Monday, January 21, 2008

Book Review: The Vampire Chronicles Volume One by P.N. Elrod

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

The Vampire Chronicles Volume One
compiles the first three books in Elrod's series featuring Jack Fleming who, in case you haven't deduced by the title, is a vampire. What makes this series different from other vampire novels out there is that Elrod combines an old, familiar trope with something familiar but not necessarily associated with vampires: noir detectives. Her characters are believably of the gumshoe type and includes that hopeful yet gray sensibilities that were products of its era. That is easily Elrod's strength and don't come to this book looking for erotic scenes but if you're a fan of the pulps and radio dramas (Elrod even references The Shadow multiple times throughout the novels), this is perhaps the series for you. Each of the books were quick and easy reads and covers everything from our protagonist's origin (in which he suffers from amnesia) to clashes with fellow vampires. One doesn't necessarily need to read the books in order for they're the type that stands well on its own and immediately dives deep into the action but since you have this omnibus anyway, it's recommended you read them in chronological order. The Vampire Chronicles isn't that great American novel but if you're a fan of the pulps or want something different to sink your teeth into, this collection might appeal to you. If you're looking for something more "modern", steer clear of this one.

Rating: 3/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.

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