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Vampiric Social Order: Proof that Height does not a power make.
on March 22, 2008
If you haven't read the first, second, and third book about the struggles in Barrow, you need to return there first. The first and second book are especially worth visiting, and all are referenced here. So, if you read on, you might spoil something.
Consider yourself warned if you didn't read the first novels now.
After the second 30 Days of night, we found our beloved sheriff's wife with the means to bring back something belovedly lost at the end of the first novel. The ash of her lost husband, the center of all her anger, stood in her hand with instructions of a sort on how to raise him.
The ending was quite good although it received mixed reviews.
In the third novel (not as good as the first two in my opinion), she and this no-longer lost piece of her life joined in a fight for Barrow as it tried to strengthen its resolve. She did it as the thing she fought against before, too, and seemed to enjoy herself thoroughly. Will it was good to see Stella this way, what of the gap between? Somewhere in the middle of it all was a change, and somewhere in the midst of that change, was a story that really needed to be told. From the end of the 2nd installment I could have predicted the fangs, and from the latter parts of the 3rd I could have said, "She is the reason behind it." But why? Well, in this installment of 30 Days of Night, this is not only answered but also rendered beautifully.
And it is about time, too.
I've worked my way through the 8 books that have hit the shelves thusfar and can say, without a doubt, that this story arch is the best one to read (by arch I'm not talking about this book alone). When you join the first, second, and this volume together you get a continual story that not only focuses on Barrow and its aftermath but also on what constitutes the undead and how their governance is forged. In this book that meant some graphic love that comes on the wrong set of fangs, a story about the oldest vampire and how to control it, and about how our beloved sheriff and his wife become so powerful.
For those who loved the artwork in the early editions, the style has changed but it isn't a bad thing. The color choice has been kept to show the muted blue and the vibrant red, and the shadows have still been allowed to talk a seductive game. The difference is in the style brought in earlier editions by Templesmith and the more polished coloration added now. This isn't to say that Templesmith was not a beautiful artist; his colors accented what was important and left the rest in the shadows so one would see what needed to be seen. This is still the case in some ways, only the polish makes it more accessible to a wider audience and, biases aside, it is also well done.
As far as recommendations, I give this one a good one on the condition that you finished the 2nd installment. If you don't know about the book and the plan and the way Stella got her groove back - well, you are a little out-of-place in this story. The good news is that you only need to read up to the 2nd book and then skip to this one to bring order to the storyline.
The one thing I like about the 30 Days saga is that it really makes vampires sexy in a way that sexy normally misses. It makes them the things they really should be; humanity and the monster it can be if given a power beyond power. You have to take each book on their own as far as stories and learn not to twine it all together because the common thread, Barrow, is not a common thread through-out.
You can always sample the book if you want online, looking at a previw to see if it suits you.