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Skarlet: Part One of the Vampire Trinity (Vampire Babylon) Paperback – October 2, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

First of a projected trilogy set in London, this very exciting novel involves a disillusioned Iraq War veteran, an illegal drug with horrific side effects, and an ancient society hidden away for centuries but now planning a major resurgence. Jake Lawton, a former military man, is working as a bouncer at a nightclub when several people die after taking a new recreational drug. Later, the dead begin to rise and feed off the living, and Jake realizes that the city—and, by extension, the world—could be wiped out by a plague of vampires. Fast paced, with sharply defined characters and a very clever historical explanation for the modern-day vampires (it involves ancient Babylon and Alexander the Great), the book should find a large audience. It’s worth pointing out that this is no “vampire romance”; it’s an out-and-out horror story, dark and brutal and thrilling. --David Pitt

Review

“Emson feeds fresh blood to the vampire genre in this visceral hybrid of plague, panic, and the paranormal, which launches a series worth watching… Furious pacing doesn't preclude harsh poetic imagery as human greed blurs lines between friend and foe, victim and victimizer. Lawton's personal crises enrich the splattery carnage, and the plot is lent pathos by a misguided human population as dismal as the undead. The vampires of this energetic and philosophical fable are the rotting, deadly creatures of folklore, and a refrehsing change for readers who weary of the sexy undead.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Very exciting… Fast paced, with sharply defined characters and a very clever historical explanation for the modern-day vampires (it involves ancient Babylon and Alexander the Great), the book should find a large audience. It's worth pointing out that this is no "vampire romance"; it's an out-and-out horror story, dark and brutal and thrilling.” ―Booklist

“The premise behind the rise of the vampires is fresh and clever, and with this established and pieces of the backstory falling into place, the suspension of disbelief can be all but taken out of the equation, leaving you to enjoy the bloodthirsty rampage that Thomas has unleashed on a well researched London....A crimson delight. A gripping, action rich adventure thriller that breathes new life into the vampire mythos.” ―MyFavouriteBooks.blogspot.com

“Emson weaves a compelling story across multiple times and places, from Alexander the Great conquering Babylon to Iraq when the Ottomans ousted the British in 1920 to the most recent war in Iraq....And to somehow take these disparate locations and tie them together with modern London without skipping a beat...was quite entertaining.” ―BlogCritics.org

“London is gritty and grimy rather than glamorous, the vampires are mindless killing machines and the story's heroes are all realistically un-heroic. Fast pacing is maintained through out the book and the overall result is a most readable novel.” ―LoveVampires.com

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Product Details

  • Series: Vampire Babylon
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312621701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312621704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Christine on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I actually enjoyed this story better than the last book of this type I read, which was Del Toro's "Strain" trilogy. Same sort of "vampires take over the world" set up but I thought this was done better. Or at least in a style I liked better. It's a pity that the second in the series is not available on Kindle or I would buy it and continue reading! For some reason, the third installment *is* available on Kindle. Go figure.
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Format: Paperback
If you've ever read a book involving any virus or monster related epidemic (or even a movie), you know there are two ways the creator can handle it: 1. Explain the origin story and hope the reader buys it or 2. Have the characters just accept the circumstances as they are. If they choose the later, the audience is free to speculate and come to their own conclusions or often, critique the author for being too lazy to explain it themselves. If the writer explains the origin, they will often get picked apart for credibility. We readers are BRUTAL to writers... In Skarlet, Thomas Emsons new vampire novel, he chooses to successful explain the origins, combining it with mysticism and science. He creates unlikely allies, unique foes and gives them a twisted and dark backstory spanning the years.

A mysterious new drug, only with the marking "S" has made it's way into one of London's dance club, despite bouncer Jake Lawton and his best efforts. Unfortunately, the partiers find that this is a drug with lasting affect. Everyone who tried it soon convulses and dies. Yet, unlike most hard drugs that end in death, this one does not. After 24 hrs, they all return, thirsty for blood and ready to regain their dominance over the humans.

Lawton already has a murky past and becomes the perfect scapegoat. Not only is he eager to clear his name and live a normal life but he also wants to find answers to why the girl he once loved has become cold and blood thirsty. In order to do so, he must work with the journalist who soiled his name and the dealer responsible. All the while, London is under attack and no one is safe.

What I liked: This is a story that weaves many lives together to create a big picture. I LOVE when stories do this.
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Format: Paperback
THE BLURB:

Fear grips London as dozens of clubbers die after taking a sinister new drug.

But that's only the beginning. 48 hours later, the dead clubbers wake up - and it's open season on the living, who are butchered for their blood.

Soon, London gives a name to its terror: Vampires.

Jake Lawton, bitter and betrayed after the Iraq War, finds himself fighting another battle - against the growing army of immortal hunters and their human cohorts. Lawton joins forces with the journalist who brought about his downfall and the dealer tricked into distributing the drug. And together they take on the spineless authorities, the ruthless cohorts, and the hungry dead.

But the vampire plague unleashed in London is nothing to what lurks beneath the streets - Waiting to be fed ...Waiting to be resurrected ...Waiting to reign again over a city of human slaves ...

THE REVIEW:

Thomas Emson writes with the urgency of a man who has a gun to his head and some deranged fan yelling `WRITE!' in his ear. The prose is so stripped down it's indecent. He's not a pretentious writer: there's no other agenda than to tell a good story. Fans of Stephen McGeagh's HABIT and Shaun Hutson's later work should love him.

His characters are brilliant.

The good guys are a who's who of antiheroes: ex-squaddie Jake Lawton, his bouncer mate, Milo, and Fraser Lithgow, the drug dealer at his local club, lead the pack. The chemistry is brilliant, Emson's dialogue-driven approach perfect for hacking out drama and conflict and comedy amongst our main players. Flashbacks from Lawton's time in Iraq feature heavily, with a scandal involving the execution of an allegedly unarmed insurgent providing an engaging sub-plot.
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By A Customer on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
At Religion, a club in London, twenty-eight partygoers take a new drug Skarlet. Anyone who did take it dies. Police Superintendent Phil Burch suspects club bouncer, disgraced veteran Jake Lawton killed these people. Jake had the means with his Iraqi tour; the opportunity as his boss supported by two employees implies he stole the tape of what happened, and the motive since his estranged girlfriend is one of the victims. Insisting he is being set up as he was in Iraq Jake storms out of the club.

Forty-eight hours after the clubbers died, each victim rises from the grave with a thirst for live blood. Reporter Christine Murray who destroyed him allegedly for killing an unarmed civilian in Iraq and Lithgow the dealer who brought the drugs to Religion join Jake as they battle an ancient conspiracy fostered by human avarice.

This is a superb vampire thriller that stars a scapegoat hero and a strong support cast. The fast-paced storyline deftly merges pathos with gore. Fans will enjoy exciting Skarlet as the drug of choice becomes blood.

Harriet Klausner
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