“ Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Rhi Etzweiler / Paperback / 406 Pages / Book is published 2012-02-25 by Riptide Publishing „
Set in a parallel contemporary world, internal power struggles within a previously unknown but well established subspecies of humans has erupted into the public conscious, with dire consequences. The Lyche have possibly always been amongst us, but their common name amongst the normals is "vampire". Forget blood, these folks feed on chi and exhibit psychic abilities that terrify the rest of us for good reason. That doesn't stop the Nightwalkers though...the mostly young who walk the streets peddling parts of their chi in exchange for cash. Needless to say, this sort of job doesn't leave you with a very long life span, as your life force is literally drained away.
This makes one pair of Nightwalkers all the more obvious despite their attempts at keeping a low profile. Black and his twin sister Jhez have been around much, much longer than they'd be willing to admit. Not only have they survived for far longer than they could have been reasonably expected to, but they haven't physically aged. The very, very well guarded reason for this is that twins are able to steal chi themselves, and have actually been taking a bit of their customer's chi while he feeds. When the area's reigning vamp, Garthelle, becomes involved after catching Black in an act of chi theft, the twins' lives are forever altered. Monsieur Garthelle offers them a deal in exchange for simply not killing Black. As deals go, it's better than being dead. But not all is as it seems...
It was quite easy to slip into this alternative world. It was at once as familiar as it was alien, giving us just enough detail to find our bearings, but without getting too bogged down in the inconsequential. Black was surprisingly easy to relate to, and as his confusion grew about things he thought he knew to be true, so did ours as Etzweiler plays the cards close to the chest, not giving anything away along the journey as we navigate the labyrinthine intricacies of Lyche politics and interpersonal relationships. The growing sexual tension between Black and Garthelle is palatable, and when they give in, the sex is explosive while also adding to complications to their situation.The plot is detailed and filled with intrigue that leads us down dark corridors wondering what was going to jump out next, with dizzying twists and turns that lead me to turn one electronic page after another trying to catch my breath while enjoying the ride. The ending neatly ties up the plot threads, but I still found myself wanting more. It's definitely a world I'd love to revisit and get to know better.
This is available both as a paperback and as an ebook for those who prefer recycled electrons over dead trees. I'd like to thank the publisher for making my review copy possible.