Vampire Origins - The Strigoi Book 1 - Project Ichorous

Rated 3.83/5 based on 13 reviews
Five vampire tribes, a thousand year old prophecy and a human family caught in the middle. Project Ichorous is the first book in the Vampire Origins series. More

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Published by Aussieicon Books
Words: 133,820
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452387420
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About Riley Banks

"Creating stories you won't want to leave."

With over fifteen years in journalism and over a decade living overseas, Riley Banks knows how to tell a tale or two. Her fast paced novels hook readers and keep them hooked to the very last word.

Riley creates worlds readers won't want to leave.

Whether she's writing sexy, adult novels or action packed YA, you can rely on her signature to shine through: Fast pace, gripping suspense and characters so rich and bold they will stay with you long after you finish.

Her Vampire Origins series is already being touted as the next big thing in YA literature. Packed full of action, adventure, romance, and evil, Vampire Origins weaves historical fact with fiction to explore the origins of five very different vampire tribes: Strigoi, Cambion, Bretonnian, Strix, and Nosferatu.

Riley's debut novel, The William S Club, is an erotic thriller jam-packed full of passion, corruption, secrets and blackmail. It takes the reader on an edge-of-your-seat ride through France, Italy, Dubai and Australia.

For more information on her work, visit her website:


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Also by This Author


Review by: Alysa H on Feb. 22, 2014 :
Although the summary of this book made me a little wary, I was enticed by the opening chapters (Alexei and Anastasia Romanov: Vampires! Give this to me now!). Unfortunately, I only made it a few chapters further than that. What I read of this book was chock full of relationship cliches, lazy expository shortcuts, unlikeable characters, and bad research (since when does New York City have an "office district"?). Also, convoluted and with way too much going on. I just couldn't get into it at all.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Mariela Germann on Nov. 13, 2013 :
I would like to thank Never Too Old For Y.A. & N.A. Books and the author Riley Banks for allowing to read this book for a honest review.

I would like to start with the cover of the book, it just does not appeal to me, but I tend to not judge a book by its cover. I honestly did not love it or hate it but I enjoyed the book very much, mostly the different point of views on which the story develops; it was very interesting to read what other characters thought or feel than just one person.

My favorite characters were Caleb and Alex, but I like Alex more at the end, I just thought from the beginning that Alex was going to be the main male character then the more I read about Caleb and I tended to favor him best and later on I completely fell for Lachman but he ends up to be a major jerk so I like Alex the most even though I resent that I didn't read more about him until the end. Scarlet was very gullible and naive, I wished that she was stronger and a little smarter about who she hangs out with and who is foe and friend. Bear, the cat, O.M.G I just couldn't imagine that he was what he was. Tash, I did like her at the very end, her actions and commitment and then her sacrifice, seal the deal for me.

I recommended this book to anyone who likes paranormal especially vampires, shapeshifters and even has witches, yeah witches, a little of everything but very entertaining. The cliffhanger will leave you wanting more, well it did for me and I can't wait to read the second book.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Niamh on Nov. 13, 2013 :
I received a copy of this book for free as part of Goodreads' Read for Review and I thank the author for her generosity.

I really like the premise of this story and it's a really intriguing take on the origin story of vampires. The characters are interesting and the book contains a couple of great twists. I think the story is really good but the way the author jumps between different story lines without any kind of pattern or effective device was annoying and at times confusing. Sometimes she even advanced the story by a week at the same time as shifting story lines from one paragraph to the next. This did get easier to tolerate but it took hundreds of pages to happen.

The author writes emotions well especially the darker ones. The tensions between Alex and Lachlan and Lachlan and Caleb are some of the most enjoyable reading in the novel. I'm interested to know why there is so much antagonism between the werewolves and vampires. I also enjoyed learning Rose's back story, though I think there's more to learn and I'm curious as to the reasons for Vlad's attitude to her.

So while I found the time and story shifts disconcerting and poorly done, the fact that I'm left curious about what happens next and about what has happened in the past is a sign of good story telling and well-constructed characters. I also think the author makes daring choices with her vampires that are a nice break away from the trend towards vampires as good guys that a lot of current vampire lore uses.

