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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twilight it ain't...
John Skipp & Craig Spector's THE LIGHT AT THE END is a vamp novel first published in 1986, but don't let that put you off. This is awesome stuff and a delightfully far cry from Anne Rice.

And a million miles from Stephanie Meyer.

The story's set in 80s New York, where a serial killer (who turns out to be a recently sired vampire) is rampaging around...
Published on 17 Mar 2012 by Wayne Simmons

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Offering
This is a novel that I was curious about as a teenager (after reading an interview with the authors in Fear magazine), but only managed to catch up with it recently via the wonders of Kindle. The idea of a punk vampire terrorizing the New York City subway system has a definite appeal. However, for me the actual execution of the idea proves to be something of a mixed bag...
Published on 17 Jun 2011 by Scott Murray


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twilight it ain't..., 17 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Light at the End (Kindle Edition)
John Skipp & Craig Spector's THE LIGHT AT THE END is a vamp novel first published in 1986, but don't let that put you off. This is awesome stuff and a delightfully far cry from Anne Rice.

And a million miles from Stephanie Meyer.

The story's set in 80s New York, where a serial killer (who turns out to be a recently sired vampire) is rampaging around the underground. The action plays out mostly during night time, lending the book a real Noir feel. The characters are as hard boiled as you like; our unlikely heroes being the D&D obsessed employees of a delivery company, our main vamp a grumpy old goth that feels more Iggy Pop than the Vampire Lestat. In fact, rumour has it that Skipp & Spector's antagonist, Rudy, was a big inspiration to Joss Whedon in sketching out the character of bad boy Spike for similarly groundbreaking vamp romp, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. And I'd believe that.

THE LIGHT AT THE END is thought by many to be one of the first splatterpunk novels ever written. And that's probably true also: there's certainly enough gore and violence in the book to qualify.

It's also an exceptionally well written book. Character-driven, for one thing. The flow is perfect, for another, the prose and dialogue bending so well that it's hard to put the book down once you lift it. There's a really nice colloquial vibe about this book, the authors' voice both confident and definitive. And it's not without its chills. THE LIGHT AT THE END preys on the mind as much as it preys on the gut.

To be honest, I can't recommend this book enough. It's got everything I love in a horror story: thrills, chills, great characters, loads of gore and a well layered plot. Although written in 1986, it mostly (with the exception of one scene, featuring a roller skating Jesus freak lobbing Holy Water bombs at our hapless vamp) feels contemporary, and definitely stands the test in time.

Simply put, I loved it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best vampire stories you will read, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Light at the End (Kindle Edition)
Some twenty plus years ago I was leant a copy of this by a friend on a plane. I never gave it back. I later lost my copy to a nurse. In time I got another copy which was borrowed and so on over twenty plus year's Simply because this is one of the best. Vampire tales you will read. Non-formulaic, it set the pattern for so many that followed, and are still following, many deep in the shade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I read this when it first came out in paperback - Brilliant, 21 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. J. R. S. Nicholson "BoomBoom" (Herne Bay Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Light at the End (Kindle Edition)
I am chuffed to bits that this book is now out for the Kindle. It is one of the best vampire/action books I have ever read. This book was a high water mark for both authors and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody that likes a great story, great characters and an enemy that is as confused with his powers as the "good guys" are.

I have read this several times and still enjoy the book.

When you read this book, remember that it was written in the late 80's and mobile phones were not the common objects they are now. The book starts in the Subways of New York and the brutal murders that capture the headlines.

The antagonist is a former artist Rudy who is turned into a vampire. He master is a cold, callous ancient that gives him no training in how to use his powers or the consequences of not drinking. He simply leaves him to fend for himself or die. That explains why he is confused about his powers as noted by a previous reviewer.

Rudy simply turns to the first person he knew.. his former girlfriend and begins a campaign of terror for her and a group of motley friends linked by a courier firm. They are a motley bunch and believable too which makes this book even better.

I do not want to say too much more, but this book is inspired writing and I urge you to invest in the Kindle version. It really is that good. I do not award 5 stars to most books that I read, but this really is worthy of it. I would give it 6 stars if I could.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Offering, 17 Jun 2011
By 
Scott Murray (Ayrshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Light at the End (Kindle Edition)
This is a novel that I was curious about as a teenager (after reading an interview with the authors in Fear magazine), but only managed to catch up with it recently via the wonders of Kindle. The idea of a punk vampire terrorizing the New York City subway system has a definite appeal. However, for me the actual execution of the idea proves to be something of a mixed bag overall. There's no denying the brilliant, gory, exciting and atmospheric opening, which is surely a classic opening for a horror novel, depicting a vampire induced series of gruesome murders on a ill fated subway train. The first few chapters are also fine and the the book really kicks in for the third act, which I felt compelled to keep reading. The last third of the book is genuinely compelling and with it's series of bloody encounters and drama taking place over one night (complete with reminders of the passing of time) is almost like a vampire episode of 24.

It's the middle and some of the central execution that I found disappointing. It's a nice surprise when some seemingly unimportant characters later return and make a valid contribution (an old man character in particular ends up being a highlight of the group of misfit vampire hunters), but having enjoyed Danny and Claire's meeting in a cinema, I was a little disappointed that the characters get ignored for a large chunk of the book and don't get themselves or their relationship strongly developed. Oft times, characters feel like nothing more than plot devices and struggle to really come alive on the page (I wasn't expecting Jane Austen level characterisation but something just didn't work for me in a lot of scenes and dialogue). It's a shame that vampire punk Rudy is such a non entity too. He comes across as whiny and pathetic, often completely clueless as to his own abilities (which seem to appear at random throughout the book) and lacks any real sense of menace or personality. I couldn't help wishing for a more powerful and formidable adversary, like the vampire from the beginning of the novel. Don't be expecting a modern day Dracula or an equal to 'Salem's Lot story wise or villain wise. Also, some potentially exciting, dramatic or tragic set pieces seem to be clumsily executed in a way that just had me shaking my head at times. I've read The Scream previously by the same authors and although it had it's faults too, it did have some memorable action and horror to make it ultimately more memorable. In some ways it's an enjoyable enough trashy horror read and my compliments to the beginning and end of the novel still hold true, but I can't help feeling that overall it was a bit of a misfire in terms of characterisation, plot or a memorably menacing villain. If like me, you've been hearing about this book and wanting to track it down for a while, it's certainly worth checking out on Kindle and deciding for yourself but ultimately for me it's a bit of squandered potential with just some moments of brilliance. But some of those moments of brilliance are certainly memorable.
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