Intoxicating. Absolutely intoxicating. One can get hung up on the spotty ending or the petty crime-fighting subplot but that is to miss the confidence and hypnotic tone of Aleron’s authorial voice.
The book makes me wish everything was written by an immortal, so capable of eliding time when fitting and giving us the gruesome details (they get quite gruesome) when we want them.
However long Aleron has been alive it has not sated his ability to conjure the sensuality of blood, truly putting the lust back in bloodlust. True this may have more to do with the wacky burlesque brothel every male vampire in this universe must birth by means of mind control and the good old fashioned dirty dirty but it works, it builds, and it schemes.
The female characters, mainly Mynea, Aleron’s vampiric mother and Pandora, the woman who lets all the blood out the box, each offer their own strengths whether it be Mynea’s mystery or Pandora’s choice to bring the house down. These characters feel all powerful yet cleverly tendered by their loved ones dying and moving into the other world. Hades, Persephone, and Lethe are Aleron’s constant points of allusion for good reason.
One has to wonder after finishing what promises to be a pulse-trotting, flesh and blood, no vein barred battle between Aleron and the ancient Vlad what ties what can be a sometimes jarring and inconsistent work together. It must be something in the atmosphere.
As far as vampiric fiction, this could stand amongst such enigmatic movies as the original Nosferatu or Herzog’s remake, except with a color scheme befitting the grapes and guts that are squished here. I know it is strange to invoke such dated movies but Vlad’s description and living situation, barring the teeming brothel he has in his dungeon of Russian doll after Russian doll after Russian doll after Russian doll, fits exquisitely. Even the rare appearance of torture devices or trips to Egypt or the little weird squiggly letters that precede each chapter set our minds time-traveling to bold etchings of Durer or Piranesi.
There is certainly something strange about those brothels as well or the pleasure that one can take at the thought of supping at someone’s wrist.
|Recommended||for those mortals who ever thought immortals didn’t bleed|
|Like this, like that:||I couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t come off as either an insult or a joke. The book feels old. Quite rightly. But another reviewer who describes it as a mix between Dracula and Anne Rice cannot be too far off.|
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada