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Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 13, 1989

4.4 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her hardcover debut, Hambly ( Dragonsbane ) will give Ann Ricehigher praise that this we rarely see in our little literary mag!! got to keep the readers interested, eh what? a run for her money. Oxford professor James Ahser, once an agent for the British government, is forced to help the vampires of Edwardian London, who are being destroyed one by one through exposure to sunlight as they lie sleeping in their coffins. If she does not oblige, his young wife, Lydia, will perish as have many other vampire victims over the years. Accompanied by one of the oldest of the vampires, Simon Ysidro, who has lived in London since the time of Elizabeth I, Asher begins his investigations, learning about the life and culture of vampires. Meanwhile, Lydia, who is one of the few women physicians of the era, prowls through old property records and medical journals attempting to find other clues. Asher comes to suspect that the killer is a vampire, an unusual one who can live in the light of day, and Lydia develops a reasonable physiology that would account for the ability. Hambly's examination of vampirism is beautifully detailed, with a fine, realistic background and strong sense of atmosphere. Her characters are finely honed, particularly Don Ysidro, the vampire with a sense of noblesse oblige. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Who's been killing the vampires of London, tearing open their coffins to let in lethal sunshine as they sleep--and then drinking their blood?
"Hambly's examination of vampirism is beautifully detailed, with a fine realistic background and strong sense of atmosphere...Will give Anne Rice a run for her money."--Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Series: James Asher (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (July 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345361326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345361325
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,519,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book years and years ago...long before the current trend we're seeing with all things vampire. My Aunt had given it to me in hard cover and insisted that I read it. It is just a wonderful book, filled with fascinating characters, from the witty and intelligent James Asher to the cool and clever vampire Don Simon Ysidro. The prose is so well done, some lines of which I have thought about or used in conversation many times over the years. I have read and re-read this one many times and it always entertains.

I was delighted to see it available for Kindle and purchased it to have it with me when the mood for a great vampire hunt story strikes my fancy.

ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR KINDLE ADDITION: This Kindle version of the book has lots of formatting errors. On every page, often several to a page, there are two words run together. It makes me stop to think what is the word? Very disruptive to my reading style. This books wasn't free, so I'm displeased with these errors!
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By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I usually don't read vampire stories (except for the Count St. Germain series)--the classic creepy, cold-hearted and cold-fleshed hunters of the night are too "alien" to relate to...but Don Simon Ysidro grows on you...He comes to James Asher (ostensibly a mild-mannered Oxford lecturer on folk tales and language) to investigate the "murders" of a series of fellow London vampires. Asher, a bitterly disillusioned former secret agent for British Intelligence, has his own past "ghosts" to deal with--murders, betrayals and lies done in the name of "King and Country." Despite being forced into the investigation by Ysidro's threat to his wife's life, James Asher slowly comes to understand, respect and even value Ysidro's "life" and its realities. It is this delicate development of friendship and understanding that elevate this book from merely a gripping horror novel to a memorable "keeper" book to be shared with friends. The other vampires of London, the details of their "lives" and history, and the final horrifying battle with the "murderer" will keep you reading into the night, but Don Simon Ysidro is who will linger in your mind.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a compusive reader. I'll read anything in front of me at least--once. I've read this book 13-times! (Is that a bad omen?) This is one of the best gas-light mysteries that I've ever read or that has been written using vampires & their culture as a the back drop of a Sherlock Holmes-like mystery. Don Simon Ysidro is not only the oldest vampire in London, but he is also cold, manipulative, intense, powerful & deadly (You'll warm up to him eventually). Ysidro compells a mild mannered, poly-lingustic, world-weary retired spy, Dr. James Asher, to hunt for the person who has been methodically hunting & killing the vampires of London in exchange for his wife's life-- and his own. The plot is tight & the characters are believable. Give this book out to friends & family as gifts year around. No one-should miss out on this book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said? I absolutely loved this book from the first few pages, and I absoluely deplore its current inavailability. Hambly crafted a thrilling tale, using stunning writing, great logic, and memorable characters.

When I rave to my friends, I always stress Hambly's genuis at writing this fine peice of literature. She weaves a beautiful tapestry of words. She strings her sentences like fantastic jewels on a priceless necklace. The setting was so realistic, the people so intriguing, the story itself so engrossing, that I'll be rereading this book till the day I die.
Hambly dealt with vampirism very intelligently. Few authors actually try to explain that state, and I think Hambly offers the best explaination, a combination of science and fantasy. Her vampires are believable, something I require when dealing with fantasy and science fiction.
Don Simon Ysidro has made his way into my personal hall of fame. He refreshingly offers no apologies for what he is, and doesn't go around biting at every other neck he sees. Forget Dracula...compared to Don Simon, he's a dead corpse. While the rest of the main characters--James and Lydia Asher-- perhapse pale against the magnetism of Don Simon, they are nevertheless well-drawn. James and Lydia both have their own voice and personalities, as do all the minor characters that populate this book.
I enjoyed Those Who Hunt the Night better than its sequel, Travelling With the Dead, but I'd abvise anyone who loves vampires and well-crafted tales to read both. I can only hope that Hambly will eventually return to the characters she created in late eighteenth century London.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I read this novel, I didn't care at all for vampire stories. Barbara Hambly managed to change that.

Dark and elegantly horrific, radiating the scent of old blood and the dust of time, _Those Who Hunt the Night_ is similar in many ways to Anita Blake's _Guilty Pleasures_, but is suited less to those who favor humor and urban fantasy than to those who are interested in darkness with feeling and depth. Hambly brings her vampires to life for you--you may not understand them, you may not empathize with them, but they will seem real. Ysidro in particular has the power to fascinate, drawing forth the interest of the reader without ever slipping into anything much like humanity.

James Asher is also an interesting character in his own right, even if he may end up playing second-fiddle to Ysidro by the story's end. Lydia Asher could be reckoned as a heroine strong in her own right--for whatever reason, though, she was one character who left me cold.

This book is well worth reading, as is its sequel, _Traveling With the Dead_. _Those Who Hunt the Night_ is probably the better of the two; its dark and occasionally chilling atmosphere will linger with one for a long time after the final page has been turned.
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