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The Hematophages

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Doctoral student Paige Ambroziak is a “station bunny” – she’s never set foot off the deep space outpost where she grew up. But when she’s offered a small fortune to join a clandestine salvage mission, she jumps at the chance to leave the cutthroat world of academia behind.

Paige is convinced she’s been enlisted to find the legendary Manifest Destiny, a long-lost colonizati
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 1st 2017 by Sinister Grin Press
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Brian Keene
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Five stars are not enough. My favorite read (so far) of 2017. A fast-paced story with some subtle world-building and some very well-written female characters. Think ALIEN meets EVENT HORIZON meets THE RISING. Fantastic, funny, gory horror/sci-fi novel. I absolutely loved it!
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Alea iacta est”

Out surfing the ink. A simple salvage job. Well…not exactly simple. Fleshworlds are never simple. And kind of gross, really. Still, it should be easy peazy.

Fishing for fauna in a sea of blood, lampreys up the vajayjay, Breaking Bad arm bands, Nia the Skin Wrapper pirate, an eye-popping good finger bang, and insane in the eel brain.


I’m not much of a sci-fi guy, but there were enough horror elements here to keep me satisfied and engaged, even though it really didn’t get rollin
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
My first book experience with Stephen Kozeniewski gave me a zombie detective and aborted fetus mob boss. I was fascinated and disgusted. It was like a train wreck. I wanted to look away, but I just couldn’t. It was such a unique experience that I couldn’t decide if I actually liked it or not. As a result, I actually stayed away from Kozeniewski’s work until very recently, although I’d had ‘The Hematophages’ sitting on my Kindle for a while. But, what can I say? I’m a sucker for a book that promi ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Those unfamiliar with this author's work, Stephen Kozeniewski marches to the beat of his own drummer, and that's a very good thing. Take THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO, his zombie apocalypse novel...who decides to set zombies in the south Pacific? With his trademark snark, wit, and plenty of gore, this relatively new horror author is an original.

In his latest novel, set in the distant future where men are inexplicably not part of the equation, a matriarchal , corporate-driven space world is exploring the
David Agranoff
They say in marketing that you have to hear a pitch a couple times before it hooks you. That I am afraid is why we talk so often about our books. This is a classic example. I first heard of this novel and Kozeniewski on The Horror Show with Brian Keene. When Kozeniewski was on the podcast the second time he talked about this book and I thought the novel sounded right up my alley. I requested it at the library as I do many books. (By the way if you can get a library to to get an author's book tha ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into this with zero expectations, which is probably the best way to experience it. The Hematophages wriggles through several different genres, inhabiting each one like it belongs there. The sci-fi worldbuilding is beautifully subtle, the horror is beautifully unsubtle, and the comedy is like Office Space in, uh, space. I think what I like most is how each of these elements are thematically connected, but the action moves so quickly that there’s never time to beat you over the head with de ...more
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Hozeniewshi provides the reader a breathe of futuristic fresh air with his novel The Hematophages. Given an offer that can't be refused, the main character becomes part of a funeral shrouded expedition assigned to explore a planet described by scientists as a spinning organism. Salvaging an appointed derelict seed ship on the celestial body turns quickly into a gut wrenching mission which Hozeniewshi has described with seemingly flawless Sci-Fi accuracy and believability. Not only has t ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, horror, sci-fi, 2018
It is rare that I purchase a book anymore, but after a number of high reviews and an endorsement from a trusted review source (RA for All: Horror), I decided to buy it.

Space lampreys!
Good world building!
Well-placed and effective gore!

It was just well written and a heck of a fun ride to go on. I will definitely be checking out (and probably purchasing) more of this author.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I entered a world these past few days that I have not entered before. My experience with science fiction/horror for years was a child’s memory of “Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal…” Enter center stage, a mini alien tearing open a guy’s stomach from Space Balls.

Yes, I honestly thought this was incredibly disturbing and horrific for years, until I actually saw the real thing. Once. And never again.

So, I was a bit shocked as I began reading this — not just because this is a genre
Chris Torretta
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I see a new book from Stephen Kozeniewski, I buy it. There are not many authors that I do that for. Mainly because my "to read list" is just way too long and I would constantly be reading authors that I already know instead of being introduced to amazing authors that are new. Stephen's work, however, is always top notch, chew your nails off intense, bloody, horrific, and so fun to read!

With a name like The Hematophages, I knew this was going to get good. It starts innocently enough, introdu
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Space oddity?

