I am so into vampires at the moment. I got the Buffy the Vampire Slayer box set for Christmas and the Angel box set for my birthday. And, to top off my recent obsession, I just read a really great vampire story.
Choosing a Master by S M Perlow tells the story of three main characters. First is Ethan, a young vampire in New Orleans whose only quest is to save his terminally ill, mortal girlfriend. Vera is a scientist at a Spectavi laboratory where synthetic blood was created. She is devoted to the Spectavi leader and will do anything to complete the projects he has set her. Finally, John has an unusual encounter in a nightclub with a female vampire, which results in his life changing forever.
The first question I asked myself before picking up this book was “Will it be a cool original vampire story or will it ruin the old school stuff I love?” Choosing a Master certainly has some elements of the older vampire stories. There the brooding Ethan and the pain he feels for dying girlfriend Ellie. The charm and persuasion we have come to associate vampires with over the years. The coffins and the need to chop a vampire’s head off in order to kill it. The book had all the older elements but also brought in modern aspects of the vampire story, as well as some original points from the author, and it worked very well.
Some of the vampires in this book have the evil ways of their ancestors and kill humans for the sport of it. On the other end of the spectrum are the Spectavi who not only drink synthetic blood, but work to defeat the Sanguan vampires who kill humans. There was also a really interesting middle ground where humans actually let vampires drink from them – and enjoyed it too. I found this an area I would like to see further explored in future books.
Let’s talk more about the writing style of Perlow. This book was so easy to read as the flow of the story was kept at a steady pace throughout. The chapters go between the three main characters. Sometimes this bothers me but in this case it took nothing away from the story. The character development was great too and each character, even the more minor ones, had a distinct personality. However, what I appreciated the most in Perlow’s writing style was how well he captured the sensuality of the vampires. This is something that is often lacking in present day vampire stories.
When I got to the last page and saw “End of Book 1” written, I was happy to know that there is more to come from this new vampire world. If you are also a vampire lover, I would totally recommend picking up a copy of Choosing a Master.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.