Monday, June 11, 2012

32 Fangs – review

Author: David Wellington

First Published: 2012

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Laura Caxton’s battles against vampire Justinia Malvern have cost her everything—the lives of her friends and family, her freedom… And perhaps even her humanity. But even now, reduced to a solitary existence as a wanted fugitive, Laura’s not through fighting. In fact, she’s got a plan—a plan that will force Malvern to come to her and allow the two enemies to face off one last time. The ever-wily Malvern has plans of her own, though… plans that involve Laura’s few remaining friends, a battalion of cops and an army of half-dead slaves.

The review: Have you read any of the Laura Caxton series? If the answer is no, my next question is why not? This is the fifth in the series that runs 13 Bullets, 99 Coffins, Vampire Zero & 23 Hours. If you haven’t read them, yes they are that good. Wellington really puts the vicious back into vampires; deadly, virtually unstoppable killing machines. However, as this is book number five there will be series spoilers in this so perhaps just go out, get 13 bullets and enjoy…

…still here, good. Then I will assume you are up-to-date with Mr Wellington’s opus. Each book has been different, not only in context but also in how Wellington treated central character Laura Caxton. He has taken her through a gamut of emotions and stripped her raw, so much that there is little humanity left in her, therefore little character. She is a weapon forged with one purpose.

As such this book actually spends much more time with her estranged girlfriend Clara Hsu. This is no bad thing, we still see Caxton, she still is the centrepiece character, but Hsu gives us a human focus. The other centre character is Malvern herself. Wellington takes us through a potted back history that lets us into a vampire who is the most three dimensional of all those wew have met through the series and is, therefore, more dangerous for it.

One piece of lore seemed to shift through this backstory. In the very first book we discover that the vampires are reverential of their elders, often coffin bound and desiccated (unless they take enough blood), the vampires engage in something akin to ancestor worship. Not Malvern, we see her destroy a whole group of ancients and this made me wonder as to exactly why she behaved differently. The book is silent on this point, but again it makes her even more dangerous.

The writing, as always, is crisp and drags you in. All the books in the series are compulsive reads once the reader’s eyes settle on the prose. This is a fitting finale to the Laura Caxton series. 8.5 out of 10.

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