Asa, the century old, vindictive and cruel vampire invades the home of single mother and physician Annalice forcing her to strike a bargain for her daughters life as the monster takes control of her own life and home.
Caught in a race against a genetic timeline she must rely on her skills as a physician to unravel the clues to the vampires existance if she is to have any chance of surviving the encounter.
Vampires, they seem to come in all shapes and sizes nowadays along with a vast scale of temperaments and supernatural abilities, most are a far cry from Vlad the Impaler or even the more recent vision painted by Richard Matheson. I blame Joss Whedon, it was he who gave a new lease of (un)life to those critters with that incredible TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since then there has been a deluge of Vampire related films, TV shows and books that all cast the Vampire in a different light - so much so that if you were to meet one in the street you couldn't really be sure if it would kiss you, kill you or just give a smouldering, broody look in your direction.
I am glad to say that in Blood Reaction we are firmly in the coldly intelligent evil, drain you of all blood as soon as look at you territory without a soppy look or foppish clothes anywhere in sight. You could be forgiven for thinking that this novel was a horror romance as it is essentially about the very handome vampire Asa seducing Annalice - it's not, far from it in fact. It is however about relationships, about lust and unwanted advances, about abuse with a powerful message regarding the control over others and those very human monsters, about the evils that they carry out. There are other messages too including that of being a parent and just what lengths you will go to protect your own children.
It's also an exploration about that age old creature of the dark, how they might function physically and emotionally and this is one of the highlights of the book with some really great ideas on just how a vampire could work. The dialog is a little ropey in places and I think it could have really done with a little more editing before launch but there are some very powerful and disturbing scenes and an generally adult context, certainly not one for the younger reader.
I liked the way the author has gone down a different path to present the vampire in all it's evil; the power of the various messages is unquestioned, an interesting read for anyone looking for something a bit different.
Written on Wednesday 26th October 2011 by Antony Jones.
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