Posts Tagged ‘vampires’

Way better than twilight.

So, this is a story about two adolescent kids who meet each other and fall in love. And one of them is a vampire. No-one sparkles. If Edward was this type of vampire, twilight would be a lot cooler. There’d also be a lot more dead people.

Here’s the blurb:

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

The variety of vampire portrayals in books and media is fascinating.  On the one side you have the overly romanticized vampire of twilight. On the extreme other end of things, you have the kind of vampire from the book series ‘The Strain’ (which is also a TV show that I highly recommend). The Strain vampires have no redeeming features whatsoever. The infected turn into these gross things full of worms, and they shoot this strange stinger like something from their throat (usually at people they love), which drains them of blood. Plus, aside from this killing instinct, most have the brainpower of a particularly bright potato.

Eli (our vampire from this book) is somewhere between the two. They’re scary. Eli could break Edward like a twig. But they’re also capable of thoughts, of fear, and of love. Eli is even more interesting than the rest of their kind, because they were turned as a child, and their body and mind is still very much a child’s.

They like playing games, they don’t like hurting people, they make choices they haven’t thought through (very much like a child). You get to know Eli through Oskar’s eyes, and in many ways Eli is younger than Oskar, and in other ways much older. You come to fear them, and also love them, much as Oskar does.

Now some warnings. While this is a very raw, beautiful book, one of the pov characters is a pedophile and thus has some not beautiful thoughts. It’s an interesting contrast with the much more innocent povs of Oskar and Eli. We don’t see the pedophile guy do anything too icky (apart from once later in the book – but he gets just deserts for that).

If you’re a vampire fan, or a fan of raw feeling books, I think you’ll like this one. The characters are anything but two dimensional. Even the guy who’s a pedophile is really quite decent at times. He strangely enough has a very strong moral code. Oskar who is downright innocent in a lot of ways fantasizes about killing people. Eli who has the power to kill and does kill, gets no pleasure out of it, and seems to regard it as a sad fact of life.

It’s these complex characters in their desolate seeming setting that makes this book grip so strongly. Four stars. It lost a star because the pacing seemed a little off to me, but not disastrously so. I really enjoyed reading it. For more reviews on this book go to:

P.S: There are two films based on this book. They’re pretty much the same except one was made in Sweden, and the other America. Both are awesome. Go watch.



This one is the eighth book in the series.

Links to my reviews of the previous Dresden Files books:








I’m going to assume by this point you know what this series is about. So here’s the blurb for this particular book:

There’s no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and the White Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.

As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob….

Another good sequel. Definately five stars from me. In this one we get another minor character fleshed out. This one is the teenage daughter of Michael who we’ve seen in previous books. We also get a deeper look into their family. It’s really cute to see all their kids grow up over the course of the books, even if most of them stay in the background.

While there are other problems to deal with, like that pesky fallen angel stuck in his head, most of this book revolves around dark magic. This is really neat because though we’ve heard about dark magic and how addictive it can be, and how kids aren’t taught not to use it but are punished once they use it anyway (totally unfair), this really delves deep into that moral dilemma and the damage dark magic causes both to caster and castee.

Dresden undergoes a lot of growth in this book. Most of the previous books have been pretty cut and dry. You find something bad, epic fight scenes, and you destroy said bad thing. This book still has plenty in the way of creepy monsters to kill and bad magic to stop, but once that’s done the source of all the badness requires a lot more thought. And with Dresden working for the council now he’s got a whole heck of a lot of thinking to do to try and solve it.

Our new character is pretty neat. In a lot of ways she’s your average slightly whiny teenager who thinks the world is against her, but beneath that she has a lot of heart. She has a lot of character growth over this one book, so I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows over the next books. From previous books we’ve already learnt what an honorable guy her father is, but this book gives her mother a chance to shine as well. She is one scary lady when her children are in danger.

The characters are really fleshed out in this book. The action is at a high, and the book seems a lot deeper than some of the previous ones. I think the only thing I didn’t like that much about this book was how much Dresden was attracted to Michael’s daughter. It’s a little creepy given how young she is. On the plus side he thinks it’s a little creepy too and doesn’t allow himself to pursue those feelings in any way.

For more reviews on this book check out: