Tuesday, June 21

Adams + Clamp:Touch of Evil

When a local Vampire Queen knows she is dying she decides to take the ultimate revenge on a mortal enemy by turning her into the next Vampire Queen. Needless to say, our heroine isn't up for it and soon finds herself fighting off a whole hoard of vampires all attempting to bring her in at the orders of their dying, and totally insane, Queen.
These vampires will stop at nothing, and their most effective weapon is to threaten the family and friends of their victim. This they do until they force a showdown between the dying Queen and her chosen successor that results in the woman being infected with the vampire parasite.
Fortunately, with the help of her family and friends, she fights off the parasite and avoids a fate worse than death.
But the death of the Vampire Queen leaves a vacancy that is filled by another woman with a personal vendetta against our heroine. One can only assume that things are going from bad to worse from here on in.
This is the first book in a trilogy and despite the semi-cliff hanger ending could be read as a stand alone novel.
The story sets itself up with a summary of previous events. This is a peculiar choice for the first book of a trilogy. I immediately felt on the back foot. So much so that I went and double checked that this is indeed the first book of the series (it is). Perhaps these characters had a short story somewhere, it certainly felt like I'd missed some crucial action somewhere along the way.
Other than that I really liked the world building. Here vampires are the result of a parasite that somehow nests in the hosts brain and makes use of the person until they eventually die (usually about four years later). This is a unique idea as far as I am aware and very well presented. The world building is worth the admission price.
Sadly the story is let down by extremely poor characterisation. The heroine is, of course, beloved by everyone. In fact, most of unrelated male characters have been her lovers at some point in the past, and still care for her deeply. Though I am pushed to see any particularly likable behaviour, let alone lovable. Putting aside the fact that she treats her brother very badly, I lost all sympathy for her very early in the piece. When she goes to hospital after a minor accident and puts herself before a head injured child with active bleeding (justifing the action with the thought that she was unhurt and so would only take a moment) there was nothing she could do for the rest of the story that redeemed her in my eyes.
A great world populated by unlikable, and unbelievable, characters, I will not be following up the rest of this trilogy-Lynn

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