Predators of Darkness: Aftermath by Leonard D. Hilley II is the first book in his Darkness Series. Pittsburgh was the victim of a missile attack three years ago and ever since, the city has been in isolation and the survivors in constant fear of the roaming shifters. The survivors are finally beginning to understand what truly happened three years when they realized the city is fenced in. Unfortunately,someone does not want them to and will do whatever it takes to take them out to keep the secret a secret.
I love this book because I am a huge fan of government/military conspiracies, the dystopian genre, and it reminded me of Resident Evil which I love. I was hooked from the movement I started reading.
The characters are all really interesting even if I wanted to hate them especially Dr. Helmsby who is one of the survivors. He is a great scientist, found the cure for AIDS right before the missile attack and understands the shifters. I hate him though because he kind of knew was going to happen and constantly keeps vital information to himself. He is a frustrating character to like but his reasoning make sense. There are outsiders trying to kill the remaining survivors; he is going to be careful.
There is Daniel and Lucas, whom the survivors rely upon to scavenge food and supplies from the shifter-infested city. Daniel is more or less the leader of the survivors and Lucas is his danger-seeking subordinate. The women-Lydia, Johanna, and Julia are the center females of the book. More exist but they are just there. I think Hilley captured the inter-relationship between all three of them very well. Lydia is the outsider who is not trusted, Johanna as the alpha female with insecurities, and Julia is the medic who is sneaky. There interactions are fun to read. I did not like the process of choosing an alpha female but it is realistic.
Of course, the counter to the survivors is the TransGenCorp, a bioengineering company with military contracts. Long before the downfall of Pittsburgh, it was a suspicious company. I like the insight into the company because Hilley shows the division that the company feels about their pet project. General Idris, head of the project, is really into eliminating Dr.Helmsby because he could expose the project. Whereas General Norhaney and Sergeant Godfrey are working to undermine the company.
Let’s talk about the shifters. The shifters are creatures that have fast regeneration abilities, like to be sexually deviant with females, and eat humans. Quite dangerous and inhumane to say the least. However, Hilley shows shifters are not all as bad because we have Morton, the shape shifting cat that was thrown off the building by Daniel at the start of the book. He is so adorable and has great interactions with Daniel and Julia because he can talk. Who does not like a talking cat who has a sense of humor ? There is also Maria and what ends up happening to her. No spoilers here about that but it just shows that bonds are natural to the shifters. There is one more shifter that really surprised me and shows that there is a difference between laboratory-bred shifters and shifters.
Overall, I love this book and its dichotomy. The enemy has subdivisions which are contrasting each other and so do the survivors. Not everything is in black and white. I’m so looking forward to reading the second book, Beyond The Darkness.
29th book in the 100+Reading Challenge