Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stalk Kill Travel Stalk Kill – review

Author: TP Keating

First Published: 2013

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Stalk Kill Travel Stalk Kill is the fast-paced, action-packed tale of a female vampire, told with an eclectic mix of humor, excitement and scares. It’s aimed at readers from 13 to 313. An early draft appeared on America’s ground-breaking, a social network for authors and readers of Japanese-style cellphone fiction.

The Review: What’s in a name?

Well, I was contacted by TP Keating and asked if I would care to review Stalk Kill Travel Stalk Kill. I agreed but was somewhat concerned re the title, it didn’t resonate well with me. Should you judge a book by the title… No, of course not. How about this book, definitely not. I didn’t know what to expect but it certainly wasn’t what I got.

Now the blurb (taken from Amazon) is a little thin and I must admit that I am not au fait with “Japanese-style cellphone fiction”. However to reveal much more in the blurb would be to do the novel a disservice. As the book began I felt that I was in a familiar territory, the first person narrative struck a chord although it was constructed in a way quite different to an urban fantasy, for instance.

It followed the trials and tribulations of an unnamed female vampire, her journey and the machinations of her ex, once lover and now vampire hunter. Yet as the book moved forward the ground beneath her feet shifted, she might find herself awakening in a distant future, the centrepiece, hibernated, of a vampire society just before an attack by a relentless horde of zombies or perhaps under attack from a sorcerer or facing the enigmatic fog-people.

Yet as she journeyed on, through a psychedelic, ever shifting landscape I began to recognise the style. It was almost like a beat novel (and the beat novel and the vampire are not strangers, for proof check out Kerouac’s Doctor Sax), perhaps I could call it neo-beat. And I liked it.

It is pointless me telling you the story for, like the best beat works, it is a journey (albeit fantastical). Lore-wise I won’t spoil too much but will say that vampires can turn into bats, must avoid the sun and have a proclivity for wearing black (for reasons that are explored). They also have no sense of smell.

Will you like it? I don’t know, it depends if you like arty, intoxicating prose where the story is perhaps less important than the journey. I liked it. 8 out of 10.

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