Vampires

Review: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis

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Review: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s ring in 2017 with a review of Anne Rice’s latest installment in the Vampire Chronicles.

The previous book in this series ended with Lestat becoming the host of the ancient force that connects all vampires throughout the world. The famous Brat Prince is now Prince Lestat, linked to the spirit Amel – who the vampires learned is fully sentient and aware. Anything that harms Lestat will now harm all other vampires, so Lestat will have to bear that responsibility for the rest of his existence.

You all knew that situation wouldn’t last.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis introduces another race, sheds new light on the origin of the vampires, and completely alters the course of their future. After this, everything’s going to change.

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Review – Blood Sisters

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Review – Blood Sisters

A lot of people think the “Vampire Bubble” may have burst (Vampire Diaries seems to be gearing up for its final season, True Blood is already gone, Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Dracula never got off the ground) and that zombies have taken their place in that part of geek culture that wants to be scared by something that looks human but really, really isn’t.

And every time I think I’ve gotten my fill of vampires too, a collection like this comes along.

Blood Sisters is a selection of vampire stories (edited by Paula Guran) from as far back as 1982 and as recent as 2012. The fact that they’re all written by women is almost inconsequential; the focus is on both male and female characters, and there isn’t an overriding feminist theme to the stories. Many of them are fine as stand-alone pieces, some are okay, but several made me want to hunt up the authors who wrote them and see what other vampire stories they’ve created, because when it comes to off-the-wall interpretations of the original vampire myth, the well definitely isn’t dry yet.

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Review: Prince Lestat

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Review: Prince Lestat

That’s what they all love about Lestat. He says we’re damned and then he behaves as if Hell has no dominion over him.

Anne Rice doesn’t need a lot of introduction. In 1976 she published Interview with the Vampire, which pretty much shaped the course of all vampire fiction from then on. The whole concept of vampires changed from things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, to tortured souls looking for redemption, cursed to live forever and drink the blood of human victims who would always be falling helplessly in love with them. If any book, TV show, or movie created in the last thirty years features vampires in velvet and lace, who also happen to be devastatingly handsome and charming (homoerotic subtext optional but fairly likely), you can credit Anne Rice’s books for the style if not the actual substance.

After she published Blood Canticle in 2003 Rice announced she had said everything she needed to say in the Vampire Chronicles. It took her more than ten years to change her mind, but this October she released Prince Lestat, the eleventh book in the Vampire Chronicles (which don’t count Pandora and Vittorio the Vampire, for some reason), taking the vampires much further along in their journey from cursed outsiders to the beginning of a new super race. Anne apparently reread all of her previous vampire books for inspiration in writing this one; from the flood of guest appearances by even the most minor characters, it’s pretty obvious that she wanted to make sure each and every one of her beloved Undead creations had their moment in the spotlight.

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Review: Dracula

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Review: Dracula

Hollywood has released yet another vampire movie, this one named after Bram Stoker’s book from 1897. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the only thing the movie has in common with the source material is a) the main character is a vampire and b) the movie’s title is Dracula. What is a surprise to me is how a book can spawn so many movie adaptations and books and TV shows, while at same time has never been made into a movie that’s completely faithful to the original (the film from 1992 comes closer than any of them, but it still messed with the story in some pretty important ways). Whether you’re a fan of Dracula or Lestat or Damon Salvatore or even Edward Cullen, it’s worth it to read Stoker’s novel to see for yourself the book which had so much of an impact that it’s still inspiring people more than a hundred years later.

Fair warning though, this one was tough to get through in places. Even on the second re-read I found myself getting bogged down by the flowery prose. The characters are all just so earnest; going on and on for a page and a half at a time about how desperately grateful they are to have such stalwart friends to stand by them through these trials, and the whole time I’m wishing they would just shut up and move on. In order to really appreciate what Stoker created here, it’s helpful to keep in mind that this is not a collection of old black-and-white movie cliches and overly-dramatic stereotypes; this is where all the cliches and stereotypes come from. The vampire myth was around before Bram Stoker, but he was the one who defined it for modern audiences. Dracula is what started it all.

