Payback (Channeling Morpheus, #1) - Jordan Castillo Price From page one I was hooked. Price accomplished that mission fast and with no pretense - the same as she writes.

Taking center stage to introduce us to this series, is Michael, a newly decided vampire hunter and young man on the verge of adulthood. By way of Michael’s youthful, black and white slated, determined POV, here’s what the reader learns: his intelligence in researching and preparing for his goals, his naivety in the ease those goals will be achieved, hints of his “noble” (if not self-righteous) motives to rid the world of vampires, his sexual preference and inexperience and his greenness on the whole of life. And though Michael’s young, emo self might not be of utmost interest, what and who he experiences, very much are. Enter Wild Bill. Wild Bill is the draw of Payback. The reader is as charmed, intrigued and in lust with Wild Bill in the matter of his first few amusing, crudely clever lines as Michael is and his draw only gets stronger. With a display of unassuming charisma, reminding me of Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Tyler Durden, Wild Bill is an electric current pulsing through the story keeping both the reader’s and Michael’s heart beating and bringing the story it’s life.

Payback revolves around one of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read and the energy between Wild Bill and Michael - despite the fact it is a threesome. The sex is pornographic, but I can’t label this story smut. It is too intelligent to term as such. A dynamic was presented that smarted at me and left me wanting more of these two’s story. Despite the sex being the main interaction in the novelette, it isn’t what binds Wild Bill and Michael - the sex is a means to an end. It is a murder that binds them together. And that is where Price distinguished this piece from falling in a smut category - by allowing the plot to evolve via the sex instead of the sex evolving through the plot.

In the writing, Price keeps the number one rule of successful writers in mind throughout her work: keep it simple. The prose are not pretentious or muddled. The writing wasn’t beautiful, it was crassly eloquent - so well suited to the characters, mood and world she presents. Price displays her writing ability to be exceptional - and with in a novelette no less.

After floating in a three star sea for the past month, I am very pleased to be back on four star ground. And if Price is able to sustain the quality through the rest of the novelettes, I will be happily sheltered in a five star series. Thank you Channeling Morpheus (and Mr. Hassell for the awesome recommendation).

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