Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: March 28, 2006
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #1
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Sexual assault, kidnapping, torture, violence
I’ve been hearing about the Immortals After Dark series for ages and I’ve finally started to dive into this massive series. I went into this book with a lot of background information which definitely shaped my reading experience. This book is definitely problematic and one that people sometimes skip over, but I’m someone who needs to read all the books in the series.
After enduring years of torture at the hands of the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, manages to escape after finding his fated mated. However, little did he expect the mate he’s waited millennia for would be a half-vampire/half-Valkyrie woman, Emmaline Troy. While Emma’s on the hunt for answers about her parents, the last thing she needs is to be forced to escort Lachlain back to his ancestral home in Scotland.
I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of this book, yet I found the world Kresley Cole created fascinating. I found that I kept reading as I wanted to know more about this world of the Lore and loved the side characters. In particular, I loved the Valkyries and felt like I kept reading for more glimpses of them.
When it comes to Lachlain and Emma, I have very mixed feelings. I found Emma bland and flat and struggled to understand her motivations. And then Lachlain was like an uber UBER alpha male. He felt a bit flat at first, but I warmed up to him a bit as he felt like he had more depth throughout the novel. HOWEVER, our introduction to Lachlain is incredibly problematic, as is the central romance in the story.
I knew going into this book there were major content warnings related to sexual assault, but I think it bears repeating that the first interaction between Lachlain and Emma is a sexual assault. He literally tackles her, molests her and then kidnaps her. It’s a lot, and it all happens right at the beginning of the story. Because Lachlain and Emma are fated mates, he feels incredibly entitled to Emma’s body and feelings despite Emma’s objections. It’s a lot to take in for sure, and many people will want to put the book down for that reason. The romance between the two of them never fully developed for me, and I didn’t really even see much of an attraction between them. When they finally bang (in an epic scene in the woods, I will admit), there didn’t feel like a ton of sparks between them even though there was literally lightning going off behind them.
Unfortunately, most of the plot is romance-driven and given the lack of chemistry between Lachlain and Emma, I found myself a bit bored while reading this. Yes, other plots involved finding Emma’s dad and Lachlain getting back to his position of power and punishing the head of the vampire horde. They just felt like a bit of an afterthought. I did enjoy Emma’s confrontation with her father as it finally felt like she had a bit of backbone.
I will say, I do think A Hunger Like No Other does a great job introducing the world of the Lore and I’m really excited to continue with the rest of the books in the series. The concept of fated mates will be a fun one to see played out in so many different ways, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.