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The Parliament of Blood Hardcover – November 25, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—A sometimes campy and often gory tale of horror, set in Victorian England. Vampires have taken over many positions of power and have created their own parliament in the guise of a secret society called The Damnation Club. The time has come to wake the half of their population who lie dormant underground along with their leader, the Lord of the Undead, and take over the world. The only hope resides with the four people who face death (or undeath) at every turn. The story switches back and forth among the characters in different parts of London, making it a bit hard to follow, but alternating narratives keep the pace and suspense lively. A great many vampire myths and legends are addressed, which sometimes overwhelms the plot, but lovers of vampire lore will be enthralled. Richards walks a fine line between the horrific and the absurd, but this macabre tale will win students who clamor for all things vampire.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This sequel to The Death Collector (2006) features the same three young protagonists: George, 19, assistant to a British Museum curator of a department full of mysterious objects, including mummies; Liz, 18, would-be actress and daughter of a frail clergyman who abhors the theater; and young teen Eddie, a reformed street urchin now living with George, who functions as his surrogate father. This time their task is to thwart vampires who have infiltrated the government and aspire to overthrow the queen and install a mummified vampire in her place. Bloody details abound, including children who become zombies. Through it all runs a submerged but developing romance between George and Liz. The fast-paced plot sweeps readers along, and the gory details of life among the undead and political corruption will enthrall horror readers. Though set in Victorian England, this will appeal to readers of Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak books. There is plenty of blood, gore, and action, and very little of the romance found in many current vampire books, such as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight titles. Grades 6-9. --Debbie Carton
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Parliament of Blood is set in Victorian London and keeps the same cast of players that started out in The Death Collector. Eddie the adorable street urchin pickpocket, George and Sir William who work secretly in an underground room of the British Museum investigating unusual and paranormal artifacts, and Liz Oldfield, George's wannabe girlfriend, all return for another round of fun and fear as they soon learn that vampires are not just a thing of storybook legend.
Chapter one opens up with an intriguing and puzzling conundrum when the unveiling of an Egyptian mummy turns into a sudden freak show. An assistant on stage accidentally gets cut with a knife and the blood begins to pour into the mouth of the mummy still lying in his coffin. Within seconds the mummy comes alive and chaos and panic run rampant leaving hundreds of viewers running for their lives through the streets of London. Thus the mystery begins and as the story unfolds, chapter after chapter leaves the reader biting their nails and feeling chills as pandemonium breaks loose and Eddie, George and Sir William rush to save Liz from becoming a vampire herself after she has been taken captive.
I read a lot of vampire stories, both for adult in horror and romance, and have also tried out some of the teen vamp books as well. This is high-end; all adults would enjoy this as well as teenagers and would consider it a top-notch well-written novel. Truly scary, the vampires are vividly real and DO bite, blood runs profusely and seeps drop by drop through each page as you devour them in terror. With corpses by the thousands rising up from their graves and popping up from the underground ready to prey on the living, man-eating vampire bats ready to drain you dry, skeletons driving a coach-and six, and an Egyptian mummy missing his heart, you will not want for ingredients that make up for an adventurous and entertaining read.
I have read many of Justin Richards' teen books and he is still my favorite young adult author. He is extremely creative, doesn't write down to kids, and provides his readers with a quality story you never forget. You don't just read Justin Richards, you collect him. I highly recommend the first book in this promising series, The Death Collector, and found his Chaos Code, and the first four of The Invisible Detective series books beyond excellent. This author can't get higher praise from me, I think he's the best in this genre. Two thumbs up for the Parliament of Blood and I sincerely hope that there will be a third book in the series to come.
It makes you wonder if anybody knows that vampires were considered evil (yeah, sorry girls, if vampires were real, chances are Edward would be more interested in his next meal than getting a girlfriend) or that they are more monster than human.
I mean, seriously, if vamps really existed, they'd probably be laughing their fangs off reading all the stuff we've come up with about them (no offense readers and authors).
[Somewhere near a dark forest, in a misty grave yard, a muffled voice from deep within the earth says, "None taken."]
Um, did you hear something? Ooookay.......
My idea of a vamp novel would be a good old fashion one where the vampires are "bad"-ya know the ones where the villagers hang garlic on their doors and scream "AHHH! Vampire, run! instead of "OMG! It's Edward!! Pinch me!". With much searching, I found one:
It all starts out with Sir William and his discovery of an old sarcophagus in the Unclassified Department where he works in the London Museum (aka the department full of stuff that the museum doesn't have a special room for, or things that They don't want anyone to see). And for the record, museums really do have stuff on file that has been discovered blah blah years ago, but has never been displayed. Kinda of creepy if you ask me.
Anyways, after a little accident with a knife and some spilled blood, the mummy decides to take a trip in a carriage that has a creepy symbol on it. At first everyone thinks it was a prank, but after George Archer and Sir William find some mysterious photographs that reveal literally nothing, lets just say they've really uncovered something worth show casing.
With the police involved, half the nobles attending a centuries old secret Club, and all their witnesses turning up either dead or undead, George, Eddie, Liz, and Sir William must get to the bottom of this......before it's too late.
Parliament of Blood is told from the human's side of story and is clearly a humans vs. vampires book like that of Dracula. The book takes place in the late 1800s and sticks to traditional and historical vampire facts and legends. I gave it four stars not because there was anything in it, but because it was a tad creepy at times.
I'm glad I choose this vampy book, but I for one won't be reading another thriller book for awhile.
(Not good for the subconscious mind.)
And, oh yes, don't read this book at night.......
Age Group: YA, ages 13+
Content: Horror and other creepiness
Review by Morgan @ BLT