Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Nameless City by H.P. Lovecraft

The Nameless City by H. P. Lovecraft is a horror story by the master. It is a tale about a man who ventures into an old and abandoned city once populated by a race of beings totally unlike humans. There he faces forces beyond his comprehension.

Review of Unholy Embrace by Trish Martin at


Unholy Embrace by Neil Benson is the story of a romantic and dangerous love affair between a beautiful, ages-old vampire and a mortal man. This story is enchanting and sexy with an edge of excitement. Not only do we read about vampires but of werewolves and demons. The New York night life and seedy underbelly do well to create a dangerous atmosphere. I enjoyed reading about the main character’s blossoming relationship but also the horrific demons and monsters that lurk about in the night. Nessa Harcanu is the sexy vampire born in 1597 in a small town near Budapest.

Though Nessa is voluptuous and sultry, she posses a power beyond mortal imagination. She becomes involved with a mortal man named Frank Thornton who is an attractive architect that is skeptical about the existence of vampires and demons. Also joining the story are members of the Meyer family of which Nessa becomes close with early on in her life as a vampire; they come to serve her and assist her with her needs throughout the ages. We also come across a weaker vampire named Narice whom, after her master is killed by Nessa, begins following Nessa waiting to exact her revenge. There are a few other characters we run across in the story who serve as a backdrop in the evolvement of the two main characters. The interaction with these other characters gives us insight to the character’s lives and personalities.

Nessa’s tale of how she became a vampire and her life up until present day is one of intrigue and even sadness. Frank listens to Nessa’s story and becomes even more enchanted with her and begins to understand her a little better. Their relationship is really one of master and subservient, Nessa the master and Frank the subservient. Even with the uneven balance of power the relationship between the two becomes stronger and the need to protect one another grows. The appearance of a demon creates more drama and trouble for the two and they realize in order to save humanity they must defeat this demon in any way possible.

I would classify this story as less horror and more romantic suspense but it is still a wonderful and exciting tale. As I delved deeper into the book I found it hard to put down. It is definitely an easy read and isn’t cluttered with unnecessary plot and lag time. There were times of some light eroticism mixed in with story to give it an edge above the teeny-bopper vampire love stories. Also we examine great power within Nessa making her almost super-heroine like in her conquests. Frank’s mind is torn between his deep love of Nessa and his wish for normalcy in his life. My only complaint as far as this novel was concerned was that I felt that the ending was a tad rushed; I felt that maybe the writer was a little unsure of how to resolve the conflict without creating more trouble for the characters.

Neil Benson has a rare talent for creating a story where you can identify and truly care about what happens to the characters. Giving life to character’s like Nessa and Frank enables the reader to walk in the footsteps of the characters, getting more in-depth in the story and almost being able to see the world through their eyes. I would also have to give Neil Benson props on creating a dueling perspective between the characters; by doing this we can see the story from the perspective of both Nessa and Frank. I would highly recommend this book to all vampire lovers out there and especially those who enjoy romantic flights of fancy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vampires and Jesus or Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider

In Rabbit:Chasing Beth Rider, Ellen Maze has written a truly unique and creative novel. When I first read about this book, I was intrigued by the notion of true Christianity meeting vampires. I wasn't disappointed by the novel. Ellen gives a fresh perspective the relationship between vampires and mortals. I admit to being confused by whether Beth was a rabbit for a few pages. Once I understood the metaphor, I enjoyed it. From my perspective, the entire novel was a metaphor. This wasn't just about good and evil, or Christianity and the devil, so to speak. It was about the nature of the way people relate to each other. Vampires are bullies, "people" who use other people. The world is filled with such people even if they aren't officially vampires. Instead of Van Helsing or Blade coming after the vampires, a small woman armed with her only her faith confronts the whole evil race and... To say more would be to give away the entire novel. I was intrigued, interested, and thoroughly enjoyed Ellen's unique perspective and her writing style. I strongly recommend this novel to anybody who is interested in a new view in vampire novels.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unholy Embrace vampire novel by Neil Benson - an excerpt Paris 1899

New Year's Eve 1899: Nessa walking alone through the streets of Paris.

At 11:30 in the evening, I walked out of my house and joined the thousands of people celebrating the coming of the new century. As I walked among the crowd, I felt disconnected from the people and the celebrations. Alive, or rather undead, for three hundred years, I wandered among people mostly under age forty. What did I have to celebrate? Living forever had been more of a curse than a blessing.

I was walking joylessly through the streets, when a tall, dark-haired man came up beside me. He turned and wrapped his arms around me. He kissed me with great vigor on both cheeks. His eyes glistened, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath.

“It is a great time in which to live,” he said.

“I suppose so.”

“You suppose so? Mademoiselle, you are young and beautiful. The twentieth century will be filled with wonders we cannot imagine.” He put his arms on my shoulders and looked into my eyes. “Be alive, be alive. There is so much joy in life.” He kissed me on the lips then walked away into the crowd, sharing his joy with other women.

If he only knew.