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About the Nature of the Creature Paperback – August 2, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
The author lives in Bristol, the setting of this novel, and draws on some of the history, landmarks and curiosities. L.E. Turner has two degrees in archaeology and her hobbies include volunteering for an archaeologically-based youth group, performing in cabaret shows, and cycling – usually not all at the same time.
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About the Nature of the Creature is a compelling tale, written from the vantage point of Constance, whose human life is cut short during her Edwardian childhood in Bristol. After a back story the author doesn't reveal fully until further on, we find her a century later settled in Egypt, at which point some unknown urge prompts her to return to the city of her birth.
She is faced with the changes wrought by a hundred years and the danger of a religious sect determined to eradicate her kind. There are rivalries and jealousies amongst her tribe and Constance realises it is she who has to find a way to overcome the dangers in the hope of survival.
One of the reasons I was drawn into this story is the humanity, if one can call it that, of the creatures - the good and the bad. For example, the last thing Constance desires is the death of another but the need for blood is how she is made; if she can therefore acquire blood without killing a human she will always choose thus. Turner manages to give her heroine human and vampiric qualities which don't seem at odds. I started caring about Constance and urging her forward. I wanted her to be happy!
Turner is adept at pacing and knows exactly where to place her twists and turns of plot. Even in the best books, one can predict certain events. Not in this case. The author kept me on the edge of my seat to the extent that when my computer went down and had to be rushed to hospital where it stayed for a month, all I could think about was getting back to the story on my Kindle app!
The other characters, human or not, are as well-drawn as Constance, giving the story an edge that I suspect -- generalisation warning -- many bandwagon books do not. Turner's knowledge of Bristolian history is lightly interwoven, giving a lovely Gothic depth to the piece.
Will my enjoyment make me pick up another novel about vampires? Probably not. It will, however, make me buy and read the sequel to About the Nature of the Creature, which Turner is currently writing.
This is an interesting take on the vampire/werewolf theme which has been a bit overdone lately but it was surprisingly fresh and well written. When I started to read it I thought I was in for much of the same old but L E Turner surprised me with this story. I found it held my interest right the way through. A strangely believable, natural and slow weaving tale it shows the many facets of its main character Connie in a way which makes you feel as if you know her and she is also rather likable. With good background characters, a gripping story line and a nod to the classics this book is a great read.
For me, there is nothing worse than feeling you know where the plot is leading so this novel didn't disappoint...there were enough twists, turns and surprises to keep me intrigued and wanting to keep reading.
I loved the way it was written - dark, mysterious, somehow with not only a feeling of old but a modern feel too.
The main character, Constance, is a very interesting character and I found myself caring about her very much...I loved the way that who/what she is emerges slowly throughout the book.
I don't want to give anything away (as I myself hate having preconceived ideas before reading a book) but I will say that this novel has so many levels - it has emotion, it can be unsettling and disturbing at times, there are exiting and `on the edge of your seat' moments, and there is a depth to it that somehow comments on humanity....I felt that there was an underlying message and that as a reader we can take that or leave it, I didn't feel that it was forced on me in any way. This novel, to me, is more than a story (but what a great story it is!).
I found myself hungering for more when I finished this novel...a sign of a good book indeed!