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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly uneven, but still brilliant.
Have you heard the one about the brave prince, the dwarf, the wizard, the vampire girl, and sundry other characters on their heroic quest to rid the world of the evil magician? Of course you have, which is why that part of the story is dealt with in sixteen pages at the start, under the heading "Twenty Five Years Ago". What dominates all of the work of Jack Yeovil...
Published on 31 July 2007 by M. R. Austin

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Warhammer novel to start out with...
Right, so where do I start?

Given that the entire series is supposed be centered around Genevieve, and this entire omnibus is titled after her, we sure don't get much of her at all... What you can gather from her character is that she is smart, attractive, cunning and yet still falls victim to run-of-the-mill vampire desires, other than that, we don't get much...
Published 2 months ago by Abs


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Warhammer novel to start out with..., 26 July 2014
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This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
Right, so where do I start?

Given that the entire series is supposed be centered around Genevieve, and this entire omnibus is titled after her, we sure don't get much of her at all... What you can gather from her character is that she is smart, attractive, cunning and yet still falls victim to run-of-the-mill vampire desires, other than that, we don't get much of her personality, let alone much about her at all which is a shame since what we do get of her is likable at least. I don't understand what the idea was behind having her take a backseat throughout 80% of the combined novels, but it doesn't leave a good impression on the reader.

On the topic of the protagonist, I have to say that I REALLY dislike how so many novelized female protagonists, including Genevieve, get forced love interests, especially when the love interests aren't remotely interesting or likable. This is a huge problem because, as the main character, you want them to be paired with a strong supporting character that at least has some redeemable qualities, sadly, that isn't the case in this novel and many other fantasy novels with female protagonists. If any authors ever read this, please DON'T shoehorn in silly characters that no-one will care about, seriously.

Apart from all of this, we jump back and forth quite a lot on many different characters, some of which are very hard to keep track of because there is never any time spent to develop their personality, you just sort of forget that they existed and when you jump back to them, it feels hollow and, for lack of a better term, weightless. There is also a problem with a great deal of names being thrown around, even when it's not necessary, it makes thing even more difficult to get to grips with when everyone and their mother is mentioning different names that don't seem to have any rhyme or reason...

[WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!]

I have three more major gripes with these titles, these are:

-Sometimes characters are referred to differently at completely random points of time, for example the character, Graf Rudiger is sometimes referred to as graf, in lower case, and other times he is referred to as Rudiger. This is so unnecessarily confusing because when his title(?) is mentioned with lower case letters, you struggle piece together who the author is talking about until you familiarize yourself with the character half-way through that particular part of the novel.

-We often get characters who have no purpose at all, as in, we get a lump of text about them, follow them for a while and they just die or become secondary characters, I don't understand why but it's a waste of the readers time and feels like it was put there as filler. One example is the character Margi, we follow her background, her problems and struggles for a brief segment and then, when faced with the threat of the moment, she dies, just like that, no attempt at creating an alternate path for her where she has a break of luck or anything, just kill her off I suppose, the reader's time over the last 5 pages doesn't matter I guess...

-Atrocious plot devices. I don't even know what to say here, but the prime example is the Udolpho mansion nonsense. That is probably the absolute WORST plot device I have ever read in a novel, it was so uninspired and felt as though we were supposed to be compelled by the idea of characters needlessly trying to kill each other but instead we get faced with an underwhelming time-sink that leads to nothing for Genevieve, she escapes as would be the case, but then that section ends and she is back to being a backseat character.... FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

It's really quite a shame because there are small parts of the novel which are enjoyable. The environment, surroundings and atmosphere are factors that are all described in detail, this does paint a good picture when you imagine what the places look and feel like. Those are the only things that this novel has to offer, and given the troubles I've mentioned above, it's really not worth it; hell, I've even had to stop reading and I'm about 600 or so pages in, it's the only book I've ever had to put down without finishing.

What is more disappointing is that this series is probably one of the most praised titles in the Warhammer book series. Naturally if you're looking for a good read in the Warhammer universe, you will always find your way to this title, don't let the hype fool you though.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly uneven, but still brilliant., 31 July 2007
By 
M. R. Austin (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
Have you heard the one about the brave prince, the dwarf, the wizard, the vampire girl, and sundry other characters on their heroic quest to rid the world of the evil magician? Of course you have, which is why that part of the story is dealt with in sixteen pages at the start, under the heading "Twenty Five Years Ago". What dominates all of the work of Jack Yeovil (actually Kim Newman, noted film critic and possessor of positively Dickensian facial hair) is that he knows the clichés, and knows you do too. Instead of relating the quest, he tells the story of what happened after, seen through the backstage drama of putting on a play about the quest. And so you find yourself reading a novel about a play about a legend based on the "real" event, which - naturally - is not what everyone thought it was in the first place. "Drachenfels" is not just a great Warhammer novel, but a great work of Fantasy that anyone interested in the genre should read, and anyone critical of the genre should at least consider reading.

