Today in the TehBen Book Club, I get to take a crack at Rebecca Hefner‘s fantasy romance: The End of Hatred. Our story takes place on Etherya’s Earth, which is a carbon copy of our Earth, only it has been brought about by the whimsy of the goddess Etherya as opposed to the vanilla planetary formation process that brought us to where we are. Essentially, it is a parallel world with all of the same land features and human civilization has evolved in the exact same way as our Earth up until the present day. That is to say, Etherya’s Earth has the comforts of smart phones and Wifi, but the humans there haven’t brought about nuclear Armageddon or catastrophic climate change (yet).
Ok, Nelson, the last fantasy novel you told us about had magic swords, and flying sailboats; why make a twin-Earth and have it be the same as ours? Because, dear reader, in Etherya’s Earth, we are not the only form of intelligent, advanced, bipedal creatures. The Goddess’ original inhabitants of her world were the Slayera: gentle, meek, beautiful, and pure. Unfortunately for Etherya, their immortality did not sit well with her boss, The Universe. This led to the creation of a second species: the Vampyres. Now these were not some vicious Dracula-impersonators, set out to prey on the Slayera. The Vampyres were meant to provide physical protection to the more timid, physically weaker race. In exchange, they had to drink Slayera blood to survive. Both of these needs formed a symbiotic relationship between the two species, which is a nice change to most well-tread vampire-themed plot lines. Unfortunately, there’s also a third race of immortals, known as Daemons, who exist to shatter this peaceful, mutually beneficial relationship.
The story starts 1000 years after the Awakening, the ominous flashpoint for the Vampyre vs Slayera conflict. Our perspective changes between perhaps a dozen different characters throughout the novel, allowing us to see many things happening simultaneously across the realm. That being said, the two main characters are: Miranda, the Slayera Princess, and Sathan, King of the Vampyres. Both characters are out to find an end to this thousand years’ war, albeit their motives and plans for such peace aren’t always the same. Their combined journey towards this goal makes up the main plot line of the story, with a few side plots thrown for added intrigue.
I mentioned that this is also a romance novel, so there is more than a fair bit of sexual tension throughout. As I said before, we experience the novel from the perspective of multiple people, and good god, and of course, every single character is interested in someone they really shouldn’t be interested in. This serves to add extra tension in this and further books of this series. Will all these problematic couples pair off? Will unrequited love stay so? It’s too soon to tell at this point. All I can say for sure, is when the sexual tension does get relieved (double entendre 100% intended), and it is absolutely electric. I’ve spent time in rooms with molten lead that were down right chilly in comparison.
A cursory glance around the Kindle Store shows that The End of Hatred is merely the introductory piece to an exciting and alluring series. There were several different plot lines that didn’t resolve themselves in book 1, but these loose ends just leave the reader hungry for more. Not hungry enough to drink Slayera blood, of course… I mean unless you’re a Vampyre… whatever, you do you. If you take nothing else away from this review: Go buy The End of Hatred ($0.99), then after you’re hooked, buy the rest.
Ms. Hefner’s work get’s an emphatic approval from me, and I think you’ll agree.