Friday, December 28, 2007

Demon Under Glass – review

Author: D L Warner

First published: 2004

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: “The Hunter versus the Healer

“The pursuit of a serial killer leads to a deeper evil. When the government captures a vampire, he is imprisoned and subjected to brutal medical experiments. With the project’s original MD dead, a rookie from the clinic downstairs is brought in as a replacement. As the procedures become more gruesome, Dr Joe McKay is torn between sympathy for a patient’s suffering and concern for the evil that threatens to consume everyone involved.

“Ultimately, McKay discovers that the real evil isn’t the thousand year old vampire but the Delphi Project itself. When it is discovered that he carries the rare gene believed to cause vampirism, the young doctor is sentenced to a life of confinement and torturous experiments. His only hope to the Project and ensure his safety is the creature, Simon Molinar. But once the vampire has his long sought after companion, will he ever let him go?”

The Review: This is the novelisation of the low budget, independent film of the same name. I do not intend to go further into the story than the blurb as there are some story details in my review of the film.

I was frustrated by the film, as a great story and fine lead performances seemed hamstringed by low budget. In some respects the novelisation suffers from a similar phenomena. The author co-wrote the script for the film with the director (and her husband), so this is not farming a novelisation out to a writer for hire and it is released via a small press. Unfortunately the proofing leaves a lot to be desired. Did the blurb seem to read wrong in the last paragraph? Even in the blurb there seems to be a missing word or two. The proof errors in the book are generally the odd missing or added word and such errors as putting he instead of she, though early on there seems to be half a sentence or more missing. Such things are frustrating to the reader.

That said, though noticeable, there aren’t that many errors (it isn’t as though there is one on every page by a long shot), the writing – when properly proofed – is strong and the story, as it was in the film, is excellent. It is also more than the sum of the film. Yes, the novel goes into thoughts and feelings that the film couldn’t touch upon being a visual medium but the story that runs parallel to the film only fills the first 55% or so of the book. The later, almost, half of the book takes the story further, past the end of the film and is just as fulfilling.

There are another couple of spin-off books and I actually want to read them, very much, because of this and despite the proof errors. The book and the film are evidence of the fact that you just cannot keep a good story, and characters, down. It would just be nice to see some proper proofing and a reissue.

7 out of 10.

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