Flesh and Blood
Pub Date: Mar 4 2014
Whoever said that all the stories have already been told was probably thinking about vampire fiction when he or she said it. I don’t think that I have a read a single descent piece of vampire fiction in years. Unfortunately, Flesh and Blood doesn’t change this. One of the first things you’ll notice about Flesh and Blood is that the author finds the need to exhaustively explain things. For instance, when the main antagonist is caught leaving a crime scene on security camera. It’s because the New York Airports are have heavy surveillance and have cameras everywhere. Alright, why is this important to the story? The guy was seen, nuff said. In this situation it also starts to hurt our suspension of disbelief because this guy is supposed to be a professional. So neither the information nor the act really does anything for the story. Worse, there are never any ramifications for this occurrence in particular anywhere in the rest of the book. There are at least five instances of these over explanations throughout the beginning of the book. Then a few sprinkled throughout the middle and the end. It was incredibly annoying to read. The end is telegraphed from a point near the climax but the telegraphing made very little sense and the author seemed unable or unwilling to even give a good explanation of the reasoning while the actions were happening.
Finally, more damning than anything else: the ACTUAL withholding of information in a chapter to be given a two chapters later IS NOT suspense. It reads very awkwardly and annoys the reader to the point where they don’t really care what happens next. There are MUCH better ways of achieving the same ends and knowing how to use suspense and when to use it is what makes you a good or bad storyteller. Guess which one this author is? On the whole the story in Flesh and Blood isn’t too bad; but there are SO MANY THINGS pulling it down that I don’t even think the casual reader will find much enjoyment in it. All the life may be sucked out of the vampire genre. But don’t like this book be the one you choose to spend your eternity with.
(I would just like to take a moment and notice that this book was translated by Gerald Chapple, who did SUCH a fine job with that translation that I only noticed that this book WAS translated AFTER completing it. EXCELLENT WORK).