Congratulations to the author for an original work of vampire fiction: something that is getting harder to find these days.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Monica Call on Nov. 11, 2013 :
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a fun book to read! I actually got so into it that I had a dream about one of the scenes involving Angeline & Ruby on Halloween lol. It was wonderfully written and so entertaining.
The story was told from many different points of view. It gives the reader the opportunity to get to know each main character personally. Not all of them are likeable, which is one of the many elements of this book that made it so fun to read! I really can't wait to read the next in the series because I was barely able to put this one down! Now i'm so anxious to find out what's going on because we were left with quite the cliffhanger! Thank you Riley Banks for a great read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Leigh Close on Oct. 06, 2013 :
I loved this book! I can't wait for the next one. A wonderfully written story with an intricate plot and amazing characters that are so believable and realistic. What a great cliffhanger! The only reason it did not get five stars is because I felt at times there were not enough descriptions of the characters appearances, times when it was not clear who was saying what and some scene jumps were a bit confusing as to where the scene was and who was there.I would definitely recommend this book! This book was given to me and this is my honest review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: AppleSticker on Aug. 09, 2013 :
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, so in general I really liked this story - a group of vampires, werewolves, and other creatures living together in their centuries old traditional hierarchy, until a group of humans is moved in by their demeaning leader, and all hell breaks loose. I also like the idea of the series in general, weaving vampire myth into centuries of world history is genius, and I think Banks handled those aspects really well.

However, the story itself left me we lots of questions, and in many places was let down by poor planning. There were a lot of points where I was simply confused, or had questions, and even thought most things were explained/discovered by the end of the story, I felt they would have been better explained earlier on. Like why did everyone hate Lachlan? (aside from the obvious fact he was an ass) And what was so wrong with him in particular turning humans, when Vlad appeared to be running around doing it all the time? (because he was a Cambion, as it turns out) How were Vlad and Lachlan so powerful - just because they were old, or were there other reasons (that remained mostly unanswered).

The second difficulty I had was with connecting with the characters - any of them. Whilst I felt for Alex, Anna & Rose at the beginning, that quickly ran out, and I was soon frustrated with them. Even the humans I gather I was supposed to feel for seemed to contribute too much to their own issues - especial Scarlett (I get that vampires have a certain effect on people, but even on her own she couldn't think anything through, and she was way too emotional/hot-headed for me to sympathise with what was happening to her). Even Ruby, whilst cute and innocent, just didn't connect with me.

And finally, the ending irked me. I can see the point in ending the first book in a series with a cliff-hanger, but I felt it was poorly done - it just ended mid-scene, making me wonder if I was missing the last few pages. Sure, it's suspenseful, and despite all the issues I want to read the next one to learn what happens, but I think it could have been executed a lot better, so that it felt like an ending as well as leaving us wondering what will happen next, rather then just seeming like half a scene.

Would have been 2.5 stars if that were possible.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sheri Wilkinson on July 10, 2013 :
The story begins with five different vampire tribes Strigoi, Cambion, Strix, Nosferatu and Bretonnian. Scarlette along with her brothers, baby sister and father moved to Romania for her fathers construction project.

She knows of vampire stories but doesn't think much of them. She and her brothers make new friends and she even gets a boyfriend. But things are not always what they appear to be.

Vlad, the man her father is working for is an ancient vampire and his plan is to dominate the world. This plan will only work with one girl, and that is Scarlett. Soon she and her family are in great danger and it is up to her to try to put an end to this before Vlad puts and end to her and all of mankind.

A fantastic Vampire story. Had a lot of nail biting moments and I was hooked from the first page until the last. I look forward to reading the next book in the series
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Diane Rapp on June 13, 2013 :
Who knew there were different clans of vampires?

Join the world of vampires and live forever. Do you have a choice? Probably not because the lost Romanovs, Anastasia and her brother, Nicholas would surely have turned down everlasting, bloodsucking life if they had a choice. Yes, the Romanovs are now undead and residing in Vlad's castle in Transylvania. Vlad Strigoi is a vile character, sucking the life out of anyone who strikes his fancy, but an innocent teenage girl might be able to destroy him. Scarlett is a beautiful redheaded teenager with three brothers and a younger sister, raised by a single father--because Vlad killed her mother and turned her into a vampire, too. Scarlett's barely able to control her raging teenage hormones and conquer the world of dating. Can she really be the one to kill a vampire who is thousands of years old and one of the original five?

There are five different clans of vampires with different rules of existence, the Strigoi, Cambion, Strix, Nosferatu and Bretonnian. Who knew? The author has created a history for vampires dating back thousands of years. We learn some of that history in this first book of the series, and avid readers will surely learn more in future volumes.

It might be difficult to "like" any of the vampires when they feed on humans regularly, but the author makes us understand their problems and hope they can overcome their blood lust. Some of the vampires fight their tendencies, feeding on volunteers or taking blood from packages, but Vlad Strigoi wants to create an unending supply of blood by enslaving comatose humans and draining them slowly. Humans are just a food source to him. Can Scarlett fulfill the prophecy and rid the world of this evil vampire?

