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The Bad Death Paperback – August 21, 2013
About the Author
Naima Haviland likes dead people. Fictional dead people, that is, and the twisted people who make them dead (or undead). She is the author of Bloodroom and Night at the Demontorium, a vampire novel and dark fantasy anthology. She takes as inspiration the Southeast United States, including her home in the Florida Panhandle, an ocean paradise with a not-too-distant past full of eccentrics, explorers, pirates, ghosts, and UFOs.
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There are a cast of interesting characters you will meet, each of them will touch you in their own way, Pallas, Anika's best friend who will cause Anika to question her ability to overcome evil. Tumba, her shaman uncle who has unimaginable power over the dead. Risa, a dear friend who cares for the victims and Marcus, Julian's rival for Anika's passion. Julian's mother, Elizabeth is a force to be reckoned with and exhibits the true character and strength of the Southern woman. She made me proud to be from the South.
The Bad Death is not just a tale of horror, it is a study in the deep South's slave culture (Gullah) of the late 1700′s. Naima has done extensive research and takes the reader to places we would never dare tread alone. At first it was a little difficult to follow as the slaves intermix their speech with their native dialect, but there is a dictionary to refer to and before long I was following every word. It is not often you can read a work of fiction and learn so much. I love Naimia's style of writing. She has the ability to make a story come alive. If you want a quick horror fix, this is not for you, but if you are ready to sit down and lose yourself in a true horror novel, get lost in The Bad Death, it rivals the classics.
I'm going to tell you what I did not like about The Bad Death. I found out with a litttle research that this is possbily a prequel. Yes, a prequel to the authors first book in what seems to be a triology...what? go figure. As this is NOT mentioned on the authors site, amazon..um, yeah nothing. I actually had to check out other folks reviews...so who says that book reviewers thoughts mean nothing?
Anyways...The Bad Death turned out being just a book I liked. I initially picked it up because of the cover is too die for. My main issue is that I felt the author failed to deliver this story to where she wanted it to be. Although there was some kick ass action along with a kick ass heroine..the story itself left me with a whole lot of confusion and this I think would have been easily solved if I had known there was book before this one. But this book is treated and written as a separate story.
The Bad Death is pretty much giving you Julian's back story who is a Master Vampire in the first book, Blood Room. AND the spirit that is riding Anika, the heroine in THIS story is Julian's lover from the first boook. Confused much? yeah...so was I. I felt that The Bad Death maybe...should have been the first book in this so called Trilogy and then maybe Blood Room next. Because here, we really don't get a backdrop of when Julian became a vampire or anybody else for that matter. But I guess this will all be revealed in the 3rd book or maybe its mentioned in Blood Room? I don't know....
Here's the thing. As I have mentioned, I am a history buff so I love when I author does their research and gives me something worth reading. This is what Naima Haviland did..she did her research on Slave history and the deep south. I thought she did a good job in reflecting the speech and actions of both the slaves and their Masters of that time period. This is ALSO why this book got three heels.
Some other things I liked was that the herione is Black and she was kick ass. So rare do I read stories where the main characters are of color AND they are fierce. So yeah, it was another reason I jumped all over this book. Anika who is a slave is suddendly taken over by what the other slaves refer to as a "hag" a spririt who takes over ones body when they are asleep. Anika doesn't remember how the spirit took over her body, but she knows that she is suddenly drawn to the land owner Julian. I also loved the fact that the vampires in this story were scary as all shit. I mean like rip out your neck scary...really there are no romanticizing of vamps here. They are straight up killers.
I also like the sort of love triangle that went on between Anika, Julian and another slave Marcus. And although there really wasn't much time focused on it, it was still interesting to read. Anika's sudden attraction to Julian is conflicting for her because he is the land owner and master, plus their relationship during that time was definitely not accepted...it was okay for Julian to sleep with her, but for them to be in a actual relationship? no not happening. She also isn't sure if its really hers or more of the hags feelings that are drawing her to Julian. Julian...although he wasn't cruel towards the slaves on his land, he really was ignorant about a lot of things or I should say he pretty much saw what he wanted to see and ignored the rest. Which is why he didn't know that Anika was already a worker on his land when he first saw her. He didn't understand his sudden feelings towards Anika either, he just knew that he wanted her...needed to keep her safe. And Marcus the other slave, I don't know. I didn't really care of him at all and I get why he used Anika the way he did, but still it wasn't right.
This story is scary with a gothic feel to it.I'm not much of a horror reader, but I think the horror, paranormal and romance elements added blended very well together.
This is really just a separate story from Blood Room, Which does NOT help in the confusion department. Why? there is no mention of Julian becoming a vamp and he was bitten in this story. BUT his family wants to keep him in the dark about such things because he really can't accept supernatural thingys such as vampires at face value. EVEN when they are staring him right in the face! I mean he seriously thought it was some type of rabies epidemic going around...smh.
As I've mentioned I felt there was a WHOLE lot going on with The Bad Death. Things to like... Anika was kick ass. Even in her state of learning that a "hag" took over her body a bit, the girl becomes a vampire slayer that Van Helsing would have been proud of. Julian one of our Heroes was a little irritating. I liked him enough, but he fell short for me. He wanted Anika....didn't know why all of a sudden why he was drawn to this slave. I felt too that he just a little naive. I get that he was a man of science and just could not accept that vampires exsisted, BUT seriously dude? they're in your face...you got bit! Wth?!....
All and All.. a three. If you want to read, get Blood Room FIRST and then The Bad Death. Its what I should have did, but didn't. And I'm not sure if I want to go back and read Blood Room, but Julian sounds much more interesting in that story.
Questions, I have left are what will happen to Anika & Julian? because its sort of where this story left off. *sigh* I mean will they be together when they leave together for Boston? will they find out who the spirit is that took over Anika's body? Do both Anika & Julian become vampires? Just so many things left unanswered...lets hope this author settles this all in the third book.
Highly entertaining and diverting The Bad Death is a recommended read.