REVIEW: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
Dear Ms. Cole,
A variety of supernatural beings walk the earth in the world you have created in this book. The heroine, Emmaline Troy, is half-vampire, half-Valkyrie. Her Valkyrie mother died in childbirth and Emma has been raised by the Valkyries, warrior maidens who don’t know anything about her vampire father.
Vampires are capable of great evil and are enemies of the Valkyries, and therefore it’s surprising that a Valkyrie and a vampire would ever create a child together. So Emma feels like neither fish nor fowl. Unlike her aunts, she is not much of a warrior. She is gentle and terrified of vampires, even though she is half vampire herself.
Lachlain MacRieve is a a Lykae (werewolf) and the leader of his clan. But everyone thinks he is dead because for a hundred and fifty years he has been chained by the vampires’ leader in an eternal fire beneath Paris. Each Lykae has a predestined mate and once each one finds his or her mate, they remain with them for life. Lykae have always mated with other Lykae, but now Lachlain has become an exception to this rule. His predestined mate is Emma, and when he picks up her scent from above, he wants to be with her so much that he tears off his own leg to escape the chain that holds him. (Luckily, the leg grows back).
It’s not until Lachlain finds Emma that he realizes she is a vampire (he does not know about the Valkyrie half). After the way the vampires have tortured him for decades, he loathes them all, but he can’t let go of Emma. Neither can he decide what to do with her. One moment he is all over her and the next he is threatening her. It takes him a while to get over what he suffered and to calm down and realize that part vampire or not, Emmaline really is his mate and he doesn’t want any harm to come to her.
Emma is both attracted to Lachlain and at first, afraid of him. She agrees to help him to get to his home in Scotland and later, when she learns that she may be in danger from some murderous vampires, she decides that it’s not such a bad idea to stick close to him. Unlike Lachlain, Emma isn’t so big on the lifemate concept, but the attraction she feels for Lachlain grows stronger and while dealing with adversity she begins to get over her fears and become strong.
For me A Hunger Like No Other was one of those potato chip books. It was hard to stop at one page or even a hundred, but ultimately, it wasn’t all that satisfying.
Lachlain was a guilty pleasure kind of hero, a bit of a Neanderthal but enjoyable for all that. Emmaline was a sympathetic heroine. I was prepared to dislike her wimpiness, but I didn’t. A Hunger Like No Other is at its strongest when Lachlain and Emma are alone, but as they are joined by other immortals, the book begins to suffer from the preponderance of too many different types of creatures. There are Valkyries and vampires and Lykae and Wraiths and witches and ghouls and demons and by the end, my ability to suspend disbelief only extended so far.
I’m also getting a little tired of paranormals in which the hero is the leader of a pack of creatures who mate for life and the heroine is &emdash; you guessed it &emdash; his mate. I know, that describes at least a third of the paranormal subgenre. But that’s exactly my point. This premise has only been around for a few years and already it’s getting to feel overused.
I’m sure that it’s possible to make that concept feel completely new to me, but it isn’t easy, and this book did not accomplish that feat. I will say this, though: when Lachlain and Emma finally get around to having werewolf-Valkyrie sex, it was pretty darn hot.
Ultimately, this book is a very guilty pleasure, and my opinion is that readers looking for something deep or meaningful or intellectually stimulating should probably skip it. Readers who want to entertain themselves for a few hours without thinking too hard, and who like paranormals, alpha heroes, and over-the-top sex might enjoy this one. As for me, A Hunger Like No Other left me hungry for something more substantial. C+.