The author fleshes out various characters, delving into the teenagers' relationships with young vampires, and making the readers care about the innocent humans. We cringe as they fall under the spell of their vampire lovers, and pray that they can escape a terrible fate. This is just the first volume, so we'll need to wait to learn the whole story.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kristen Renton on June 13, 2013 :
Take a castle full of vampires and their shapeshifting servants and throw in a family of humans. This was an excellent story. With real characters from history, you learn what really happened to the the Romanov children in Russia, I'll give you a hint, Vlad Tepes. With a cliffhanger ending, I will absolutely be picking up book 2 the day it comes out!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Inge Saunders on June 11, 2013 :
I received a free copy for an honest review. There might be some spoilers, so you`re warned! *smile*

The Vampire Origins: The Ichorous Project is the first, Young Adult Paranormal, book in its series, Vampire Origins.
The first book centers on the origins of the first of five Vampire tribes the Strigoi, with Vladimir (Vlad) as it`s ‘founding father’. The Author blends historical fact with fiction as she weaves a fast paced story filled with characters.

Vlad aka Vladimir the Impaler slaughtered 30,000 in one night in Jerusalem and impaled 100,000 more in Romania in the 1400s , setting him up as a ruthless killer Vampire. Vlad in present day discovers a way to enslave humans and rule the world.

But there`s one thing that could end his plan - a Strigoi human and Vlad would stop at nothing to achieve his goal or rather finish his project.

The main girl Scarlett Fraser has no idea she was that Strigoi when her father moved their family again, this time to Romania to renovate an old castle that was ground zero for Vlad's Ichorous Project and his plan for world domination.

The book starts off with a bang, right in the middle of Russian revolutionist history, with a not so dead prince Alexei (Alex) and princess Anastasia (Anna) Romanov, and their journey to Vampiredom. It`s here that I got really excited being a history major myself and growing up with movies with conspiracy theories about princess Anastasia.
The Author takes us back to 1915-1925 introducing us to Alex and Anna before they are turned Vampire by Vlad. We fall in love with their story of survival, as their mother hides them from the Bolsheviks and them later on being discovered by a servant Ivan who wasn`t at the castle when it was attacked. We receive this information from Alex`s point of view in a flashback, who`s about to ask, Kristiina, Ivan`s daughter to marry him, but Vlad steps in, resulting in Kristiina`s death and them becoming Vampires.

As the Frasers get introduce into the story from here on, you get sucked into their family dramas of sibling bickery as well as true family tragedy, in the form of their mother dying right after the birth of the youngest sister, Ruby. Scarlett`s the one who feels it the most. She blames her little sister for her death.

Scarlett`s a spitfire tomboy who grew up with three brothers- they`re quadruplets. Scarlett`s struggle makes her surly and in compassionate at times, but she still obeys her father to a certain extent and looks after her sister.

But if you thought the book revolves just around Scarlett, you are mistaken. The other characters also have prominence. And that`s why I thank the Author for the character list at the beginning of the book. It`s a good reference point, though it wasn`t tough for me to sort them out, I know that some could find it confusing.

The first hundred pages flew by for me. I was excited and exhilarated at how the normal was going to meet the paranormal. I`ve already developed a crush on Alex and was already predicting his role in Scarlett`s life. Alas it was not the role I wanted. It was clear that the Author decidedly moved away from the typical ‘old vampire falls for the seventeen year old girl’. And in my book that`s okay.

The Author also explores the relationship between Vampires and Werewolves, playing on the age old animosity between the two. In this book Werewolves are the slaves to Vampires, the ‘bottom of the food chain’. But there are those who are thought of as even less, shape-shifters and it is with a shape-shifter, Caleb that Scarlett falls in love with. Though it`s not an epic love, it is a teenage one with all the drama and unexpected break-ups that goes along with it.

Of course Vlad has a nemesis in the form of his wife`s nephew, Lachlan. And Lachlan, besides making a play for Scarlett and inevitably finding out the secret to Vlad`s demise, play`s the malevolent ‘bad boy’ who has no problem killing to get his way. He manipulates everyone around him, using dark magic and his Vampire abilities. Being a Cambion, he`s a pureblood Vampire with all the arrogance of one.

What I did want more though was Vlad`s story. From the book`s blurb you expect at least an introduction to Vlad early on, but it doesn`t come until later in the book and by then you`ve forgotten that the story is actually about Vlad, Vampire Origins and The Ichorous Project, because you`ve become so invested in everyone else`s story.

