13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Top notch historical horror,
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This review is from: Twelve (Paperback)
There seems to be an insatiable demand for both vampire's and historical fiction at the moment so to combine the two genres has the potential to be a real winner or possibly fall in between the two and miss both potential reader groups.
Happily this book is the former, in fact I don't ever remember reading a vampire/ horror that I have ever enjoyed as much.
Set during Napoleon's bloody advance and subsequent retreat into Russia and featuring a gang of mercenary vampires this had the potential to be a real 'gore fest'. However the author resisted such obvious temptation and instead serves up a multi-layered story of war, friendship, betrayal, mixed loyalties, cruelty and love. All told with a deft, restrained and subtle hand.
It is the pacing of the story that sets it apart from other 'horrors'. One minute your fending off a set of gnashers from your throat then you reclining in a whore house discussing philosophy before than finding yourself creeping through a musty cellar looking for coffins!. That and the authentic feeling historical background and Russian culture.
Jasper Kent's Vampires are fairly tradional and somewhat mundane, he doesn't gift them any new super powers or make them super charismatic and as a result they are all the more believable and you kind of feel if Vampires did excist they would be like the ones brought to life (or perhaps undeath) here.
Cleverly the author tells the story not from the point of view of the vampires themselves (ala Lestat) but from a Russian soldier/intelligence officer forced into working with them against the French. An engaging believable hero who you will like, be frustrated with and fear for, and who will achieve his main purpose of pulling you totally into this excellent story.
Great stuff Jasper Kent, a book crying out to made into a film and an author to watch out for.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Apr 2009 18:15:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2009 22:24:18 BDT
Most helpful review, A. I., am looking forward to getting my teeth into this one! (Couldn't resist that one!).
Posted on 29 Apr 2009 16:54:58 BDT
R. Nicholson says:
Alex. I've also liked vampire mystery/thrillers (with the exception of Stephanie Meyers' 'Twilight' series: frankly, I'm actually embarrassed to admit I've even read the first book in the horrific series)...anyway, this sounds like I book I'd enjoy and will put this on the TBR pile for future consideration.
Go ManU ;-)
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Apr 2009 23:35:59 BDT
Mr. A. I. Harrison says:
I make the odd foray into horror once in a while. I've read a bit of Stephen King, Anne Rice and James Herbert (mainly a while ago though). Funnily enough a friend of mine is highly recommending the Twilight series to me? Can't say I'm keen they seem a bit 'Buffy'/ high school teen vampire 'ish to me.
This was very good, as much a historical novel as a horror.
Man U are looking good it saddens me to say they have hit form at the right time. Rooney is awsome just now. :0(
Oh well there is always next season!
In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2009 15:02:42 BDT
R. Nicholson says:
Alex...Hi. When I said 'horrific' regarding the 'Twilight' book I was referring to the quality of writing, not the topic or genre. I should be more careful of my adjectives. ;-)
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