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Carpathia Paperback – February 28, 2012
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
“Carpathia is a dangerous collision of rich historical drama and epic horror. Beautifully written, completely disturbing… and highly recommended.” - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Assassin's Code and Dead of Night
"Carpathia is fast, furious, and great fun."
-Eric Brown, The Guardian
"Forbeck effortlessly blends history and horror, the Titanic and vampires, along with adventure and romance in a fast-paced, chilling novel that moves like a bat out of hell." - Aaron Rosenberg, author of the bestselling No Small Bills
"Hell comes to the high seas as James Cameron's Titanic crashes full-force into the iceberg that is Bram Stoker's Dracula. Forbeck sinks his fangs into one helluva horror story, robbing from real history to set up an epic showdown between man and vampire (and between vampire and vampire) on the RMS Carpathia." - Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds
"No doubt that there will be a slew of Titanic themed books, TV films and documentaries this year but I doubt any will be so much fun as Carpathia... Carpathia is fast-paced, easy reading and whether you pity the vampires or not, there is plenty of dramatic entertainment and exciting action here." - Love Vampires
Priase for Amortals:
“Matt Forbeck takes the plausible and pulls out all the stops in this mind-blowing, high-concept thriller. It doesn’t get any better than this … especially in the near future!” - Jim Lee
About the Author
Matt Forbeck has worked full-time on fiction and games since 1989. Frankly, he is a creative machine, and thus utterly perfect for Angry Robot.
He has written novels, comic books, short stories, non-fiction (including the acclaimed Marvel Encyclopedia), magazine articles and computer game scripts. He has designed collectible card games, roleplaying games, miniatures and board games. His work has been published in at least a dozen different languages.
He lives in Beloit, Wisconsin, USA, with his wife Ann and their children: Marty, and the quadruplets: Pat, Nick, Ken and Helen. (And there's a whole other story.) The author lives in Beloit, WI.
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The impact is immediately noted by one Quincey Harker, who is enjoying drinks and cigars in the Titanic's first class smoking room with his friend, Abe Holmwood. After dismissing the possibility of German torpedoes (it is April 1912, after all), the duo conclude something is desperately wrong, and decide to check on Holmwood's significant other, Lucy Seward. Once they are reunited, they are told by fellow passenger, author Jacques Futrelle, that the ship has in fact struck an iceberg, and is listing toward the starboard bow. The trio then learnsthat the Captain has given the order to abandon ship.
Thus begins a grueling night whose events have already been chronicled in dozens of other stories and several other media. What makes the night even more horrific in Forbeck's reality is that the Carpathia, the Europe bound ship that mounts a rescue mission, harbors a large group of vampires who are returning to the "Old World." from America. Already barely held in check by their leaders, many of their number look on the disaster as a splendid opportunity to gorge themselves without risk, which several do upon arriving at the accident site. Thus, the unlucky passengers of the Titanic are victimized a second time.
Through luck, pluck and courage, Harker, Holmwood and Seward survive the night of terror, and are taken on board the Carpathia. This kicks off the main action of Forbeck's story, as that ship's human population slowly tumbles to the fact that they share its decks with blood thirsty creatures who think nothing of making a meal of them. Forbeck proceeds to relate the horrors of their inevitable conflict, as passengers and crew struggle to stay alive long enough to dock in New York.
Forbeck's tale is very straightforward and traditional; the author does not seem to be trying to break new ground with this novel. Rather, he's trying to tell the best adventure story possible given the limitations he's imposed on himself. In that he succeeds, seamlessly marrying fact and fiction, all the while making sure to deliver the goods for horror aficionados. In service of that goal, he even manages to tie the events of Carpathia to those described in Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula (you had to see that coming, given the names of the protagonists, didn't you?) He also seems to have had some fun along the way, especially in the manner in which he worked a contest winner into the narrative, creating Dale Chase, the only black crewman on board. If you like your vampires to follow the rules we all know from watching too many Hammer films, and don't mind picking up an historical tidbit here and there, Carpathia is the book for you.
Magistrates of Hell also takes place in 1912, but is set a world away from the icy Atlantic in the newly formed Republic of China. The fourth James Asher novel (following 1988's Those Who Hunt the Night, 1995's Traveling With the Dead and 2011's Blood Maidens) finds the British ex-spy investigating rumors of a new breed of vampire referred to as "The Others," in the Orient. Of course, Asher is there on behalf of King and Country, trying to discover the whereabouts of the new species before an enemy, like Germany or Russia, can do so, no doubt intent on using their discovery for ill. He knows that they are lurking, because that's precisely what he would do.
Accompanied by his wife, biologist Lydia Asher, and their infant daughter, Miranda,
Asher is there chiefly to investigate reports of the discovery of an odd set of remains which might be the corpse of an "Other." Also interested in the corpse is an old acquaintance of the Ashers's, 357 year old vampire Don Simon Xavier Christian Morado de la Cadena-Ysidro; Asher feels uneasy when he realizes his sometimes ally seems to be afraid of what they might find. Before they can set off to view the remains, however, they become embroiled in a murder investigation that has scandalized the diplomatic community in Peking, and which may be connected to Asher's mission. At any rate, it gives Hambly an excellent opportunity to convey a sense of the unique environment Asher finds himself in, as his dual investigations bring him into contact with many intriguing individuals in many fascinating locales.
Hambly is a seasoned pro, and her novels, especially those featuring Asher and company, reflect this. She's clearly comfortable with her cast (especially Lydia, who is as formidable in her own right as her husband or Ysidro), allowing her to concentrate more on plot and storytelling. Her thorough research informs every page without ever being conspicuous or heavy handed--one gets the feeling that she's caught the essence of 1912 Peking, thereby effectively transporting the reader to that milieu. She also is quite handy at penning convincing action sequences, the final set piece which takes place in an abandoned mine being a prime example of that. Although Ysidro seemed sadly under-utilized in this adventure, the rest of the tale was quite gripping, with Hambly adding to her vampire mythology even as she plants the seeds for future installments in the series.
Soon, the passenger ship Carpathia arrives on the scene and the friends find themselves among the 710 survivors. They rest and mourn, and the Carpathia changes course to take the survivors on to New York. But, unknown to the ship's passengers and crew, Carpathia carries a deadly cargo: vampires leaving America intent on hiding in the Old Country, and in the midst of a power struggle as one faction rebels against their leaving America. And before it's over, Quincey, Abe, and Lucy will find themselves in a fight similar to the one their parents fought twenty years ago.
I really liked this book and I will confess to being a Matt Forbeck fan, ever since his time on the Brave New World RPG. And when I first heard about this book back in September, I sat with bated breath, eager to read what I was sure was going to be typical Forbeck. Classic vampires, the children of the vampire hunters that saved England from Dracula, and the Titanic made this, for me, the literary equivalent of a Reese's cup. There's also a love triangle between the friends that keeps the reader busy. And Mr. Forbeck ratchets up the suspense and doesn't let you relax very often. As much as I enjoyed it, though, there were a couple of annoying issues that missed the editor's desk. An abrupt name change of the Carpathia's doctor is one, while the description of the trio retrieving their crucifixes from their luggage when their luggage is at the bottom of the Atlantic was another. But even with these glitches, I was able to shake it off and enjoy the story. This is by no means the sequel to "Dracula" but it's still a fun read and an interesting addition to the Dracula mythos.
Most recent customer reviews
I picked this book up because of the cool concept of vampires out on the ocean during the Titanic disaster.Read more
Not as well put together as Anno Dracula but still well conceived.