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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant mix of science, horror, romance and vampires!
As an avid fan of all things 'horror' with a keen interest in science this was the perfect book for me!

The transformation of Scarlet from shamed single mum to someone very special indeed kept me wanting to read even when it was time to get off the train! This book mixes scientific knowledge around the evolution of humankind with mystery, romance and a touch...
Published on 24 April 2012 by Traymca

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3.0 out of 5 stars It’s not easy, these days, to put a new spin on vampires, but Carole Jahne manages it.
This one had been lurking in the BFS review pile since 2012 when I decided to rescue it. Carole Jahme is a broadcaster, science writer and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is also a psychologist specialising in the evolution of empathy, communication, sex differences and personality. Jahme’s popular science book, ‘Beauty and the Beasts: Woman, Ape...
Published 1 month ago by David L. Brzeski


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant mix of science, horror, romance and vampires!, 24 April 2012
This review is from: Worth Their Weight In Blood (Paperback)
As an avid fan of all things 'horror' with a keen interest in science this was the perfect book for me!

The transformation of Scarlet from shamed single mum to someone very special indeed kept me wanting to read even when it was time to get off the train! This book mixes scientific knowledge around the evolution of humankind with mystery, romance and a touch of ethical consideration. I was able to learn whilst enjoying a damn good story!

The relationship between Scarlet and her mother played a key part of the story and I was able to emphasise with her many on so many levels. The development of the story towards its unexpected conclusion raised many questions within me from those of ethics to feminism ideals but not in a 'text book' way, more of a gentle nudge whilst engrossed in the fantasy...

The other key players in the story were well written with true depth and again I could imagine each and everyone of them as if I knew them personally...

I really cannot wait for a sequel to see what has become of Scarlet, Ruby, Helios and to learn more about the mysterious Roman... please start writing it Carole!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Premise, 1 Jun. 2012
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Set in a small town in 1990, Scarlet Fox is a twenty something, disillusioned, unemployed single mother. A troubled boy arrives and attempts to befriend her. The burnt remains of a family are found at a circle of Neolithic standing stones. Scarlet becomes haunted and obsessed by their memory.

Scarlet gets a night job at the new blood diseases laboratory and is pleased to study the lab's chimpanzee. She becomes intimately involved with a colleague. But when events take over Scarlet is horrified to discover there are both virtuous and diabolical vampires in town. She is confronted with the choice of becoming a vampire or dying. But she is unprepared for the traumatic loss she suffers in making the life-changing step.

There is another death and the police become suspicious of Scarlet. Love is the only virtue not covered by the virtuous vampires, which allows the vice of envy to establish itself. The troubled boy and a rogue vampire reveal their destructive nature. On the night of the Harvest Festival a jealous drunken rabble, attack the laboratory.

Over the years I have read a lot of horror, absolutely loads of the stuff. In fact, if you put a gun to my head I would probably concede that horror is my favourite genre. When you read large quantities of any genre I think that there is a tendency to become a little jaded after a while. I've mentioned in the past that when it comes specifically to vampire fiction that for me there needs to be a hook. There has to be some unique selling point that is going to pique my interest. Carol Jahme has managed to achieve that in this novel using the premise of vampirism through evolution, it's an intriguing concept. Imagine a world where vampires exist as an off shot of human development. They have co-existed with humans, but always kept themselves hidden, existing on the periphery of human society.

The majority of the story takes place in and around the small town of Radfield and this does give events quite an intimate feel. There is a genuine sense that this is a close-knit community and everyone knows everyone else business. Jahme takes time to detail some of the petty squabbles and local history and this makes everything feel that little bit more realistic.

Everything builds to the novel's bloody finale and the action takes over from the scientific discussion and exploration at this point. It was nice to finally see the vampires of the blood research centre face-off against the townsfolk. There are casualties on both sides and I think it's fair to say that no one is left unscathed by events.

Overall I enjoyed Worth Their Weight in Blood, but I'll admit that, at times, I felt there was perhaps a little bit too much exposition for my taste. Some of the science was beyond me and I'm not sure how much it helped drive the narrative forward. I felt a little bogged down on occasion as I tried to understand a point that a character had just attempted to explain. That said, there is much that I did connect with and Scarlet's journey was certainly interesting enough to capture my attention. There is also some fun characterization. Helios and Roman, the two rogue vampires, are a great inclusion and this ensured I stuck with the story until the end. I would happily recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys his or her horror with a scientific edge.

Worth Their Weight in Blood is published by Mira Publishing and is available now in both paperback and ebooks format.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It’s not easy, these days, to put a new spin on vampires, but Carole Jahne manages it., 19 Mar. 2015
This one had been lurking in the BFS review pile since 2012 when I decided to rescue it. Carole Jahme is a broadcaster, science writer and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is also a psychologist specialising in the evolution of empathy, communication, sex differences and personality. Jahme’s popular science book, ‘Beauty and the Beasts: Woman, Ape and Evolution’ was published by Virago in 2000 and has been translated into several languages. Mira publishing specialise, so their website tells us, in “intelligent reads”.

The cover, it has to be said, is dreadful in a way that only a literary publisher could get away with. Thankfully, the book is much, much better. It’s not easy, these days, to put a new spin on vampires, but Carole Jahne manages it. The supernatural is dispensed with in favour of treating vampires as a genetic, evolutionary offshoot of Home Sapiens. It works very well, for the most part, and makes for a truly fascinating read. I really liked the concept that a group of altruistic vampires were working for the betterment of mankind, by trying to wipe out AIDS and other blood-related diseases.

I did have a few gripes, however. The main one being how long it took the protagonist, Scarlet Fox, to realise that she was dealing with vampires. The evidence is laid on thick throughout the book, but the possibility doesn’t even enter her mind—even as a ridiculous idea, quickly dismissed—until the chimp she looks after and studies as part of her new job tells her! Carole Jahne goes to a lot of trouble to work out the scientific origins of her vampires, and does an exemplary job of it. She rejects most of the supernatural lore, however, she wants to use the idea that vampires don’t show any reflection in mirrors as a metaphor for self-reflection, so she has to keep that in. Since her scientific background doesn’t cover anything that might provide any explanation for that, she simply has Scarlet never question it. The same goes for vampires not being able to enter a home without an invitation. I also found some of the protracted ethical/philosophical discussions between Scarlet and the alpha vampire, Hunter, tended to drag on to the detriment of the story.

These are minor complaints, though, in what may be the best vampire book I’ve read in a long time. There’s lots of potential for a sequel. Can the altruistic vampires rebuild? Will we find out more about the ancient, powerful boy-vampire, Roman?

I’ve probably revealed more about the plot in this review than is my habit, but it’s difficult to discuss it at all without doing so. I checked existing reviews, and the information I reveal is already out there, so hopefully I won’t be accused of spoilerism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth their weight in blood, 23 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Worth Their Weight In Blood (Paperback)
This daring and outrageously funny satirical novel is a brilliant fusion of evolutionary theory, social observation and science fiction to explore the search for alpha status and its limits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner, 23 April 2012
This review is from: Worth Their Weight In Blood (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down, with every page I wanted to know immediately what happened next with Scarlet. Brilliantly written; with humour, terror and the day to day interaction between Scarlet and the various other characters, I felt like I was experiencing every moment with her. I would definitely recommend this book; the new ideas on vampires and their culture made the story different and a very interesting read.
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Worth Their Weight In Blood
Worth Their Weight In Blood by Carole Jahme (Paperback - 20 Jan. 2012)
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