admit I took a deep breath.  But luckily, I didn't have to hold it for long. Like I said, I was sold from the very beginning.  I love that Clifford was so clueless and I give you major kudos for keeping it ‘old school’.  You know, no shimmering in the sun, but real monsters.
JH:  As it SHOULD be.
LIT:  As it should be, indeed! You did a lot of things exceptionally well, for example, the seducing of certain characters.   One of the moments that really grabbed my attention, was that you took something so small and mundane as breathing and made it this special wonderful miracle, through the words of Roland. One thing I do want to know is will there ever be a prequel?  One of the thing that I wanted more of was Claire.
Will we ever know her story?
JH:  Well, you are not the only one who has asked about Claire Deerfoot. It so happens, in the third book, I am interweaving the back story of Clifford and Claire into the present day story of what's happening as the Red Wolf and the Dragon rise to... whoops. I don't want to spoil anything here.
LIT:  YEY! And thanks for not spoiling! SPOIL-FREE ZONE!
JH:  But, yes, there is a lot left unsaid about Cliff's background that will be further explored in the next book.
LIT: Another aspect of the book I loved is that, like I have already mentioned, you kept your characters old school.  A vampire can be alluring and sexy and then scary as hell!  And a werewolf doesn't just poof from a man to a wolf, there is an amount of pain and agony involved.
JH:   I didn't want my characters to be too pretty. Although, they of course need to be attractive enough to be interesting. But the thing I like about paranormal and supernatural, is that you can place human characters in a supernatural setting and see how their humanity emerges under extraordinary circumstances. In the end, Clifford’s story is about someone whose life unexpectantly does a giant turn-around and how he deals with it as a person.  Even though on some level he is a monster.
LIT:  Yes and you did a great job displaying that.  All in all, when it comes to this genre your book is up on top!  And I am looking forward to the second one, which is already waiting in my Kindle.  But alas there is a list, which I try to abide by.
Maybe we can chat again after I read The Dragon in Doughton Park?
JH:  I would love that.
LIT:  Me too, it's a date!  Take care and write on!
JH:  Thank you, Jessica. And I might say the same to you!

                         Last Thoughts

John Hudley did an excellent job keeping the suspense high as the story unfolded. By displaying  the motives of the characters in a timely manner he managed to give the reader foresight without spoiling the ending.  I just loved it!

Where to find The Draculata Nest

To follow John Hudley

Red Wolf Blogs:

Other works

The Dragon of Doughton Park: A Red Wolf Novel (Volume 2)