We can all agree that pop culture’s fascination with Vampires is waning, right? I know I’m not the only one who thinks that the mystery and intrigue that once characterized the undead has literally been erased by the onslaught of Vampirism in the media (I’m looking at you, Twilight).
However, there are still a few bits of originality and uniqueness being added the representation of these blood-thirsty creatures in modern literature. One such welcome addition to the Vampire pantheon is “Human” written by S.M. Carriere.
Human is a no-holds barred piece of work. It is violent and gritty, and at times, quite explicit. But it is these above characteristics that set it apart from the sensitized vampire-lite books that seems to leave bookstores as soon as they enter.
The book finds an immigrated Vampire who’s looking to re-start their presence in America. This epic journey introduces out lead vampire, Alelsander, to the enigmatic Alicia Wilde. Alicia proves to awaken feelings long dormant within Aleksander. Alicia, a police officer, has a partner who inherent dislikes Aleksandar and his kind, thus propelling the narrative into a commentary on xenophobia.
Ripe with tenacity, bravery, action and, best of all, a return-to-form of the portrayal of the Vampire, Human is a welcome read for those who still enjoy fangs with their reading entertainment.
Aren’t all the oldest female vampires usually depicted as the most beautiful? In Margarita Felices’ Judgement of Souls, the typical portrayal of aged, female evil sticks to the vampire genre’s typical convention, but injects new blood into the genre. Felices’ portraiture of a female vampire protagonist attempts to subvert the genres staid conventions of gender representation with middling results.
One of the best parts of being a book reviewer is the exposure to different narrative voices and the stories they have to tell. A writer’s ability to share details, express realistic dialogue, and to depict well-crafted plot developments can take a formulaic genre and spin it into something new and refreshing. This is precisely what Shari Sakurai’s “Demon’s Blood” does with the overexposed vampire genre.
Before I even get into my review of R.G. Tamaki’s Vampire Americana, I must concede that the book trailer that preceded my exposure to the story was nothing short of phenomenal. You know when you see a trailer for a film on television and the whole plot is essentially revealed to the viewer? Well, the book trailer for Vampire only manages to pique the reader’s curiosity more, choosing to focus more upon the building of suspense vs. leaking the entire narrative.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Tamaki chose to name his epic novel Vampire Americana. The term Americana tends to evoke tradition and American culture. Or, alternatively, the term could mean the study of America by other cultures. Both of these semantic approaches fit perfectly with what Tamaki is attempting to achieve here: that the culture of America has been embedded with the culture of the vampire.