The problem with reviewing other writerís novels is really two-fold: one, itís difficult to like another writerís work without comparing it to yours; and two, if itís better than your last novel, the problem about what to write becomes like the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room: Itís there, but no one wants to say anything about it.

When I started reviewing books for this site, I never really thought about any of that. Hey, Iím like the next horror writer wanna-be: I love to read, get some good ideas from aspects of the better stuff; and Iím transported away (which is the purpose of my reading in the first place). I never anticipated the obvious, which is something that has plagued me my entire adult life.

Flip the coin for a second and Iím just a reader and not really a writer in the first place, being a much more accomplished reader by anyoneís standards. So as an avid lover of horror I can step outside of the delusion that I have to compare another writerís work to mine, and just enjoy the sheer pleasure of an original story.

Blood Born by Matthew Warner is exactly that kind of novel. The story revolves around the impregnation of several women through brutal rapes by something sinister. The cover is intriguing and well drawn and pulls the reader in, but the story goes well beyond the beguiling cover. To unlock the story more than the tease Iíve given here is to be unfair to the highly entertaining plots and subplots one finds immersed in this one. The ending is original and clever, and left me clearly wanting more. In a nutshell: original idea, good characters, strong ending, frenzied pace. Works for me.

A small note of caution: some of the graphic nature of this novel left me a little uneasy (the rape scene was brutal for instance), but like a train wreck I couldnít look away or stop reading, so I have to give Mr. Warner his credit. He succeeded in making this book hard to forget. Blood Born is as good as the name implies