Sunday, July 15, 2012

Books with Bite~ Bloodline

The last post didn't end on such a cheery note so I'm back to make it up to you with a sappy vampire novel. A while back I read Bloodline and I believe I promised a review. If I didn't, well you're getting one anyway! An itty bitty one, because it's hard to not give anything away.

Overview: The book is kind of an 'unofficial' sequel to Dracula. It centers around a few of the descendants of the original people who faced the Count. Like Dracula, it's written through letters, journal entries, etc. In particular, the book focuses on John Shaw (Who's parentage you discover later) and Mary Seward, the daughter of Dr. John Seward.

John returns from WWI, injured and delirious. He has visions of his time in the trenches and the monstrous actions of his commanding officer Quincy Harker. He barely believes some of the things he faced in the war and confides in his nurse and love interest, Mary. When Harker shows up in town and begins to seduce his sister (Lily) John has to face his fears and Mary sets out to unravel the secrets surrounding Harker.

What happens next is reminiscent of a second Dracula, as the characters go through the trials their predecessors did. They'll have to sacrifice much to prevent to House of Dracula from rising again.

Characters: You're supposed to hate Quincy Harker, but you're not without sympathy for his plight. I honestly like him best out of anyone in the book. He has reasons for what he does and he's undoubtedly charming. John is supposed to be sweet, brave, and noble, but I saw through to the real cowardice far before it affects the events in the book. Lily is sweet, gentle, and generally brainless, the mental reincarnation of Lucy. (Which happens to be the reason I detest her in the original Dracula. Sorry.) Mary is logical and hard-headed, a nice break from novels set in older eras where the girls flounce about and swoon constantly. The other assorted villains and friends are a bit flat. But they do their job and move the plot along.

Plot: Normally, I can predict most of the events in a book, but this one honestly got me a couple of times. It gets rather complicated and there are plot twists a plenty, but I really enjoyed the end result. She certainly doesn't let the suspense drop for one second.

I'd give it an 8 out of 10 as far as vampire books go. It's fairly original, vividly descriptive, and the vampires aren't fluffy fangless wimps. I love how she stayed true to the original Dracula, but managed to create a unique twist that really made it her own. Seeing the different points of view of the characters creates a world that isn't black and white. The deal closer for me though, is the description of John's time in the trenches. That's definitely worth reading the book for.

The sequel, Bloodline: Reckoning, is even better than the first in my opinion. I might do a review for that eventually, but suffice to say if you like this one, and you end up liking Quincy Harker, then read the sequel. It actually made the romantic in me squeal a bit.

Can we get an enthusiastic cheer for real vampires?

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