6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2005
Graham Masterton has become the greatest writer of modern horror in the past twenty five years. He is simply that good. His dialogue may be campy at times and his climactic scenes occasionally clunky or over the top, but I challenge any true horror fan to make the claim that they have felt cheated or let down after reading a Masterton novel. Masterton is the only horror novelist who consistently delivers outstanding books.
Manitou Blood is a first rate thriller that captivates from the beginning until the end. Harry Erskine, the hapless anti hero of the Manitou Series (and of the unrelated novel "The Djinn") is brought in against his will to combat a deadly new plague affecting NYC residents who are now on a murderous blood drinking rampage.
Aided by the spirit of Indian Medicine Man John Singing Rock, his former girlfriend, the psychic Amelia Sachs, a Romanian scholar/vampire expert and a hardy Doctor who is gradually succumbing to the plague's effects, Harry discovers that he is dealing once again with the wonder worker Misquamacas who is wreaking havoc through the unwilling spirit of Vasile Lup, an infamous vampire gatherer. As an experienced Masterton reader then can guess, all hell breaks loose.
That's all for now. To paraphrase a very bad Tina Turner song, Masterton is "simply the best". Read this book, then read the rest of the Manitou series, then read everything you can get your hands on by Masterton. If you are squeamish, then DON'T READ GRAHAM MASTERTON! If you are a hardy soul ready for a rollercoaster ride to perdition and back, then Masterton will help you gear up for the ride.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2005
Fourth in Masterton's MANITOU series (fifth novel to feature protagonist Harry Erskine), MANITOU BLOOD is a great follow-up to BURIAL. Nobody wreaks havoc with famines and plagues like Masterton does! This time out, Harry is forced to solve the puzzle of a a kind of blood-virus that seems to be possessing New Yorkers and turning them into vampire-like beings. Also on hand to help out is the doctor who first discovers the virus, as they and a small band of others join forces to track down the origins of the mysterious supernatural plague and put a stop to it once and for all. Erskine is one of the grat protagonists of horror literature--funny, frightened, a bit of wimp, but with the courage to overcome. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2006
First of all, I need to note that this was my first Graham Masterton novel (and, of course, my first Harry Erksine novel). I realize I sort of jumped in in the middle, but the story was clearly designed to stand on its own, so that's the ground I'll be reviewing it on.
The beginning of the story is a captivating look at what a vampire epidemic would look like from a medical perspective in 21st century America. As Dr. Frank Winter desperately tries to figure out what strange new disease could be making people vomit up gallons of blood that happens to be a mix of many blood types, vampires overrun New York City and, in true apocalyptic horror story fashion, kill off everyone but a select few charismatic protagonists. So far, so good.
Then comes the part where one of those protagonists, Harry Erksine, get help from his otherwordly Native American spirit guide, Singing Rock. I was a little put off at first, but I figured I'd roll with it.
And therein lies my biggest complaint with this otherwise riveting story: you have to roll with a lot. By the end of the story, Erksine is contacting mystical otherwordly forces to help him fight the vampires through rituals that are only vaguely and mystically explained. I understand that this is a story about the supernatural (heck, I'd want a refund if there wasn't at least a little otherworldly stuff going on), but even supernatural stories need boundaries and a sense of what's fair play and what isn't. So far as I could tell, at any point in the story Harry could have summoned meteorites from the sky to pummel his enemies with. I mean, why not?
Masterton also doesn't quite seem able to understand what style of writing he wants to do this thing in. In the beginning of the story, it's frightening realism, a fresh look at what might happen if vampires invaded your neighborhood tomorrow. By the end, it's almost pure fantasy, and a good deal harder to relate to.
For all that, the story was fast-paced and exciting, the characters were quirky and interesting, and the plot was involving all the way through. I was very entertained while I was reading it, and it was only after I took a two-day breather near the end of the book that I realized the book could easily end with Zeus making an appearance and smiting the vampires the way things were going. Basically, as long as you don't think too much, you'll have a good time with "Manitou Blood."
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2005
This is an absolute gem for Masterton Fans who have enjoyed the three previous books with the Mystical Harry Erskine as the hero. This will be the fourth or Fifth book involving Harry, and provides the usual masterful mix of Magic, Supernatural Terror, Sex and Ultra Violence.
Unusually this paperbook edition has come out first in the US, and I wonder if it has been published elsewhere first? Anyways, I look forward to the HardBack publication so I can have a long lasting edition of this superb frightfest.
