Don’t Bite the Messenger by Regan Summers
Released: January 16, 2012
The vampire population may have created an economic boom in Alaska, but their altered energy field fries most technology. They rely on hard-living–and short-lived–couriers to get business done…couriers like Sydney Kildare.
Sydney has survived to the ripe old age of twenty-six by being careful. She’s careful when navigating her tempestuous clients, outrunning hijackers and avoiding anyone who might distract her from her plan of retiring young to a tropical, vampire-free island.
Her attitude–and immunity to vampires’ allure–have made her the target of a faction of vampires trying to reclaim their territory. Her only ally is Malcolm Kelly, a secretive charmer with the uncanny habit of showing up whenever she’s in trouble. Caught in the middle of a vampire turf war, Sydney has to count on Malcolm to help her survive, or the only place she’ll retire is her grave…
Don’t Bite the Messenger is a fun novella with lots of energy and explosions. I wanted to read it because I thought Regan Summers’ concept was great: vampires can’t use technology so they have to rely on human runners to deliver messages, documents, etc. I also loved the idea of a book set in Alaska. It doesn’t happen all that often (though I can think of a couple stories that do use this setting, like Kelley Armstrong’s Frostbitten or Marcus Peligrimas’ Blood Blade) and I love it when an author throws something a little out of the ordinary at his or her readers. It’s especially cool this time because Regan Summers is actually in Alaska in real life,which makes me think her descriptions are probably the most accurate.
Of course, being a runner isn’t exactly a safe job. Good runners are constantly switching things up, avoiding routine at all cost, so that they wont get caught by humans or vampires who are up to no good. I loved how Sydney, the main character, constantly changed her appearance — and even tried to mask her scent — in addition to her routine and habits. Smart, resourceful protagonists make things a lot more interesting. Smart, resourceful protagonists with a secret? Even better.
I also like how the author introduces Malcolm into the story. He’s an interesting character and I was very curious about him. We don’t get all that much information about him, especially not at first, and I enjoyed watching Sydney try to figure him out.
I’m excited to see what Regan Summers does next.