I have a warm place in my heart for sci-fi horror stories and or novels. Alien, Aliens, Predator, The Thing with Kurt Russell are some of my favorite sci-fi horror films. The Hematophages stands equal with those classic sci-fi movies. This read was a slowly intense burn of an experience or is that the hematophage in my brain!?!
Michael Foster
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, fascinating, and then shocking. When the s*** hits the fan, and it does, it happens FAST! I enjoyed every moment of the book and was sorry when it ended.
C.T. Phipps
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Hunter of the Dead remains one of the darkest most violent vampire novels I've ever read. It's also a book I think is dying for a sequel (much like Braineater Jones). Sadly, Stephen Kozeniewski tends to write stand-alones. Even so, I was assured by the author this was his darkest, most violent book yet.

Well, Stephen Kozeniewski is a liar because this book is pretty damn hilarious for the vast majority of its story. It has a grim downer ending but that doesn't make up for the fact it's more Buff
Chris Thompson
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eww: The Book

Great book. The author is very good at immersive world-building and abrupt 'rabbit joke's twists. Very gory but not in a campy, fun way.
Jason Steen
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
unexplained lesbians in space and blood sucking Hematophages, what isnt to like about this book.
Nia Ireland
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kozeniewski adds his usual light touch in the social commentary in his world building – humanity has screwed its way across the cosmos, now populating several planets and space stations. Instead of nations, humanity is now divided by the companies that they work for and everything is done with the bottom-line in mind.

This book manages to be stomach churningly gory, but by stimulating the imagination rather than through graphic description.

Ambroziak is a brutally ambitious scientist who has bee
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Straight forward and fun. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely engaging sci-fi horror!

Great characters, very crisp dialogue, some genuine scares and spine tingling moments. A must for genre fans!
Patricia Ward
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Great science fiction thriller. Take off to a new planet where intelligent lampreys try to take over our species. Couldn't put down.
Brian Fatah Steele
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, humor, scifi
A great blend of Science Fiction and Horror, resulting in a fun, insane read. In a far future of all women, a corporation looks to salvage a famous missing starship, only to find it has crashed on a mythical fleshworld. Things get worse and weirder for the crew from the day they take off, and THE HETMATOPHAGES always keeps you hooked. Definitely recommended for any fan of pulp horror/sci-fi.
A. Hunt
This one was tough, for several reasons, but the completion was believable. Full review to come.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This got real gross, y'all. If you like your horror horrifying, put this on your list. Full review to come later. I hope.
It's happening! An actual review!

This is a horror novel that has almost as much sci-fi happening as it does horror. But make no mistake - this is horror. It's horror for sci-fi fans, but it's still horror. Make sure you're up for descriptions of a sea of blood (I mean this literally. There's a blood planet.), various moments of body horror involving organs not wher
Sean Seebach
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, the places you’ll go!

I don’t read much sci-fi. But The Hematophages is a sci-fi/ horror hybrid of a tale, one that I enjoyed immediately.
The narrative is fresh and entertaining and I loved Paige. I really did.
As a reader I had a wonderful experience. Stephen has built an amazing world with this one and if he ain’t the smartest author I’ve read, he’s damn close. Because as a writer, my hat is off to the guy. The terms and technicalities to pull a story off like this aren’t easy. If he’s made
Jim Lay
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant sci-fi horror novel that begs for the big screen.
A corporate, and slightly illegal, salvage operation discovers the wreckage of the famous Manifest Destiny. An ancient earth "seed ship" that disappeared 200 years before on a journey to spread humanity into deep space, aka "The Ink".
Xeno-climatologists confirm the planet where the ship went down is proof of a theoretical "blood planet". A planet that is, itself, a living organism with a blood like soupy atmosphere.
As they race to s
Steve Wands
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Defied my expectations. The book description sold me, and after a few chapters I was hooked.
Somer Canon
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I said "what the..." quite a few times reading this. It was hard to put down! With shades of Event Horizon and the coolest freaking alien planet ever, I dug the hell out of this book!
Logan Noble
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up after it appeared on Brian Keene's favorite books of 2017 list. This sci-fi horror takes a lot of my favorite tropes (long lost space craft and scary aliens) and uses them to great effect. The protagonist is complicated and well drawn, and the world is sharp and brimming with good details without ever drowning me in them like a lot of sci-fi. It's ending seemed to wrap up quicker than I expected, but that is a very minor thing. I would like to see more of this universe.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story, character, setting
Disturbing, scary, amazing.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Manifest Destiny"

Paige Ambroziak is a "station bunny" having lived her whole life on the planet Yloft, never having been to deep space.

She is a researcher and is offered the job of a lifetime, researching everything remotely available on seed ships and becoming an almost overnight expert. In return she will ship out on the RV Borgwardt, made for deep space salvage and Rescue.

She surmised that a derelict seed ship has been discovered and they want someone knowledgeable about all aspects of i
Scott Kemper
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My review got deleted!
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Stephen Kozeniewski lives in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where, due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s is in German.
“I am an empty vessel, devoid of these things you humans call feelings. I am a robot of meat.” 1 likes
“could’ve made a fortune as a travel agent if people paid for guilt trips.” 0 likes
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