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Bloodcircle (Vampire Files, No. 3) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1990
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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PN Elrod has created a thoroughly likable character, who, in spite of his other-worldly powers, comes across as quite human, with all of our strengths and weaknesses. He is not at all like Count Dracula, which is what makes him unique, likeable, and vulnerable. Although a thoroughly good read, I felt Jack was losing his ability to feel human emotions,in very strong contrast to Jonathan Barrett, the other vampire in the story. For this reason alone, I felt it was not as good as the previous two stories in the Vampire Chronicles series.
Eventually their search takes them to a rich household of the reclusive lady Emily Francher whose mother died in strange circumstances. Jack goes to investigate and soon discovers that Emily's gigolo lover is rather more significant than he might seem. They follow more clues which culminate in Jack being seriously injured and with a very amusing scene where Charles appears to be a body snatcher. The unmasking of the villain and the explanation of what really happened five years before is no great surprise but is well written and enjoyable nonetheless.
In this episode of the Vampire PI series we learn more and more about Jack's personality, particularly with regard to his morals and his feelings. There are some really interesting little vignettes into his thoughts, for example when seeing coffins sized for children when he is in the funeral parlour. Jack's about as far from the traditional view of the evil vampire as it's possible to get and yet he also has to drink blood and carries out mind control on people. The scene where he's trying to find a meal in a farmyard is an amusing episode amongst some of the darker events of the story.
Again this is a great read, like the two previous stories, and it seems like P N Elrod has settled well into her characters and is slowly revealing more and more about them. It's a most enjoyable series and a welcome change from the usual overblown and sex-obsessed vampire genre tale.
Those who already know that they like vampire novels, anything at all that features a vampire, can skip this review, and likewise, those who hate the whole idea of vampires can skip it. But for those trying to decide whether or not to read more of this genre, or whether the one vampire novel you've already read was a fluke, it may help to have some ways to categorize these novels. Thus: BunRab's Standard Vampire Classification Guide. First, most authors of vampire novels approach from one of the main genres of genre fiction; thus their background may be primarily in romance, or in science fiction/fantasy, or in murder mysteries, or in horror. Second, many vampire novels come in series; knowing whether this is one of a series, and where in the series it falls, may be helpful. Then we have some particular characteristics: - Is the vampire character (or characters) a "good guy" or a "bad guy"? Or are there some of each? - Are there continuing characters besides the vampire, through the series? - Are there other types of supernatural beings besides vampires? - Can the vampire stand daylight under some circumstances, or not stand daylight at all? - Does the vampire have a few other supernatural characteristics, many other supernatural characteristics, or none other than just being a vampire? (E.g., super strength, change into an animal, turn invisible) - Does the vampire have a regular job and place in society, or is being a vampire his or her entire raison d'etre? - Does the vampire literally drink blood, or is there some other (perhaps metaphorical) method of feeding? - Is sex a major plot element, a minor plot element, or nonexistent? - Is the entire vampire feeding act a metaphor for sex, part of a standard sex act, or unrelated to sex? - Is the story set in one historical period, more than one historical period, or entirely in the present day? - Does the story have elements of humor, or is it strictly serious? - Is the writing style good, or is the writing just there to manage to hold together the plot and characters?
P.N. Elrod's series about Jack Fleming is in the hard-boiled detective genre. Fleming is a good guy (although with worries about his own ethics). Fleming is a former journalist (before he died), now working as a sidekick to a private investigator. The series takes place in the Chicago of the '30s, after Al Capone is locked up, but before the Depression ends. Criminal gangs are still a big force in Chicago. Besides Jack and his boss, various criminal mobs, and police both honest and corrupt, are recurring characters in the series. So is Jack's girlfriend, Bobbi, a nightclub singer. Jack drinks blood, but it doesn't have to be human- he uses cows at the Stockyards usually, and likes horses as a treat. He does, however, also drink a little from his girlfriend during sex. Sex is discreet and not too frequent in the series- no explicit details; this is a detective series, not a romance. Jack has a few supernatural powers associated with being a vampire: the usual ones of being stronger and faster than humans, and he also can turn invisible and float through walls. He must sleep during the day, on his native earth - but garlic and crosses don't bother him. There aren't any other kinds of supernatural characters in the series. As befits the detective genre, there is a certain amount of wisecracking in the dialogue; Jack can be a smart-ass sometimes, and the criminals can be inadvertently funny. Overall, the series is a well-done version of the genre, each book being easy to read and most of the characters being well-described and thought out.
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If you have not read LIFEBLOOD, Book Two of the Vampire files, warning that this contains spoilers for that book.Read more