One of the perks of this job is that I get free books. Publishers will send me promotional copies of new or upcoming works for me to read and review. I’m happy to oblige, as I’m always delighted to receive new books covering any subject that interests me. Still, I can’t let my appreciation of the free swag and the flattery of their seeking my opinion influence my overall review. I have to be honest. To be anything less would be doing a disservice to you, my loyal readers. Thus I now serve up the good and the bad about VAMPIRE EVOLUTION from Schiffer Publishing, written by E.R. Vernor with L.E. Carruba. Shall we start with the bad and get it over with? Brutal honesty, right? I have to, right? Okay, then.
The book is, unfortunately, not very well written, and it is riddled with typos and, more frequently, blatant mistakes. For example, a picture of Bela Lugosi as Dracula is identified as Boris Karloff. Only a cursory review is provided for much of the subject matter, which is unfortunate, because the authors do manage to touch upon a few nuggets of vampire lore of which even I, a serious student of the field, was heretofore unaware. What the book really has going for it, though, is its aesthetic. It’s a pretty book, hardback cover colored and detailed to resemble old leather, and it’s chock-full of lavish, full-color artwork. It would look great sitting on a bookshelf.