The rest of the impressively thick book is taken up with other tales, with the quality varying from just-above-average to brilliant; but although bound under the name of Genevieve, Yeovil's vampire heroine barely appears in some stories in this collection, and is completely absent from others, which - along with the fact that many of the stories are presented out of chronological sequence - gives the book considered as a whole a rather disjointed air. Still, "Beasts in Velvet" is a cracking murder mystery, and even the most conventional (and thus least interesting) story, "The Ignorant Armies", is still a good read. The last story in the collection - "The Ibby The Fish Factor" - wraps the whole thing up with a light-hearted and, for the Warhammer books, remarkably up-beat note. But it will almost certainly be Drachenfels that stays with you the longest, both for the refreshingly different approach to the Quest story, and for the title character, who is sufficiently well written that he overcomes the obvious influences of Tolkien - high praise indeed in a genre which seems to knock out a cheap clone of Lord Of The Rings every six months.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, 24 Feb 2009
By 
Robert Bailey (West Dorset, Uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
I was hoping for something dark, sexy, and memorable. The Vampire Genevieve by Jack Yeovil is all this and so, so much more. For any fan of gothic horror or the Old World of Warhammer this book is an absolute must.
It goes way beyond the pastiche of mere fantasy and smashes bloodily onto the stage of great drama, making pulp from my wooded preconceptions, and kissing them with un-death into something re-born altogether more visceral.
This book has a permanence and poetry which Shakespeare himself would have been flattered to be compared with!!
The author made a mockery of my fleeting attention span, forcing me willingly into an immersive submission to his graceful quill. I'm sure he shames my crude attempts at impressing you with how good this book is by its sheer mastery of purpose.
The story is properly epic and at the same time deeply personal, moving comfortably from the themes of good and evil to their outward expression in all the varied characters like a literarily brimming river of unbridled red ink.

There are several delightful instances in this book where characters and situations that will be familiar to anyone with even a passing knowledge of popular culture crop up. I won't spoil any of the surprises but there are knowing (and usually hilarious, frequently inventive) nods to a range of genres, specific books and plays, and even films.
In fact, real wit is a keynote of this omnibus - when Jack isn't being directly funny, it's because he's too busy being intelligent instead.

It became apparent by the time I was half way through that the explanation (found in the introduction) for some of the occasionally muddled chronology is that the various books in this single omnibus were released at different times, though this effectively added to my enjoyment - making me concentrate harder on a good book is no waste of time.

At no point was I afraid that the ride would let up, or ease off. The turns got sharper, the climbs and falls steeper and longer, but if I was ever thrown off, then it was never to land in the mundane, and so soon as I had been dragged by the short and curlies to land back on this helter-skelter, I'd reliably find myself squirming with stupid and uncontrolled delight. Buy it, read it, squirm with delight!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem, 15 May 2007
By 
Andrew Richardson (Buckinghamshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
I've always regarded fantasy as an underrated genre. In all fairness, there are some truly shocking authors out there, and the RPG tie-in market seems to attract more than its fair share of them. Jack Yeovil (or Kim Newman, if you prefer) is definitely one of the better authors out there.

Definitely don't let the Warhammer tag put you off. Unlike many of the series out there, you don't need to have even heard of Warhammer to access this. All in all it's a very well written anthology, combining detailed, convincing characters with a rich, well paced plot. It certainly gives an interesting take on the nature of good and evil.

Well worth a read!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the first Games Workshop novels and still comfortably the best., 12 April 2007
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
Now I have read many of the novels published by Black Library and realise (believe me) that most are mediocre at best. If you've been burned by people assuring you that the likes of Dan Abnett and Bill King are talented writers then please, believe me also when I tell you that these are the real thing; very well written and character driven novels and short stories that really won't disappoint. Originally published some time ago, back when Games Workshop's target audience was still adults, collected together at this price these books represent a fantastic bargain and receive my highest recommendation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusually original collection., 16 Nov 2008
By 
Tom Chappelow "Tom C" (West Yorkshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
In the Games Workshop fiction library, few books are as compelling and memorable as Jack Yeovil's compilation of stories set in the 'ye olde worlde' land of the Empire in the Warhammer Fantasy landscape. Rather than simply following the fantasy stereotypes he instead subverts them and in doing so creates an especially believable world, filled with fully rounded and characterful individuals.

Perhaps the most impressive book included is Beasts in Velvet, a gothic murder mystery with hints of film noire. It is thoroughly gripping and the atmosphere of the city of Altdorf is made so real that you can almost hear the baying crowds. It's a piece that easily evokes the feel of Bram Stoker's Dracula. The fact that it is set it in the Warhammer Fantasy universe is almost irrelevant to not only this book but the others too, making it easy to recommend them to people who might not typically read a Games Workshop-branded novel, or even who might not typically read a fantasy novel.

