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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

Late Bite / John Matsui

Late Bite (Toronto Chronicles, #1) - John Matsui

What would happen if a real vampire were captured in Toronto. In Canada he wouldn't be decapitated or have a stake driven through his heart. He would receive benefit of the law. And that's what happens to Dragul Mangorian who appears to be the sole-surviving member of a sub-species of homo sapiens that through evolution is forced to feed on human blood. His trial creates a world-wide sensation and after an unusual defence, is acquitted. As a vampire, Mangorian is the ultimate 'bad boy.' He becomes television's #1 Late Night talk show host and with his lawyer/partner Al Hamblyn enjoy fortune and world-wide fame . . . until the murders start up.


Read to fill the “Vampires” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

I love a good vampire yarn and I was pleasantly surprised to find one written by a fellow Canadian. My library didn’t have it, it didn’t appear to be available for interlibrary loan, so I took the unusual step of buying it. I won’t say that I’m disappointed, but I will say that I won’t be purchasing the next two volumes of the series.

Dragul Mangorian isn’t your garden variety vampire—in Matsui’s world, vampires are a parallel branch of human evolution, just like Neanderthals and Homo floresiensis (the “hobbits” found in Indonesia). A large, large part of the book deals with courtroom drama, establishing the legal status of vampires, whether harm has been committed or not, etc. The voice of the book is that of Mangorian’s lawyer, Al Hamblyn, who has worked his way up from poverty to being a celebrity thanks to his client.

As a concept, many of the ideas are interesting ones. The problems are in the execution, with wooden characters behaving in stereotypical ways. I really wasn’t too interested in either Hamblyn or Mangorian. Despite the new ideas, the story ended up being very cliché.

I would encourage other readers to try it for themselves. This isn’t a bad novel, but not as good as I was expecting. Those with different expectations may experience it differently.