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Shadows Bite Hardcover – 2001

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; First Edition edition (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312877838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312877835
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,643,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Several years ago, I read a book with the auspicious title of 'The Art of Arrow Cutting' by Stephen Dedman. It was the enjoyable and interesting tale of Michelangelo Magistrale, a photographer, and Charlie Takumo, a stuntman. Together they face monsters, the yakuza, and black magic. When they are done Michelangelo is well on the way to earning his nickname, 'Mage.'
Now, several years later, we find that the story was not yet over. Mage's life is sought by Haruko Higuchi, the new head of the Tamenaga clan, whose previous leader the magician killed. Unable to find Mage, the Tamenaga make repeated attacks on Takumo and anyone else who might reveal his whereabouts. To no avail. Magistrale's location is well hidden, but the situation is a strain on his friends.
Charlie, in the meantime becomes involved a mysterious body theft. The body in question gets up from its autopsy, climbs up to look into the window of his nurse, Gaye Lind, and finally turns up separated from his head with a mouth full of garlic. Gradually, Takumo realizes that there are all too many cases of WWD (walking while dead), even for a city like Los Angeles. The trail leads to a cult headed by Solomon Tudor, who is running a boarding house for the terminally Goth.
Tudor is a black magician in his own right, and is drawn into the vampire problem when his son is converted by the dead boy's sister. Had that not happened Solomon would have been only a moderately bad guy. However, once Mage shows up to help Takuma things turn into a massive free-for-all with our heroes the focus of the Yakuza, the Satanists and enough vampires to keep everything jumping.
This is fun reading. The book has few pretensions, but is far more than just a supernatural fight fest.
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Format: Hardcover
Charlie Takumo is trying to get his life together, practicing his martial arts and becoming a modern ninja. Complications, like a criminal family trying to get access to his friend Mage through Takumo are merely part of the challenge. But when their mutual friend Kelly is assigned a case where the evidence points to a vampire, things get very serious indeed. Despite Mage's limited control over the 'focus,' a growing army of undead vampires isn't fun for anyone. Especially when they are aided by a satanic black wizzard and when that criminal family ups the ante and turns to the top bounty hunter in the country.
Julia Petrosyan is a goth, writes morbid bad poetry, and wants nothing more than to take the final step toward becoming a vampire. When she gets there, along with a little help from the black wizzard, she lacks the self control to keep from turning person after person into the undead. And author Stephen Dedman's vampires are a lot harder to kill than the Hollywood version. Stakes through the heart barely phase them, upheld crosses are a slight inconvenience, and exposure to sunlight is painful but far from instantly fatal. Tackling a single vampire is a challenge, even for a martial artist like Takumo. Taking on the growing army seems beyond the talents of even our heros.
Dedman escalates the intensity throughout the story, adding greater challenges as Kelly, Takumo, and Mage overcome each obstacle. I would have liked to see the romantic entanglements between Kelly, Takumo, and Mage more fully developed, and homocide detective Woodcott seemed intended to play a more significant role than he actually fulfilled, but these are small quibbles. SHADOWS BITE is a fast-moving and exciting read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the sequel to THE ART OF ARROW CUTTING. 2 years after we first meet Mage, Charlie and Kelly they are back again to fight a new magical enemy. This time its not the creatures of Japanese myth instead it is a western wizard and the vampires he has created that threaten one of Kelly's clients. Also thrown into the mix are the ongoing attempts of Haruko Tamenaga to avenge her father's death by killing Mage.
Read as a stand alone vampire novel I suspect that this book would be somewhat a disappointment. As a sequel however it works very well. It mixes world wide vampire myth with modern thriller setting. The author has bought us back to interesting characters that continue to evolve and also mixed in some new ones that will be welcome if there is ever a third book in this series.
This book should be part of any collection of books for people who enjoy vampire novels, but it will be probably enjoyed most by those who liked the first book explaining how all the main characters in this novel met and how Mage acquired his magic powers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Based on the plot description, you'd think this would be at least an interesting read. Instead, the plot meanders around without any sense of authorial control, and the characters are cardboard. There are several subplots, one involving the daughter of a murdered executive seeking revenge, one involving something called the focus, which gives its recipients supernatural powers, and one involving the turning of vampires and a strange little cult. Not one of these is handled well, and about halfway through I simply lost interest and put the book down. Not recommended.
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