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The Bad Death Paperback – August 21, 2013
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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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Top Customer Reviews
I absolutely adore this series! I fell in love with Julian in Bloodroom, being both repelled and attracted to him - I cannot get him out of my head. The Bad Death gives the reader an insight into his actions in Bloodroom, where as a creature of the dark he maintains a thread of humanity. In The Bad Death Julian values rationality over superstition, yet Anika and the events which occur are anything but rational. He refuses to acknowledge the existence of beings which science does not recognise. Julian cannot explain the sexual pull and connection he feels to Anika, whom readers of Bloodroom immediately recognise is possessed by the spirit of Natalie his human lover in that book. Although compelled to keep Anika close, he is also repelled by her as he believes that she is a liar and a trickster at worse and at best mad. What will be Julian's downfall? - Madness if he realises that such evil actually exists or ignorance as he does not realise the true horror of what he and others face?
Anika is a fantastic kick-ass heroine, protecting those she cares about in any way she can. Although this book is very much focused on Anika, Natalie's influence is pivotal, as through her possession she imparts her ballet dancer's strength and flexibility on Anika and also her knowledge of how to defeat vampires. Natalie's spirit (whom Anika refers to as `the Hag') also gives Anika an insight into Natalie and Julian's dark romance. Anika regards her possession more favourably as the novel progresses and becomes increasingly attracted to Julian. She is torn between her attraction to Julian and to Marcus, the Mouret's slave driver, himself a slave. Bitter rivalry and jealousy exist between both men over Anika and there is also plenty of sexual tension and well crafted sensual love making scenes throughout.
There are a host of supporting characters. These include Tumba, the resident witch doctor, a free black man, whose role appears to be a malevolent one. We also meet the teenage Jane Eliza, whom readers of Bloodroom will recognise as Swisher, who plays such a key role in that book. Julian's mother, Miss Elizabeth, is a character whom I loved, as she is brave and resourceful and whilst not fully comprehending the true evil around her is supportive of Anika.
The novel contains horror and violence and visceral scenes of bloodlust and gore juxtaposed with passionate lovemaking and lush descriptions of the landscape. I was particularly impressed by the dark, gothic descriptions of the waterways, which link Lion's Court to adjacent plantations, the descriptions of these and the rice fields and the overarching sky became more and more threatening as the novel progresses. I also enjoyed the magical scenes where Natalie takes possession of Anika and compels her to dance the ballet and imbues her with visions and feelings from the future. The author has carried out a lot of research into the history of slaves and plantation owners, the Gullah language, folklore and culture and the environment of South Carolina in the late eighteenth century. I was held spellbound and totally immersed in the world and minds of the characters.The Bad Death is an original and haunting tale and I am certainly looking forward to book 3 of the trilogy, due for release next year.
A copy of this book was given to me by the author for an honest and fair review.
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.