Vampires suck. Nobody knows this better than Nathan Sharp, the latest minion of Iris Augenblick, a Venetian vampiress who has been roaming the world in a centuries-old game of cat-and-mouse with her ancient Russian maker, Alexei, before finally settling in Chicago. Crossing fateful paths with Iris one night, Nate thought he’d found paradise, only to eventually see the bloody reality behind the nightlife of his undead mistress, and the cold brutality of vampire politics. The only thing worse than being a vampire’s victim is being their minion. And if you think serving one is hard, try leaving one behind and living to tell the tale. Part minion’s memoir, part fractured love story, part critique of vampirism itself, “Suckage” escorts you through the moonlit streets of Chicago and into the very darkest corners of the human spirit with audacious wit, horror, and humor.
“Great read. Interesting story. Definitely not written as one of today’s standard vampire chick lit stories (which I must add, I am a huge fan of). As always, D.T. Neal takes a subject matter that is frequently written about, and puts his own unique spin on it.”
“This book will give the reader an out loud moment to cheer for Nate’s strength and life altering decision. And perhaps give us power to make a few of our own as well.”
“This story had me riveted from the very beginning, and I could not put it down. It’s fast-paced and filled with engaging characters you won’t forget anytime soon. I really enjoyed the modern spin on classic vampire lore. Of course, it wouldn’t be a vampire story without some bloodshed, but gore is not the point. There is plenty of humor and humanity mixed in with the monsters, and at its heart is a tortured romance. It’s definitely not just for horror fans!”
“Readers who enjoy classic vampires will like the classic vampire tropes that are present in this novel, and will likely find the interplay between the vampires and Nate’s observation of them entertaining. I liked this book, could see it playing out well as a movie, found it a romp that manages to be light-hearted, darkly comic, and even poignant in places, and with a few key moments of genuine horror.”
“I love, love, LOVE this book!
Whilst a vampire tale, the true heart of the story is about Nate Sharp, the minion of the ages-old vampire Iris Augenblick. Nate’s wry humor, casual confidence, enthusiasm, and earnest nature charmed me in a heartbeat. His recountings of his time with Iris are sincerely and engagingly expressed, and I found myself personally experiencing Nate’s own heartbreak, anger and hope. Additionally, Nate has a pull no punches attitude and a propensity for direct action that I also love.
The other characters in the story are just as compellingly written. Vampires who are warm, humans who are cold and everything in between. No stock characters here. All persons, living or undead in “Suckage” each have genuine and convincingly real personalities. There are characters that I love and a few that I love to hate!
As with all D.T. Neal books, I was immediately sucked into the world of “Suckage.” The pacing of the story is wonderful–a steady pulse of action that becomes more rapid as Nate comes to terms with the reality of his un-life with Iris, and then puts into motion changes that will allow him to be free to live a life on his own terms.
Also appreciated is that “Suckage” is absolutely modern in vibe. Journeys to past times are taken, but this is no period piece. Neal certainly gives the reader enticing details about Iris’ past, as well as her fellow vampires’ histories, but this story takes place in the here and now and I dug that.
What I really love about “Suckage” is this: Love is the lifeblood of this tale. Simply examined, without grand gestures or maudlin contrivances, Neal captures and puts to pen the very spirit of imperfect and blind human love. “Suckage” quietly examines what we as humans will do or not do for love.
And finally, for a novel about the undead, this books absolutely feels ALIVE! It’s warm, active and fleshy. Love & Lust. Jealousy & Anger. Heartbreak & Hope. It doesn’t get more human than that.
Sink your teeth into “Suckage!” You will totally not regret it.”
“Suckage” by D.T. Neal is a refreshing take on the classic vampire story that delivers more than just thrilling action.
Nathan Sharp, a self-proclaimed good-looking Art History majorfinds himself vulnerable after an ugly breakup with his long-term girlfriend, only to be swept up under the wing of Iris, one of the top vampires in Chicago. After losing five years of his life under her employment as a lurer of prey, Nathan decides to end this immoral lifestyle forever. But leaving a vampire is harder than he imagined.
While this novel is full to the brim with action, blood, and gore, Neal takes the time to also fully develop each character. From Iris’s complicated past and manipulative behavior, to Nathan’s internal struggle against his will to serve and his need leave, to Jennipher’s disappointment and confusion in dealing with her new life, Neal gives each character qualities that humanize even the nonhuman. With such a fantastical setting, “Suckage” could have been unbelievable and, thus, hard to relate to. Instead, Neal brings the reader a world in which the harsh reality of vampires is a given.
One of the most compelling components of this novel is the way in which the story is delivered. The reader sees the action through the eyes of the irreverrant, snarky Nathan. With such dry commentary as, “Nobody just walks up and says ‘Hey, I’m a vampire. Want to go somewhere?’” Nathan gives the reader a brutally frank view of the underworld. By infusing humor into an otherwise dark story, Neal creates a compelling read on many levels.
Before reading this work, however, the reader should be warned that there are a few instances of sexual content, as well as copious vulgar language. While the swearing fits in well with the vernacular of Nathan Sharp, it often bogs down sentences rather than punches them up. By using stronger verbs and adjectives, the author might have been able to avoid creating a novel that could offend some readers.
Though “Suckage” is essentially a classic vampire story, it goes beyond that role and deals with the more complex issues common in the real world. Nathan’s struggles with Iris reflect the problems that come from unhealthy, dependence-based relationships. Meanwhile, his internal, moral struggle brings him to question Iris’s behavior, to which she curtly responds “Sweet Nate, you’re too far in the game for conscience, my love.” This doubt brings out one of the major themes of this work: the struggle between the immoral and the moral. This classic battle is brought to a head when Iris lures three vampire hunters to her lair and pits them against each other as she slowly turns them one by one into vampires. Nathan knows that “the moral thing, the human thing, would have been to release the men from their prison,” but still he falters due to his love for Iris. While the scenes may be unearthly, the moral problems and consequences are similar to those of the real world.
Going above and beyond the call of duty, “Suckage” delivers the full package: blood, guts, and love. With thoroughly developed characters, intriguing narration, and moral commentary, Neal creates a self-aware and refreshingly frank story likely to appeal to a variety of readers.