on 11 February 2014
This is a “children’s horror book” – I'm not sure exactly what age ranged this is aimed at, but I do know my twelve year old self would have loved this. And my thirty-seven year old self thought it was pretty neat as well. An interesting, alternative-world take on the vampire story – Ben is transported from our world to a one which seems almost the same but where vampirism is normal, and the non-vampires are the outcasts. What follows is a fast-paced adventure as Ben finds out more about the society of the vampires , and there’s some pleasingly disturbing scenes towards the end which some parents will no doubt hate and kids love. Well worth your time even if you don’t normally read children’s fiction.
I found this book somewhat difficult to review because the horror genre is not something I generally like. I also found the front cover of a blood-bag rather off-putting, though doubtless quite appropriate.
The story is efficiently and tightly written. The plot gets off to a rapid start, hooking the reader in at once, instead of having pages of exposition and preamble. A teenage boy finds himself accidentally trapped in a parallel universe; a world almost identical to his own, but where vampires are the norm and non-vampires are farmed like pigs for their blood. To avoid capture, he falls in with a gang of non-vampires (known as Ferals) who live wild. He also befriends a teenage vampire girl, constantly fearing she will betray him.
If you’re a teenager with macabre or gothic tastes then read it for yourself, you’ll probably enjoy it much more than I did. The book ends with a reasonable twist. Best suited to young adults rather than children who might be susceptible to nightmares!
Three stars only … but purely because blood isn’t my cup of tea!