Keep your fangs together with Venomoid by J.A. Kossler

Venomoid Kossler
Title: Venomoid
Author: J.A. Kossler
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books / Magnus
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Story rating: 3 out of 5

Blurb: In Book One of The Night Code Saga, Venomoid, paranormal creatures are governed by the IPO, a secret police force that ensures vampires, zombies, and others follow all required public safety regulations. Among the officers is 17 year-old Lorin, the IPO’s most skilled cadet. His co-workers distrust him, however, and in extreme cases barely tolerate him. As a vampire, he must follow the rules — including turning a blind eye to the IPO’s practice of torturing prisoners — or face death by sunlight exposure.
On one intense dragon-hunting mission, Lorin encounters Lex, a handsome but flesh-eating paranormal who is quickly intrigued by the young vampire. Lorin fears this hunter, but as an unexpected friendship unfolds between the two, an even more unlikely romance blossoms. The problem is Lex is on the IPO’s radar, and when they capture him for scientific experimentation, Lorin must risk his life to overthrow the organization he’s always feared in order to save his love.

 

Review: I always love reading about paranormal critters and vampires were my first love so to speak, with zombies a close second. It doesn’t come as a surprise that I was attracted to the promise of a good story by the above blurb.

Venomoid is the story of Lorin, a 17-year old operative of the less than flattering International Paranormal Organisation. The IPO looks out for itself first, second and last and Lorin – as a vampire and the only non-human operative – is treated as a second rate citizen. Regrettably Lorin only has two options, help the IPO or die. That all changes when a new paranormal species comes about and Lorin meets Lex.

The question is, will Lorin and Lex have a happy ending?

The blurb of Venomoid is very promising as is the start of the story. We’re in Lorin’s head and boy, let me tell you, it’s angsty in there. But Lorin has reason too. He is an fascinating character. He’s the victim of an attack where he was made a vampire at the age of 10, yet he still ages. It’s not exactly clear as to why that is, but I chucked it up the particular species of vampire of this book. He is sweet, strong with a lot of inner strength and character and his story is pretty heartbreaking. There were a number of times I just wanted to scoop him up and hold him close. Poor guy.

Lex makes things pretty exciting in this story. He’s a zombie. A glamorous one at that too. No rot and decay for him. He’s a whole new breed. He still eats people though… alive. Yup, that is a stomach-turner. Even though Lex is a likable character, his dinner makes things interesting.

While the characters are charming there are a few things that didn’t work for me. We step into the world of Venomoid without really getting to know the world. The world is in place, but there is no building, no understanding of how it came to be. It just is. While personally I don’t need a chewed out for me view of the world in a book, it would have been nice to get a better comprehension of why this world is the way it is and how IPO came to be.

That leads me to the second part. The IPO is the classic evil villain in this story. They are the evil corporate organisation that has a carte blanche in evil. Just about every person in the organisation is just cardboard evil. To me that makes IPO an unbelievable factor in the story. They are there to make the character(s) suffer and get away with everything. I found it a little hard to swallow.

The writing is not bad, but it needs to grow. It’s my understanding that the author is new writing books, if not game stories. The writing at times felt stilted and not descriptive. Some parts of the story were ‘told’ instead of lived through the character. At times the writing jumped and it felt more like reading a script than a story, but it has promise. I’ve definitely seen worse.

As a note, this is definitely YA as this is not exactly clear.

Why you should read it: Venomoid is a story that has an abundance of angsty in a paranormal / urban fantasy setting with action, adventure, horror and did I mention angst? It has a different point of view on the world of vampires and zombies. Me thinks Venomoid is an acquired taste. You’ll either like it or you won’t.

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