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Young Chris Callaway finds escape from the diagnosis of his terminal illness in the company of vampires, but he soon discovers that “life” among the undead holds its own set of terrors.
Author / Narrator Newsletter
– March 6, 2020
I don’t actively seek out horror books (well, not since I was on a Stephen King kick in middle school), but I’m thrilled to have found this audiobook. I think it technically qualifies as a romance, but this will be best enjoyed by folks who are OK with that being a small part of the story.
Chris Calaway is 22, dying of leukemia, obsessed with vampires and I immediately fell in love with him as a character. If fatal optimism is possible, that’s Chris. He’s really so excited to be free of his disease and becoming a part of a world he has fantasized about his whole life that I couldn’t help but jump into the world with him.
Cooke has a unique take of vampires and does a fantastic job on world building. He also spends time on the history of certain characters that entertains and it’s not until later that you realize what parts are relevant to current day. 1991 current. Perhaps it’s because I was not much younger than Chris in the early 90’s, but the book felt nostalgic instead of outdated. There is quite a bit of well crafted mystery and suspense going on, punctuated by enough humor to keep the nightmares at bay. I was enthralled from beginning to end and finished it in 2 days.
My only complaint, and I admit it’s unfounded other than I really like a good romance, would be to have heard more about Chris and his beau. Is it possible to demand a sequel 30 years later?
Sean Duregger did a fantastic job with the narration. This was a huge cast of characters and Duregger gave each of them their own unique sound as well as skillfully expressing various emotions. I look forward to more of his work.
Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers):
It’s Vampires. There’s blood sucking and a few murders. While somewhat detailed, I didn’t find it overly gory.
– April 13, 2020
Unique take on vampires
John Peyton Cooke & Sean Duregger brought Chris to life, you will laugh and cry. This was a bit more of an adventure story than expected . Overall it was a nice listen but felt like something was missing, but will listen to it again.
– June 23, 2020
I’ve been trying to remember the last time I read a vampire novel. I don’t mean a tale revolving around the Brian Lumley’s body-sculpting Wamphyri or Colin Wilson’s sexy Space Vampires but good, old fashioned vampires and I think it was probably The Vampire Lestat which I read the 90s as a rebellious teenage and so it was with interest that I started Out for Blood.
Synopsis wise, it’s an interesting premise and the idea of Chris Callaway, a young gay man suffering from leukemia, was certainly a different take than the usual person seeking excitement, revenge or power. The portrayal of his fear and frustration over his illness was well defined while avoiding it making it seem he was steeping in self-pity and I quickly grew to really like him and this was aided in no small part by the excellent narration by Sean Duregger who really gave him a beautiful sense of reluctant resignation.
Enter Beth, stunning goth girl who admits that she’s a vampire and has fed on him once and now wishes to offer him eternal life as a vampire. In a very short time, he’s died, been reborn and met the local pack of vamps and we learn that the vamps are not blood-thirsty killers but live with a very carefully regulated feeding ethos and take great care to avoid killing or turning.
This was a really nice change from the typical portrayal of vampires, as party animals revelling in death, blood and chaos and felt extremely refreshing. Another new addition is Chroba, the form that blood takes within a vampire after feeding and used to fuel their existence. I can’t remember the last time that a book about ‘classic’ vampires created anything new but this is certainly one such instance.
Things are not all fun and games as Chris learns and the problems don’t just involve hiding his new condition from humans as there are those who would use Vampires to their own ends and, following his meeting Temsik, he learns that there are things that even Vampires need to fear but to know what that is, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.
And I do recommend you do, this is a great story full of likeable characters, an original take on vampires and a really exciting story. To think that was published 30 years ago with a gay main character is brilliant and I honestly can’t think of many gay characters this well portrayed from that era.
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