Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review: Zombies in New York and Other Bloody Jottings

I picked up this book at FantasyCon down in Brighton and its taken me a while to read, I'd hoped to post this a few weeks ago and only finished the book at the weekend.



It's a slim volume, with an attractive cover, even if you don't like clowns, but the real treasures lie within. The first part of the book ties into the Vampire Gene series and for people like myself who haven't read the novels (yet) they provide an interesting window into that series. The protagonist Lucy is very much an atypical vampire for today's culture. Whilst most books and films seem to delight in having the vampire struggle against their hungers Sam Stone delights in the carnal blood lust that the image of the vampire evokes. Lucy is unapologetic in her appetites for sex and blood, and arguably could stand shoulder to shoulder with the other vampire elders of literature in that regard (she's better at hiding but equally as monstrous as Dracula in her own way). The other pleasing aspect of the character is that, for all that she's lived for centuries, she clearly doesn't know everything, and there's also no sense of ennui about her. She seems to revel in fresh experiences, which I found very refreshing as so many vampire elders seem to have seen it all, done it all and got the t shirt (or should that be opera cape?). The stories that Sam tells with her are varied and delve into the nature of vampirism quite a lot, it's not just blood and sex; other aspects are also explored quite beautifully.


Beyond the vampire stories are the "Bloody Jottings" which range from the rather whimsical to the downright horrific. They're all solid stories and all of them stand well alone, demonstrating Sam's depth and reach as a writer. I'm unashamed that The Toymaker's House is probably one of the most horrific short stories I've read for a while and parts of it really gave me chills, whilst at the other end of the scale Clown Addict actually me smile because it's so reminiscent of many Vincent Price movies from the 1970s and captures the macabre atmosphere of them so well.


I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment overly much on the poetry. I enjoyed the poems but I'm not a huge fan of poetry, so all I can say is that I liked it, other people may not.


All in all, if you're looking for something fresh in vampire fiction and for some really good horror stories, this is for you. Go buy.