Vampire Novels Reviewed… and Sucked Dry
There’s more out there than Twilight, people; for example, there’s a new trend in historical fiction: re-writing classics to include monsters, or re-writing a particular president’s life story, to include vampires. Sure, you know what I mean; Seth Grahame-Smith’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.’ Most seemed to agree that the book was highly entertaining, though one reviewer, Elizabeth Hand, said in the Washington Post, that the book was,
“…so torpid that one imagines the undead snoring in their coffins rather than rousing themselves to do battle with the man from Springfield. [And] no amount of hugger-mugger about vampires and evil plantation owners can energize Grahame-Smith’s sluggish account of the “central struggle of [Abe’s] life.””
I’m more inclined to follow the one original review, than too many overzealous, over-vocabulated accounts of what a strong literary effort it was to re-write any one of hundreds of biographies of a prime historical figure, and include vampires. I’ve been wary of the Seth Grahame-Smith genre from the get go, but I might actually go out and about looking for A.E. Moorat’s ‘Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter‘, despite its obvious attempt to milk another author’s poorly conceived attempt at originality, and creativity.
For one thing, I like novels about women, more than men, to be honest, –women are more entertaining because …well, better not to go there. But it is true that men handle everything with a measured logic, while women troubleshoot problems like demons, and vampires, with a tad more spontaneity. Plus, the book is written by a real author, –yeah, I said it, –Andrew Holmes, most notable for his acclaimed mysteries. Reviewer Elizabeth Hand admits that the story in Victoria is equally silly, but it’s more entertaining, for one, because the author,
“crowds so many characters — historical, fictional, supernatural — onto his Victorian stage that the effect is that of a lost Gilbert and Sullivan operetta written under the influence of opium, absinthe and black pudding.”
What’s not to love there? ‘Blood Oath’, the story of a good Christian vampire struggling under the harsh rule of bureaucratic humans, and ne’er-do-well vampires, while working for the government, is clearly Hand’s favorite out of the few novels she’s reviewed this spring. Blood Oath, by Christopher Farnsworth, is one of those I’m least likely to read, but then again, it does have vampires… Hand compares the novel’s suspense levels to our favorite Americana-style conspiracy stories, like The Manchurian Candidate, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The novel’s due to be released soon, I might check it out. You ought to check it out for me though, and tell me whether or not it sucks first.
Oh, and this reviewer I’ve been talking about, well, she’s not exactly just some random Internet schmuck. Elizabeth Hand has several novels to her credit, most of them dark fiction and fantasy, plus! she has a new novel coming out in May. So be sure to look her up too; anyone who can use the phrase “hugger-mugger” to grand critical effect is fine by me.