The story definitely has twists and turns, but because it`s a third-person narrative, it doesn`t offer the punch the Author intended. There are interesting moments like when the Author takes liberties with famous celebrities.

By the end of the book I, however, was left…bereft. I wanted more details of the Ichorous Project. I wanted to know Vlad`s origin story. How did he come into existence? And why is it so important for him to start the project in the first place? With things like blood banks, the whole concept didn`t jell for me. I needed an explanation on why Vlad the Impaler would spend time doing something like this.

Second, Scarlett stands in the way of him finishing the project. Never in the book does it get revealed how she would achieve this. Does it have something to do with her blood? Or just the fact that her hand would hold the tool to kill him? I would have liked to be in on that secret.

And lastly, Vampire Origins set out to do something few supernatural/paranormal books have done, explain the origins of Vampires, something I applaud. It`s ambitious in that endeavor, still I don`t know where the Strigoi come from. There are five tribes (The Cambion, The Bretonnian, The Strix, The Nosferatu, and The Strigoi), each has their description, but none of them a true origin like some popular fiction has attempted to do e.g. True Blood with its Biblical claims.

There were definite parts that I loved, but then there were also parts that I didn`t. The ending was a bit abrupt and left too many things hanging or rather too many characters hanging. The background of Russian history interwoven in Alex and Anna`s story was superb, I would like to read more about either of them. And that`s the other concern, I`m more interested in, what I assumed to be, the back stories of the book than the main characters.

And therefore because of this I give Vampire Origins: The Ichorous Project a 3 out of 5. There will definitely be those who would enjoy the fast paced and ambitious attempt at explaining Vampire origins.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sheri Wilkinson on May 11, 2013 :
Vampire Origins - The Strigoi Book 1 - Project Ichorous (Riley Banks)

The story begins with five different vampire tribes Strigoi, Cambion, Strix, Nosferatu and Bretonnian. Scarlette along with her brothers, baby sister and father moved to Romania for her fathers construction project.

She knows of vampire stories but doesn't think much of them. She and her brothers make new friends and she even gets a boyfriend. But things are not always what they appear to be.

Vlad, the man her father is working for is an ancient vampire and his plan is to dominate the world. This plan will only work with one girl, and that is Scarlett. Soon she and her family are in great danger and it is up to her to try to put an end to this before Vlad puts and end to her and all of mankind.

A fantastic Vampire story. Had a lot of nail biting moments and I was hooked from the first page until the last. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Samantha Martin on May 04, 2013 : (no rating)
Vampire Origins: Project Ichorous is a tale rich with history, legends, and myths. The idea that Vampires have been around since the dawn of time is not a new one, but what is fascinating are the different groups or races of vampires that are brought to life in the pages of this story. Strigoi, Cambion, Strix, Nosferatu and Bretonnian have existed right beside of humans throughout time. In Book 1 we are introduced to Vlad Strigoi. He, like most evil villains, has plans for world domination. The only person who can save the human race from being enslaved is one of Vlad’s descendants-a human Strigoi. Scarlett Fraser is a lot of things, but the savior of the human race was not something that she had on her Bucket List. Scarlett and her family are thrown into a world they never knew existed and a fight they aren’t sure they can win. Can Scarlett thwart Vlad’s plans, or will she become a monster just like him.

Riley Banks is a very talented author who creates worlds that you can get lost in. Vampire Origins is a complex world that has many characters and back stories. The author does a fabulous job of not confusing the reader, but still supplying the needed information for the story and what has lead up to the current issues. Scarlett is a determined, stubborn, and very likeable character. The fact that she is a teenager and still finding her way, adds depth and more meaning to all that she learns along the way. From the time I picked up this book until the last page I was captivated by the challenges and life altering situations that Scarlett and her family kept finding themselves in. Fans of The Vampire Diaries and The Vampire Academy will love Vampire Origins!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: MariaSanta DiPiazza on April 21, 2013 :
HOLY HANNA..I was intrigued to say the least when i was asked to read this.
I have read Ms Banks William S Club and loved it .. So when i got a copy of this ,
I must say i was BLOWN away. From the first pages to the last page, this has the makings of one heck of a series. So many plots and twist and turns.
Get ready for a thrill ride.

So far book one introduces us to the mangerie of characters... Vampires, wolves, Humans, my oh my .. but wait its not your run of the mill story ..

Ms Banks takes legends and stories of yesterday & past and brings it to the present.. watch out twilight i see a new "Origin" coming...

Bring on the next book!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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