Audiobook Review: Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price

Mark Hansen thought working as artist’s assistant would be glamorous, especially if that artist was a vampire. Black tie events, witty repartee, gracing the pages of the local style section…. Didn’t happen. Not even once.

Jonathan Varga is an enigma. True, he’s quiet, generous, and scrupulously polite. But he has zero social life, refuses to be interviewed or photographed, and insists he can only consume feline blood.

Why supermarket blood won't suffice, Mark hasn’t asked. He’s rarely at a loss for words—he can dish an insult and follow it with a snap as quick as you can say “Miss Thang.” But one look at Jonathan’s black-as-sin gypsy eyes, and Mark’s objections drain away.

So he endures the perpetual grind of their routine: Jonathan hiding in his studio, swiping black paint onto black canvases. Mark hurling insults while he buffs the office to a shine with antiviral wipes. Each of them avoiding the other in a careful choreography…until a blurb in Art in America unleashes a chain of harrowing events.

As secrets from Jonathan’s past are brought to light, it becomes clear that all his precautions weren’t nearly enough.

Second expanded edition includes bonus novelette Sweet 

Narrated by Joel Leslie 
Listening Length 10 hrs 25 mins

For a book that started off with me making a face (not a good one) to end up...

Surprised no one more than I. Talk about finishing strong.

What I had trouble with initially was Leslie's interpretation of Mark and Mark tells the whole story. Mark's a bitchy smartass. Leslie clearly knows this but the problem was I didn't, so I kept thinking, 'why's he so bitchy?'. This is simultaneously the pro and con of an audiobook. Had I read it I would've come to this realization on my own, but having it read to me in that tone had me thinking after 10.5 hours someone might get stabbed. I should've known better. Leslie, once again, does a magnificent job distinguishing and bringing to life all of these characters. Seriously, how many accents can he do?

Once the lightbulb moment occurred Mark began to charm me with his wit, snark and dandyism. He and Jonathan are one of those rare couples that belong together, like, if they're not together the world doesn't make sense and I fell for them. Hard.

As Mark and Jonathan traverse crazed vampire ex-lovers, poverty, grand theft auto, tunnels, underwear in a bag and water of dubious origins there's never any doubt how much they mean to each other. Even when they fight, because they have very little in common, the tension builds and builds.

Hemovore is briskly paced with impressive and creative world building. It's quirky in it's delivery and leaves an indelible mark with its eccentricities especially in its deviation from your average vamp story. Make no mistake, through all the snark and banter there is a poignancy and heartache in this world JCP has created with a divide between V+s and V-s that's chilling in its similarity to the inception of HIV and its similarly polarizing effects.

That measly little symbol is the only thing keeping them apart. Honestly, I was just hoping that they'd at least be able to hold hands at some point! Instead I got a kiss that was truly epic. I know that word may seem trite and overused but in this case it's absolutely true. I think I maybe "accidentally" freebased some of the love heroin they produced.

I was sitting firmly on 4 Hearts until the Sweet novelette happened and I found myself Pretty Woman duck face clapping in my car. Don't worry there were only a couple people around. It's one of the few advantages of living in the sticks. So I figured, if that doesn't merit an extra heart what does?

Recommend to everyone. I think pretty much anyone would find this enjoyable.

 A review copy was provided.

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