It is very clear that the already superb narrative skills of Masterton have been honed through years of writing, and the payoff is a good hero being presented in an even better manner. Luckily for any horror fans not familiar with the Divine Erskine, the backstory bits relevant to this narrative are given, and hopefully you will enjoy this work, and go back to read MANITOU, the REVENGE OF THE MANITOU, DJINN, BURIAL, and all after reading this master-work.
I am very happy to write that as at October 2005, Masterton has a vast number of works out, and all after a period of almost nothing being available in print. Hopefully the success of these new books will resonate, and such classics as PARIAH will also be re-printed; the Inside cover mentions such other Masterton gems as TENGU,CHARNEL HOUSE, and THE CHOSEN CHILD, all of which will repay readings, and re-readings. Masterton's first person narrative creates such vivid worlds that in my opinion, they should ALL be made into films, and the world of Horror films would be so much the richer.
As usual MANITOU BLOOD contains a lush collection of well researched material that will please the supernatural horror fiend.
ENJOY... I recommend my favorite Horror author with great gusto... you will not be disappointed as he scares, tantalises, titillates, and scares the wits out of you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2013
I think it's important that I note my unfamiliarity with Mr. Masterton's Manitou series. To my knowledge, the storyline is made up of five novels and a short story, and I've missed every single tale, other than Manitou Blood, which I picked up on a whim recently. I find it important to hammer this point home because, surprisingly, Manitou Blood works wonderfully as a standalone tale. It's not a necessity to have read the previous books in the series: you'll find yourself sucked right into a solid tale with no prior knowledge of these characters or their frightening past plights.
The story itself really doesn't stray all too far from typical vampire mythology, but it does accomplish the introduction of some ideas that are rarely, and in some cases never touched upon. In a sense, Masterton is stylizing the vampire in ways no other contemporary author has managed. Purists however have little reason to fear, as Graham does stick to the erotic elements that travel a parallel course to the vampire mythos, and there's plenty of bloodshed to take in here.
The story pits Harry Erskine, who from what I gather is a frequently explored character and a staple of the Manitou series, as well as a small group of New York survivors against an increasing population of blood suckers. It takes little time for New York City's streets to be overrun by carnage, pale people, full blown vampires and military. The problem is, Harry and his small troupe of buddies (Frank is a physician, infected with the nasty virus after a hazy sexual exchange with an attractive member of the undead, Gil is a bad ass soldier who takes no prisoners and holds no qualms with risking his life, and Jenica, like Harry, dabbles in what you might call witchcraft) are the only citizens who seem to know what the hell is going on and how to stop it.
Romanian folklore is well traveled here, and it ultimately provides this band of fighters the knowledge needed to put the primary villain down for good. By the way, our head honcho nemesis isn't exactly a vampire, but a vampire gatherer; one who controls the undead. But there's a twist in store for readers, as this gatherer, known as Vasile Lup isn't even in control of the situation, this beast is basically the puppet to an even stronger force, far more vile. I won't speak on who or what that is, as it would certainly steal away a sizeable chunk of the shock we're treated to in the latter pages of the novel. I will say this however, there's a direct connection between someone in this group and the ultimate culprit, and it's a bit of a heart breaking link, as evil must be destroyed, and that bears consequences.
Masterton's writing style is pretty damn entertaining, I must say. I'm constantly on the prowl for quality authors, and Graham fits the bill. He's clearly an intelligent gent with a knack for storytelling, but he doesn't decorate his story with intricacies that would challenge a technical genius, and he keeps his characters and ideas very relatable. I cherish the fact that the man doesn't find it necessary to divulge every last minute detail either. Sometimes an insanely descriptive story is exactly what I seek, but I've found that even some of the best authors in the business tend to take details about fifty steps too far (cough, cough, Stephen King - who I admire like few others, but let's be real, he overdoes it on a regular basis and it sometimes makes for a drawn out, annoying read). No, Graham Masterton tells the tale, and lets it breathe at a natural rate. It's a value I respect, and it's a value that, in my opinion, is very welcoming to new discoverers. I myself enjoyed Manitou Blood thoroughly, and I can say with certainty that I'll purchase more works from this man in the future.
Vampire freaks, check this one out. It moves quickly, it's graphic when it should be, and vague when graphic depiction isn't necessary. You'll get your fix of gaping neck wounds and eroticism, and while the story doesn't conclude on a thoroughly bleak note, it sure as hell isn't the picturesque climax often delivered.
Written by Matt Molgaard for Horror Novel Reviews
Horror Novel Reviews does not receive payment for reviews. All books are promotional copies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2008
Graham Masterton revisits his horror roots with his recent novel MANITOU BLOOD. For those of you familiar with Masterton's work the title will tell you everything you need to know about the story. If you are new to his tales, MANITOU BLOOD brings back two of Masterton's most beloved characters: Harry Erskine (a fortune-telling skeptic and sometime con-man) as the protagonist; and Misquamacus (a Native American spirit, or manitou, of a shaman wonder-worker determined to push all, except the Native Americans, out of the New World) as the antagonist.
