I have read my share of vampire novels over the years. While there are some great stories told through the eyes of blood suckers, none of the previous tales could have prepared me for Knuckle Supper. Author Drew Stepek brings a refreshing look at one of the most beloved monsters in fiction.
The Los Angeles drug trade is run by gangs of vampires. One of those gangs are the Knucklers. Their leader, RJ, is a heroin junkie whose next fix is as important to his survival as the blood that he requires to sustain his very life. Running drugs and feasting on victims is the daily life of RJ and his right hand Dez, until he meets Bait.
Bait is a twelve-year old prostitute who RJ takes pity on and takes her in. It’s not long before Bait’s attitude and sass quickly turn RJ’s life upside down and puts his leadership of the Knucklers in question. Soon after, RJ and Dez steal a massive supply of heroin that was meant for the Battlesnakes, the toughest gang in the city. With the help of Bait, they begin dealing the heroin secretly throughout the city, hoping the Battlesnakes won’t find out. In the midst of this, there is something much more dangerous that threatens all of vampire kind.
Right from the start, Knuckle Supper is full of violence and gore, wrapped around a thrilling story of survival and regret. The stigma of the vampire is the vehicle that drives the story. However, a central theme is the wickedness of society and evil treatment of adolescents all around the world. A clear message that we should reflect upon reading this book. Because of this, 10% of the revenue from each book will be donated to Children of the Night charity, which helps get children being used for sex acts off the street and safe.
Well-written and gripping from the beginning, I really felt a connection to the society that Drew Stepek built and quickly got attached to the characters. Like most vampire stories, Knuckle Supper is one of tragedy and despair. However, that’s where the similarities with these other stories end. It is most definitely not for the faint of heart, and fans of Clive Barker will feel right at home.