1/12/2010. Contributed by Pauline Morgan
Eternal Vigilance III: Bound In Blood by Gabrielle S. Faust. pub: Immanion Press. 228 page enlarged paperback. GBP11.99 (UK), $20.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-904853-72-5.
check out website: www.immanion-press.com
Novels about vampires come in several flavours. The original kind were subtle, literary and meant to be a warning, probably about the nature of female sexuality as they tended to be written in Victorian times. Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ are archetypes. Later, a taste for the gorier side of horror spawned all kinds of supernatural mayhem drawing on the bestial, blood-sucking aspect of the vampire. The occasional novel of this type still surfaces today, witness ‘The Strain’ by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan. This was followed by ‘The Fall’ (same authors) which moves towards the scenario of Richard Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend’ where living humans are in the minority.
Dracula, though, was a charmer. Women were fascinated by him – tall, dark, handsome with a touch of mystery. So arose the dashing, dangerous vampire who was not always unscrupulous. Anne Rice’s ‘Interview With A Vampire’ and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s ‘Hotel Transylvania’ were exponents of this development. These may be regarded as relatives of the literary vampire, well-written, adult novels with something to say. Then along came ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’. Though originally a TV series, it metamorphosed from young adult fun to a much more serious very adult outlook. A franchise of books followed with two very distinct audiences. More novels were required. The young adult market, aimed mainly at teen-age girls, such as the Stephanie Meyer ‘Twilight’ series has adolescent girls and mysterious vampire strangers. Usually, they are still at school and at that age when exotic boys are very interesting. Many of these books are told in the first person from the female viewpoint, as are many of the adult novels. Charlaine Harris and Laurell K. Hamilton take the genre further involving their heroines in steamy sex, usually with supernatural beings. The choice is out there.
Gabrielle Faust has not quite taken any of these paths though her writing style tends towards the literary as her principle vampire is a philosopher. There is sex and a lot of gore but she has attempted to approach the vampire novel from a different direction. This is a male first person narrative. The setting is a future, post-apocalyptic America. Two factions are arraigned against each other. The technology-based Tyst Empire with computers lead by King Cardone who wants to rule the worlds and have immortality and the Phuree who spurn most technology but who have aligned themselves with the vampires. Like many of these novels, the vampires have been around for a very long time but are now out in the open.
‘Bound In Blood’ is the third volume of the ‘Eternal Vigilance’ trilogy and the situation is looking dire for the Phuree. They intend to make a last stand on the estate owned by the vampire Phelan. Previously in the trilogy, Cardone has tried to make his wife, Moria, the vessel for reborn Vicinus, a kind of ubervampire. Tynan, the view point vampire, snatched Moria from her deranged husband and now the child has been born. Tynan, after arguments with soldiers who would have taken her to a place of safety, decides to take her himself. However, the night before he leaves, Jasmine, his human lover, is found badly beaten. She is dying and if he does not turn her into a vampire he will lose her forever. This is a dangerous decision as a fledgling vampire is as dependent of its maker as a new-born child. Leaving Jasmine behind is not a sensible thing to do, but taking her is impossible as he only expects to be gone a few days, Tynan considers it is a risk worth taking. Unfortunately, he is captured by Cardone and tortured for weeks. Drained of his strength, he is helpless to combat Cardone’s plan to use him as the vessel for Vicinus.
It is difficult to assess this book without reading the previous two volumes as there is a lot in them that would help make sense of some of the ideas and attitudes that are woven through this one. Tynan is a strange combination of brutal killer and philosopher and has a lot of internal conversations that seem as if they are permanently going through his mind. It is difficult to know if they are new ideas or have been recycled from previous books. It is hoped the former but they don’t particularly have that feel. They do not seem revolutionary and slow down the pace of the action. Some of the plot elements are predictable but there are also some neat twists on vampire lore.
This is not a light, fluffy vampire novel. It takes itself very seriously and ideally should not be read without being acquainted with the previous two volumes.
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