The story begins with Dr. Frank Winter walking to work. On his way Frank notices a young woman mime performing on the street. Her exposed skin is painted silver and she is beautiful in a "waiflike" manner that makes Frank stop and watch. Her performance is amazing. Almost surreal in the way she moves. Frank is awed by the spectacle and confused when a man standing behind him whispers: She's one of the pale ones, that's why [she is so convincing]. Frank doesn't understand the phrase "pale ones," but he will.
After the mime's performance Frank approaches her and places a dollar in her silver collection bowl. He congratulates her on a wonderful performance, but before he can leave she begins to vomit blood. The blood is not hers, but rather it belongs to two different people. This is the beginning of what looks like a deadly blood disease. Those who contract it suffer from burning skin and a wet hunger for blood that cannot be quenched. It doesn't take long for New York City to be inundated with the ill and their victims. The disease spreads so quickly that in less than a week the city is literally a ghost town by day and a howling bin of bloodsuckers by night.
The "vampire" plague is nothing the doctors or authorities can solve. The only man who can stop the destruction is a tarot card dealing, palm-reading fortune-teller named Harry Erskine. Unfortunately he is unable to convince anyone the plague is supernatural. The doctors are searching for a blood disorder, and the authorities quarantine New York City. Harry Erskine is alone, with a little help from unexpected friends, to save the world, again.
MANITOU BLOOD is a mixture of vampire novel, ghost story, end of the world plague tale, and demonic possession all rolled into one unique and exhilarating story. It has all of the elements of a good horror novel: There is an abundant amount of fear, enough suspense to keep the reader turning the pages, a little sex, some humor, a touch of gore and a whole lot of fun. Masterton takes the familiar--the vampire--and adds some interesting and original elements to the mythos, and then he places some harrowing, very frightening Native American legends in the story. The ending is a surprise, and the journey is a romp. MANITOU BLOOD is a banner example of Masterton's better work: It is quick, well plotted, and definitely not disappointing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2011
Most of the time I was reading this book -- perhaps for 3/4 of it -- I thought it was the best of the "Manitou" series, one of the best Graham Masterton novels, and one of the best vampire novels I've ever read.
Then the plot took a turn that I did not like, and it went downhill.
The novel became yet another one where, this time unnecessarily, Misquamacus, the spirit of a vengeful Native American medicine man, is the villain. The vampire villains in the book were evil enough that I did not think there was any need for yet another appearance by Misquamacus.
I was also very displeased by Masterton's use of 9/11, the heat of which supposedly brought Misquamacus back. First of all, that's inconsistent with Masterton's short story, "Spirit-Jump", in which Misquamacus reappeared through Harry Erskine's daughter (who, except being mentioned a few times, is absent from "Manitou Blood"). 9/11 is still too fresh for a lot of us to be used for entertainment, especially in a vampire story.
Typical of Masterton, there are inconsistencies in how this book fits into the world of the "Manitou" novels. Amelia is still alive, after dying in the first novel and being alive in the third one, and New York seems to be okay even though much of it had sunk into the ground in "Burial" (including at least one of the WTC towers, which would have made 9/11 impossible unless the tower was rebuilt before 9/11 . . . leading me to my earlier point: Masterton should have left 9/11 out of this!).
Almost a great novel, but missed the mark. Even a Graham Masterton-written sex scene doesn't redeem it. Still I can recommend it because of just how good it is most of the way through.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
I'm a huge fan, but I felt this was one book too far. The idea seemed forced, and I struggled to keep my interest up
on September 21, 2013
What do you get when you cross a vampire novel with Native American sorcery? Answer- "Manitou Blood". Misquamacus, who at the conclusion of "Burial" was believed finally vanquished when his spiritual essence was scattered to the four corners of the earth returns and as with "Return Of The Manitou" "Burial", he's NOT alone- he has allies- in the sense of Romanian strigoi( vampires to you and me).
Although the genre of the vampire novel has been criticized for becoming cliched and boring( pace "Twilight" and "True Blood"), I find "Manitou Blood" to be original enough to stand on its own merits( pace "Family Portrait") and so heartily recommend it!
on May 9, 2010
This is definitely Masterton at his best.I would readily rate it 2nd best after the "Burial" in the Manitou series.Full of bloody gore and horrific deaths,Masterton brings you personally into Harry's world.You can practically see it happening in front of you,a world full of dead vampires and without hope.Be warn! But read it anyway!