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Movie Issues: Vampire in Brooklyn

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Movie Issues: Vampire in Brooklyn

This week the guys go into the darkness and discuss all things Vampires. They also decided to watch Wes Craven’s 1995 flick, Vampire in Brooklyn. You know you remember that one, the Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett vampire movie. Murphy plays Maximilian, the last vampire that has come to Brooklyn in search of the Dhampir daughter of a vampire from his native Caribbean island in order to live beyond the night of the next full moon. Yup, it’s all kinds of cray. So please download and enjoy with us!  Read On

Review: Let The Right One In

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Review: Let The Right One In

Oskar hurriedly said: “Maybe you already have a guy at your school.”

“No, I don’t…but Oskar, I can’t. I’m not a girl.”

Oskar snorted. “What do you mean? You’re a guy?”

“No, no.”

“Then what are you?”

“Nothing.”

Oskar doesn’t have much going for him: lonely, unsure of himself, incontinent – especially when he’s under stress, which is all the time now that he’s in middle school and being bullied on a daily basis. He collects newspaper clippings about famous murders, fantasizes about killing his tormentors and being able to do something instead of giving up again and again. So he’s oddly pleased when a ritual murder happens in his small town of Blackeburg.  A young boy is strung up and drained of blood, right around the time a beautiful girl his own age moves into the apartment next door. Eli, who’s never seen a Rubik’s cube but solves it after one day. Eli, who looks emaciated and grey-haired one day, healthy the next, who sits outside in the snow-covered playground with no coat and never feels cold. Eli, who only comes out after dark.

I’d seen the movie (the Swedish-language version) based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel years before I read the book. And while I enjoyed the movie very much, I was a little wary about how much the story might have been changed in the transition from book to movie. What I got was something rare: an excellent book, with an adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the original story (in some places the dialog is almost word-for-word), but at the same time there are enough changes to make reading the book and watching the movie two completely different experiences.

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Movie Issues: Vampire Movies for Halloween

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Movie Issues: Vampire Movies for Halloween

Oh the vampire flicks, ya just can’t escape them. Their one of the oldest themes in cinema history. Beginning with Robert G. Vignola’s 1913 film, The Vampire. The world has been waiting to be seduced by the vampire ever since. As the sink their teeth into movies and TV still to this day, the vampire is a pop culture icon that is ever living. Read On

Preview: Empire of the Dead: Act Two #1

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Preview: Empire of the Dead: Act Two #1

This week, Zombie Godfather George Romero’s undead epic begins anew in EMPIRE OF THE DEAD: ACT TWO #1! Written by the horror master himself along with acclaimed artist Dalibor Talajic, prepare for an undead onslaught as zombies and vampires wage war on the walled in streets of New York City! Undead forces are laying waste to the last surviving humans of New York City – but now outside forces seek entry to the once safe haven. An invading militia seeks to take over the Big Apple. The current residents both alive and dead might have something to say about that!

“They all want what they want, whether it’s right or wrong,” says George Romero of the warring factions in an interview with Marvel.com “So I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of blinking. There’s too much at stake for anyone to give up. Power. Greed. Co-existence. Survival. It’s going to be a fight to the finish.”

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Review: Artful

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Review: Artful

If you’ve had anything to do with science fiction over the last thirty years, chances are you’ve seen or read something by Peter David. The man has written for movie and TV, dozens of original novels, thousands of comic book issues, and generally has something new coming out about once a month. My introduction to all things Peter David was though his Star Trek: The Next Generation books; Strike Zone was one of the first books that ever made me laugh out loud, and it only got better with Q-in-Law. David captured the characters better than any other writer, and the dialogue was always filled with snappy, quotable snarkiness.

In Artful, Peter David steps away from the science fiction/comic book world, and comes up with a different take on Charles Dickens’s classic, Oliver Twist. Not quite in the same vein as rewrites like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this book follows the adventures of the secondary character Jack Dawkins, better known as the Artful Dodger, last seen being hauled off to prison for theft. After escaping from jail before he could be shipped to the penal colony in Australia, Dodger sets up a comfortable (to him) life in the slums of London, charming and thieving his way though the world until he stumbles across a plot to kidnap the princess Alexandrina – future Queen of England – thereby subjugating the British Monarchy. By vampires. 

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