Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: Thicker Than Water by A.F Henley

Reviewed by Fehu
Thicker Than Water (Proud to be A Vampire) by A.F Henley
Less Than 3 Press
Short Story
3 Pants Off

Ladomer's first experience with vampires instilled a deep hatred--an emotion he gladly uses to bring destruction to the beasts that can't be purged from his memory. Hunting alongside the compelling man who saved his village, Ladomer and Zor are ruthless in their quest to stop the growing threat. When a new call pulls them deep into Eastern Europe, Ladomer learns anew just how cruel vampires can be--and how much deeper love can go.

Intriguing, but too short to fulfill the promise of the summary. We first encounter Ladomer, when he first encounters a vampire as a child and that experience sets the course of his future.

In a world where vampires have come out from their hiding, the civilization is no more. Cities were abandoned and farm communities have grown. No electricity exists any longer and people trust only the strangers who come when the sun shines. No one leaves when it's dark, since that is the time when vampires hunt.

When Landomer was a boy he dreamed about travelling and seeing more than just his village, to see places filled with books and the machines former people in the cities abandoned. A lot of knowledge was lost, when people left the cities to live in small villages and of course it sounds like a great adventure to a boy to recapture at least a bit of this knowledge. That is also the time when he is not careful and does not see that it did get dark, he follows a firefly and it leads him to a strange man. Landomer would have been dead, but his brother has come to his rescue and died in his place.

That is something Landomer still dreams about, when he and his lover, Zor, rest after finishing their hunting for the night. Years later, a grown up Landomer has become a hunter and helps the man who has come to the rescue of his village. He has fulfilled his dream to travel, but has paid a high prize.

Now Zor and Landomer want to kill a master vampire, the one who created the creatures they encounter and this is one encounter, where they might not survive.

Flashbacks are not favorites and I know some people don't like them, so consider you warned. The first scene, Landomers childhood, was quite detailed. Other things like him becoming a hunter were a bit of a flash forward. In the end I ended up not knowing a lot about the grown up Landomer, there was some telling and not nearly enough showing, to get me invested into these characters.

The initial story, what about the vampires coming about and hunting humans, so that humans have to leave was not explained well enough. Why didn't the military do something? All scientist in the world could not combat vampires and no armies? That was my problem with the plot, there was just not enough reason to leave the cities and abandon all the modern props, which might give humans a fighting chance. Also I didn't understand how wanderer protected themselves in the night from vampires, since people did leave their village; I would have loved an explanation for that!

Should You Read It? The first scene and chapter were quite promising and if the story would have been longer it might have lived up to it full promises. As it is, it's promising, but I'd love to have some answers for my questions to word building.

3 Pants Off

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