Sunday, 12 June 2011

Bloody Vampires

Oh no.  Not another bloody vampire book I hear you groan.  Well, umm, yes.  Sorry about that.  The Twilight saga, True Blood and all the others that seemingly breed unchecked on the shelves have been joined by a new trilogy.  Well, new to me, that is. Kim Newman (a rather glorious eccentric figure himself and an utterly impeccable film buff) and his Anno Dracula series.  It seemed appropriate reading somehow.  It's an English summery weekend in June.  The heating's on, I'm wearing a jumper and the dog is warming my feet. Pimms?  No thanks, I'll have a hot chocolate with a slug of rum in it.  To warm up.
Let me introduce you to the world of London 1888.  Queen Victoria has sensationally remarried to the Prince of Darkness himself - the Wallachian Prince known as Count Dracula. His (polluted) bloodline is sweeping London as more and more people are choosing to 'turn'.  It's quite fashionable really.  Oscar Wilde turned, still hiding his bad teeth behind his hands.  Smoked glasses and the gothic look are affected by the fashioables.   Of course, all that rubbish put about by Van Helsing about garlic and crucifixes doesn't work.  Silver does though, a bullet or  scalpel, followed by ripping the heart (or any vital organ) out of the body. 'Newborns' who are not looked after are horribly burnt by going into the sun and have to go to a sort of Vampire rehab, knows as The Hall.  Some of the 'warms' are sympathetic to the dark side, but gradually London is turned upside down by the Vampires,  In the squalor of Whitechapel prostitutes sell their blood to hungry vampires, and gin sodden sluts tote children around on leads offering up their necks for a bite. A killer roams the streets in the shape of the Silver Scalpel - later known as Jack the Ripper.  But why?  With enough blood puddling the pavements anyway it seems a redundant occupation. There's a rather dapper spy - Charles Beauregard, a vampire patrician prime minister, a wonderful 450 year old heroine vampire Genevieve and a whole constructed world of darkness in the fog ridden streets of London.  Pretty compulsive.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm feeling a bit peckish...

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