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The Game of Pawns
“Dropping a cat from the top ledge of a ten-story office building was not the best way to remain hidden, but it was necessary.”
What kind of world would force good natured Daniel Hutchinson to commit such an act? The answer to that question is complex, and it can only be fully understood by reading The Predators of Darkness Series by Leonard D. Hilley II.
I know you, my Wicked Darlings, and I’m sure right now you are feeling sorry for the poor defenseless furry thing. Well... don’t. No, I haven’t lost it yet; I love the furry animals as much as you do, but this member of the cuddly society has been altered—A LOT!
The missile attack of the 2070s reshaped more than Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s living style; people and other things were affected genetically, physically, and worse yet, psychologically. I mean, who can you trust when something has given your worst enemy the ability to wear the face, scent, and memories of your family? What about if that something or someone, could hide a bloodthirsty beast under the cuddly façade of a poor defenseless furry thing?
I don’t know about you, my Wicked Darlings, but I, too, would drop the freaking cat-thing from the highest building I find. I would shoot it a few times too; just to be sure it won’t jump out of death and claw my face off.
That is the world I discovered in Predators of Darkness, the first book of the series by the same name. Daniel, an ex-military man and student of science, has to battle a faceless enemy with the help of friends he shouldn’t trust.
But there is light... in Beyond the Darkness, the second book of the series, friends and foes show their faces. And their claws… and their fangs… and they have sex until they die. Oh yes, lust and love is distributed equally in Beyond the Darkness. Mr. Hilley II did an exceptional job at showing the lengths people are willing to go in order to save a race or to exterminate it. The relationships in this series are complex, and the reader hardly knows where they are going until the author shows it on the page—I loved this part. I LOVE all the ass-kicking action too!
Speaking of ‘ass-kicking action,’ The Game of Pawns, the latest release in the series, is full of blood, guts, love, and sweet satire. Daniel has been seriously affected by the events that took place in the first two books. He tries his best to become a recluse, and almost succeeds. But PTSD and sequestration have no place in the mind and heart of a person who cares about his friends and family, so when Daniel’s best friend is arrested and charged with murder, our hero turned writer jumps out of his desolation—and he comes armed with claws, clones, and a heck of a lot of wit. This combination results in a novel that leaves the reader very little time to breathe or to do anything else, so make sure to go for a bathroom break before cuddling with this thrilling baby.
My Wicked Thoughts: The Predators of Darkness Series caught me by surprise. I had the first book for a while, but had not read it because I assumed it was just another bit of apocalyptic science fiction. I was dead wrong; this series is packed with shocking bits of real life. The first jolt came from the author’s ability to make me see, smell, and feel his writing. I experienced sex that brought a being back from the darkness. I felt the contractions, the sweat, the desperation and bliss of a character having a baby. My heart was kept tender by how much the characters cared about each other, and this tenderness help me understand—and defend—their thirst for the blood of anyone who dare harmed their loved ones.
The one thing that tends to deter me from reading your everyday science fiction novel is the lack of emotions. Well, these three books took dramatic passion, thrilling action, scientific nightmares, and psychological horror, and delivered a tale that satisfied even my demanding non-science fiction reading heart.