Thursday, July 2, 2015

Horror Review: One, Two, Three Kiss by E.J. Kimelman

Part urban fantasy and part apocalyptic horror, with a healthy dose of dark eroticism mixed in, One, Two, Three Kiss is a unique sort of serialized novel. It starts out oddly, with the submission of a research report to International Dimension Investigations, and intersperses the narrative chapters with a follow-up interrogation, but it all works. It lends the story a ring of found-footage truth, and as much as I've tired of that genre on the screen, on the page it can still work very well - as E.J. Kimelman demonstrates here.

As a dangerous new drug consumes the city, turning junkies into a monstrous mash of vampire and zombie, Darling Price continues to search for her best friend. It's not just the need to find a friend or even to solve a mystery - there's something deeper and darker to her obsession. She hungers for her best friend, and that's just the beginning. As the three stories go on, and Darline learns more about who she is and what's happening to the world, the story gets both weirder and more compelling.

It's a hard story to talk about without spoiling things, since Darlene's evolution is really at the core of the story, but there's a lot here to like. We've got vampires and zombies, shapeshifters, immortals, and even witches and warlocks. I've gotten rather tired of the whole zombie craze, and sick of the romantic vampire movement, but Kimelman injects new blood (and other bodily fluids) into both. This is a story about becoming "the most powerful being in the universe, stronger than any God, more magical than any witch or warlock, more eternal than any vampire" and stopping "the zombies not just in their domination of the universe but in time and space." It sounds epic and trippy, but she really pulls it off.

As for the erotic element, I was curious how it play into it all, and really worried it'd just be another sexy vampire tale, but she balances it well, using the sexuality to both contrast the violence and illustrate the more seductive extremes of power. It must be noted that One, Two, Three Kiss is waiting for a fourth kiss, and ends on a cliffhanger, but that's what serialized novels do - make you desperate for the next chapter.

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About the Author

Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling Sydney Rye Series including UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE, STRINGS OF GLASS, THE DEVIL'S BREATH and INVITING FIRE. This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Emily splits her time between the Hudson Valley and traveling the world with her husband and dog, Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone), researching exciting locations for the Sydney Rye Series. You can follow along on their adventures through Instagram, Facebook, and on Emily's blog.




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About the Book

One, Two, Three Kiss Box-Set: An Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy
Transmissions From the International Council for the Exploration of the Universe
by E.J. Kimelman

The International Council for the Exploration of the Universe exists to consider and conduct investigations into the dimensions of the Universe; to examine how far humans are being depleted by zombies; to investigate natural methods, such as by breeding, etc., of keeping up the stock; and in cases of certain future failure of supply to suggest the necessary remedial measures. For the most part it deals with the humans common to all dimensions, but a special sub-committee considers the vampires, and a second the shifters; disembodied spirits are not investigated.

In the first transmission....

A new, dangerous street drug is spreading through Crescent City. A hallucinogen that causes violent attacks, incredible strength, and leaves its victims in a permanently altered state.

Darling Price's band, Higgs and the Bosons, is on the verge of their big break. If only she could get her act together and play the way she did before her best friend and musical inspiration, Megan Quick, fell fatally ill, then disappeared.

With only weeks to live Megan wasn't even strong enough to visit the bathroom by herself, yet, somehow she climbed out of her window and left.

Even though it's been months, Darling can't stop looking for Megan. Still hoping to find her alive is insane. Her obsession is pissing off her band mates and Darling is worried it might trigger her hallucinations. She hasn't been sick since Megan and she ran away from their foster home to Crescent City at the age of 13.

They took a blood oath, pressing bleeding palms together, promising that no matter what they'd stay with each other. So how could Megan leave her? It's a mystery Darling can't solve and refuses to let go of.

Since Megan's disappearance Darling has started to feel a gnawing hunger. No food or drink or drug can quench it. It's a hunger she's felt before, but has convinced herself wasn't real. Because what Darling feels, and the vivid memories from her early childhood, are all impossible.

As the drug spreads through the city and the world begins to unravel, Darling's lack of musical inspiration becomes the least of her problems as she comes to recognize that all of her assumptions about the universe may be wrong.

In the second transmission....

Darling Price thought her best friend, Megan Quick, was dead. Months earlier the doctors said Megan had only weeks to live. Than she disappeared. So when Megan saves Darling from a crowd of flesh crazed zombies, exhibiting strength and speed beyond the bounds of biology, Darling is at once exhilarated to see her friend alive again but also frightened by her.

Darling comes to understand that Megan's new found life comes at a price, one she hopes Darling is willing to pay so that they can be together again.

With zombies over running the streets, immortal beings controlling her emotions, and lost memories flooding back to her, Darling must make a decision that will decide the course of her life forever. At the same time Darling begins to understand that she is not just some regular girl. She may have powers of her own that go beyond the bounds of known biology.

In the third transmission....

Darling Price can feed off the power of others. Through this transfer of energy she can heal from any wound, including a zombie bite. With the help of Dimitri, an 800 year old vampire, Darling searches for answers about her parents and her powers.

As she gets closer to the truth the world continues to crumble around her. Dr. Issa Tor, a powerful warlock, believes that Darling can help save the world but when she goes to his society looking for answers she just finds more questions. Time is running out for Darling and the world she has learned to think of as home.

Available at Amazon iTunes BN

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2 comments:

  1. Interesting mix of elements. I agree that the found footage is overused in movies now, but you don't see it often in books.

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  2. I saw that cover, and instantly thought - and was hoping - for a vampire story. I'm reading the Dark Tower series, and now I've been craving a horror-ish book.
    This has some other elects too, but seems like it could be good. Book 1 was free on amazon, so picked it up to see.

    -DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

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