Yes, yes, hello one and all! TrueJDK still slogging away through the hardships of life, and valiantly making it on here with a belated review. My apologies. Links for this will be at the bottom of the page (you know the score), and on with a review of Bloodtrail by David R Lewis available in e-book and traditional format through Amazon.
Synopsis: Casey is pretty much a model prisoner. Keeps himself to himself. Nobody messes with him in the yard, no one wants on his bad side. Especially when staying on his good side means that he can share a little of his healing ability – even to those with a medical death sentence. However, it’s that kind of skill that can get a man noticed on the outside. And when a curious party comes calling for the mysterious healer, Casey finds himself having to bust out of prison and on the run. Sharing his secrets, falling in love, tracking his long lost daughter, and ripping open the occasional neck or two. Life ain’t easy for a vampire, these days.
Yes. There. Let’s say it. Vampire. Or, rather Nosferati, as the undead are known by in Bloodtrail. It’s become an eye-rolling cliche. Another fragging vampire book. In fact, a vampire love story. Cue much banging-the-head-against-the-desk actions.
Or, there again, hold on. No sparkly vampires here. No twinkling in the daylight. No moping angst (well, only a little). In fact, the book kicks off with a bit of graphic sex and blood-letting. “Ah, so it’s True Blood-esque!” I hear you cry. And… no. Not really.
It’s getting harder and harder to reinvent the monsters these days. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, angels, they’re all being given the sparkly-glowy/historic parody/vicious and bloodthirsty/reinterpreting/whole mythos makeover. So, kudos to Lewis, who seems to have shrugged at all that and switched from trying so hard to be new and different, that it comes quite easily within the story to be just that.
The Nosferati owe a definite nod to the traditional vampire, but work a little more grounded in reality. Kind of. No burning in the sunshine and whatnot. Blood, yes. They still need blood, but there’s a kind of scientific explanation behind it, which still works with the elements of the supernatural.
Which ties in nicely with the story of Casey, our 400yr old vam… Nosferati, as he joins forces with Moira Flynn. She wants to know the secret of his healing skills. He wants to find his vam… Nosferati, damnit, daughter. On the way, the two find out about each other, the secret to what makes the Nosferati into blood-sucking superbeings, and hunt down his psychotic serial killing daughter.
Is it perfect? No. There’s a few flaws (a mere spattering of misspellings, more in line with speech patterns; some annoying speechifying and repetitive exposition; a couple of storyline plausibility issues; some annoying dialogue; and some of the action seems a little weak), but nothing that actually spoils the story. In fairness, even when the story starts to wander into cliche territory, Lewis puts his own mark on it and handles it nicely.
Overall, it’s a pretty pleasant read. The characters work. The story works. There’s a bit of a cop-out ending – purely because it goes against expectation, but it all works.
A great middle-ground between twinkly-sparkly-vampire-love-stories and down-and-dirty throat-ripping tales of the undead.
Definitely worth a look.
Description: Tired of his life and weary of his sins, Joseph Casey places himself and his fate in the hands of medical researchers as an object of study. A 400 year old Nosferati now in the power of mere humans, he asks for only one thing in return: help in finding his 14 year old daughter, who he has not seen in over 150 years and who is the most bloodthirsty serial killer ever to walk the earth.