Friday, October 30, 2015

Bad Blood – review

Author: Jonathan Maberry

Artist: Tyler Crook

First published: 2014

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Life was hard enough for Trick Croft as a college student and a cancer patient—then the vampires attacked and slaughtered his best friend. Now trick knows that his blood is poison to the bloodsuckers, and he will stop at nothing to eradiate them.

The review: A standalone book by Jonathan Maberry – whose V-Wars material has been featured on the blog before, I was greatly struck by this because of its story. Whilst V-Wars does look at individual stories the reader never forgets that we are looking at vignettes playing out on a larger stage. In this case we are focused on Trick and his personal story – despite there being a larger story unfolding unseen (to Trick and therefore mostly to us) in the background.

Trick is attacked by a newly awakened vampire prince, Lord Sturge, and his blood burns and sickens the creature. The Prince has slept through some of our technological advancements and it is the chemotherapy drugs that have made his blood unclean. The Prince promises to destroy everyone Trick knows and so Trick starts to hunt the vampires.

In his quest he slinks into the world of wannabe vampires and meets Lolly, who believes the 'dark ones' will make her a vampire if she is worthy and bides her time as a lap dancer. When she too is violently attacked they discover that her blood is poisonous also. They then meet the famed vampire hunter Jonas Vale who takes them under his wing and trains them.

We discover that the vampires they are up against are from the House of Swords (there are four houses named after the tarot suits) and Jonas suggests “vampires are ghosts. They return from the world of death to haunt the world of the living. They take on human form, but they’re not human. If you know how to look—to really see them—then their glamour becomes transparent and the monster’s true face is revealed.” To become a vampire you must die a violent death, devoid of hope – vampires thus invented human war.

The background was excellently realised and introduced neatly within the very real human story. The art work was lovely, a very light touch style that suited the story but graphic enough when it needed to be. This one is a must get. 8.5 out of 10.

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