It's a set not without its problems though - in particular some more attention could have been given to proofreading, since on every few pages there are distracting typographical errors. The ordering of the stories too could have been better thought out, with the tone occasionally jarring between the short stories of Silver Nails.

I wouldn't be doing it justice to end on that negative note though, because The Vampire Genevieve is an absolutely terrific read and well worth it. A must for fantasy fans.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Richly enjoyable collection!, 2 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
The most difficult task for an author is to re-invent a character (or a type), and yet remain true to the genre. Lots of superhero/heroine-s need "re-boot"-s simply to remain relevant in an increasingly complex world, with shades of grey creeping in everywhere. Kim Newman (using a pseudonym here) accomplishes that task with his vampire heroine with great elan, and in the process delivers some immensely enjoyable stories that belong to different stylistic categories (adventure, horror, murder-mystery, humour). The contents of this book are:

1) DRACHENFALLS: a dazzlingly original take on the classic "journey into the heart of darkness" theme, involving a hero, a heroine, a villain, a genius, and several others. This novel, on its own, should be the reason for you to read this book.

2) GENEVIEVE UNDEAD: A collection of several novellas which are of varying qualities, and have Genevieve in fringe roles. These novellas are:

(a) STAGEBLOOD: the sequel to Drachenfalls, as well as the Warhammer 'take' on "Phantom Of The Opera".
(b) COLD STARK HOUSE: a parody of every gothic novel, evident from not just the plot (bizarrely non-linear), but also from the names of the characters.
(c) UNICORN IVORY: a murder mystery, that doesn't "click" so well.

3) BEASTS IN VELVET: a gripping murder-mystery (with almost no role played by Genevieve, except a cameo appearance) that is the Warhammer 'take' on Jack The Ripper killings.

4) SILVER NAILS: another loose collection of novellas, some of which has Genevieve in it, and some doesn't. These novellas are:

(a) RED THIRST: an action-packed Genevieve adventure, which is the immediate prequel to the second part of DRACHENFALLS.
(b) NO GOLD IN THE GREY MOUNTAINS: a story involving Genevieve's grandmother-in-darkness (but NO Genevieve).
(c) THE IGNORANT ARMIES: the back-story of two characters who had played very important roles in "BEASTS IN VELVET" (but NO Genevieve).
(d) THE WARHAWK: another adventure of Policeman "Filthy" Harald and Scryer Rosanna (but NO Genevieve).
(e) THE IBBY THE FISH FACTOR: a humorous novella which has its chilling moments, but in its attempt to conclude the saga of Genevieve (and the genius Detlaf) on a happier note, with all loose ends tied up neatly, the story suffers to some extent.

Nevertheless, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anybody looking forward towards some escapist fun that has its moments of depth. And I must admit, the world needs heroines like Genevieve. Can the author bring her back please?!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Move aside other vampire series!, 9 Mar 2011
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This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
Having read these books many years ago as a separate series I have since re-read them multiple times. The reason for this is that they are simply outstanding, and this comes from someone who has read many Black Library publications which ranged from pretty good, to magnificent. The sad thing about this omnibus is that once you read it, most things set within the Warhammer universe (good as they are) will not seem as good. Also, some of the events and characters within this book don't necessarily fit well within the Warhammer universe as it currently stands, although unless you're very well read in this stuff then you probably wont notice, or care. That aside, the characters are very well developed and it is nice to read a Warhammer book where the protagonists aren't soldiers or bloodthirsty killers (no pun intended), but are a playwright, an aristocratic Vampire, a Count of the Empire, a watchman and other probably more mundane people. The stories fit together very well, and cross-reference one another whilst not always being directly connected. That said, it seems unfair to call it The Vampire Genevieve omnibus because it isn't really all about that character, and jumps around to other equally, or more important characters both within books, and between them. However, it is difficult to think of an alternative suggestion for the title, and so this is really only a minor quibble. Other than the Gotrek and Felix series (which is in my humble opinion very nicely written, and quite funny in places) this is my favourite Warhammer series, although most series are very good, and the Von Carstein series is great (especially if you love vampires!). Buy this, and you wont regret it. Masterful!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 6 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
Excellent book, a really good read found I just couldnt put it down. Highly recommended for all warhammer fans and fantasy readers in general
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Vampire Genevieve, 26 July 2010
This review is from: The Vampire Genevieve (Warhammer) (Paperback)
These books are fantastic. Kim Newman/Jack Yeovil (the same person) basically got me into Games Workshop and the Black Library with these books. Newman shows you how appealing the whole Warhammer really setting is.

Genevieve is a good strong female character, in a genre (Black Library fiction) where there probably aren't enough of these!
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