Desert Isle Keeper
I have to admit I’m a sucker for paranormal romances and, if you throw in a little SF, you pretty much have me hooked. Set in a post-apocalyptic world infested with cannibals, vampires, and those out for a fast buck, Inferno is softened by very real and human characters. Although the main protagonist, Katarina (a.k.a. Hell Kat) is a hard-edged bounty hunter, she’s also a woman with a great deal of passion and bravery.
In Hell Kat, Vivi Anna’s first tale, Kat was bitten by a Dark Dweller, a sort of futuristic vampire…and infected by the Dark Dweller virus. Although she struggles against the dark venom running through her blood, she knows it is just a matter of time before she succumbs to the virus. Fearing for her friends, Kat sets out alone, leaving behind her lover.
In this sequel, the tough, but lovable Kat finds herself on a quest for a cure of the Dark Dweller virus. She returns to her ex-lover and partner, Hades, who now lives in the human settlement well-outside of the nuclear-ravaged areas that were his and Hell Kat’s haunts in the first novel. The appearance of the dangerous and darkly beautiful Kat turns Hades’ plans for a normal life upside down. Kat has heard that a cure for the virus exists in Inferno City, but to get it she’ll need Hades’ help. And, although Hades knows that his only hope at living a normal life is to turn his back on Kat, his only chance at true happiness is at her side.
Before Hades can give Kat an answer, she discovers that her young and besotted sidekick, the nereid Leucothea, has followed her and, even worse, she has been trailed by a pack of Dark Dwellers sent to return Kat to their stronghold. The band of cannibalistic humans, who have been totally consumed by the virus, attack Hades’ settlement and threaten to murder everyone if Kat doesn’t come along peacefully. A defiant but bound Kat leaves with the Dark Dwellers, but with Hades and Leucothea right behind. All their paths lead straight to Inferno City — a subterranean Sin City that holds equal promises of hope and hell. Will the plucky Leucothea and Hades be able to save Kat and help her find her cure, or will Kat fully embrace her vampire nature?
Inferno has all the twists and turns any romance, paranormal, or noir reader could hope to find. This dark romance is filled with love, lust, depravity, and redemption. Kat and Hades are magnetic and Baruch, the Dark Dweller who infected Kat and who remains obsessed with her, is darkly fascinating. The secondary characters are interesting in their own right and have dynamic stories and dark secrets. There are no heroes in this tale, but anti-heroes a plenty. Kat, and Hades are tainted by their own desires and personal flaws and even sweet little Leucothea’s motives are dictated by her love (and lust) for Kat. Baruch is a creature driven completely by his fleshly wants.
As the title implies, Inferno is utterly hot! It is a steamy story, well-told and masterfully peopled with Vivi Anna’s complex characters. Although I haven’t read Hell Kat, I had no problem at all following the plot of this one. Vivi Anna does a great job of weaving the threads of the original story and of Kat and Hades’ history into this tale, still, I can’t stand not knowing all the sultry little details, so I am picking up a copy of the original story and waiting with baited breath for the next installment. This is simply a great book. I am definitely looking forward to Kat’s further dark adventures.