Monday, June 15, 2009

Jenn's Review: Blood Bar

Summary: Vampires don't exist... yet, on the brownstone back alley side streets of New York, a vampire dies. Desperate, his lover turns to Kim Bennett, author Norm Applegate's (Into the Basement) quintessential heroine whose passion for S&M led to celebrity status as a hell-and-back murder mystery sleuth who's been there, done that, and then some. This time, Kim finds herself caught between a secret vampire society's attempts to locate The Black Testament (a sacred document written by Jack the Ripper), the modern-day vampire hunters bent on their destruction, and a white-knuckled journey of self-discovery that catapults her into the bowels of hell and the arms of the ultimate vampire... ...courtesy of The Haven, New York's ultimate BLOOD BAR...

Review: It's been a long time since I've read a book like this. How best to describe it to you? Think Anne Rice meets Thomas Harris and Stanley Kubrick in a dark alley. This is a gripping tale of blood lust, sex, and violence that combines two of my fascinations: vampires and Jack the Ripper. Any regular to our blog knows that I'm no fan of starting in the middle of a series, but that was not a problem here at all. Norm Applegate puts in just enough plot exposition from his prior books to help bring the new reader up to speed. And speed we did. This fast paced and complicated adventure reads like a script that twists and turns through to the very end. The death toll is high and the trysts plentiful. Though the prose aren't polished and the loopholes in the plot are several, it is easy to gloss over the details because Applegate is a master at weaving a dark tale. Besides, if you're reading Dark Fantasy Horror, it's for the thrill anyway, right?

My one disappointment with this book is poor editing. There are several open ended sets of quotation marks and, in some places, quotation marks in other fonts. While this shouldn't reflect on the novel, it detracted from my reading experience because I couldn't help but notice.

His first two books in the series (Into the Basement and Into the Spell), while not about vampires, do sound interesting and the first one is already being made into a movie. This is definitely an author on the forefront. While I don't recommend this book for the faint of heart, I do think if you're looking for something incredibly dark and forbidden, that you should put this on your nightstand... just don't expect a lot of sleep.

Final Take 4/5.0


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