Archive | October, 2022

Recommended Halloween Read: Empire of the Vampire

26 Oct

The vampire genre has had quite the rise and fall since its inception, undergoing various changes and rises in popularity throughout the decades. The popularity of this genre faded after hype around Twilight died down, but now vampire books are slowly making a resurgence back into the mainstream and one of the books leading the way is Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff.

Set inside the French inspired Elidaen, a world dominated by vampires and eternal night, we begin with a prisoner, Gabriel de Leon, the Last Silver Saint, telling the history of his life from childhood to his times serving as a Silver Saint. The narrative changes through multiple different time periods, Gabriel’s early life, his life years later after the fall of the Silver Order, and in the present day while Gabriel is imprisoned. While all three narratives move at a different pace, they do not distract from each other or the story as a whole and only serve the overarching plot in the long term.

Kristoff’s writing is vivid and flows with a vicious grace that sets the tone of this dark fantasy that many fans of the vampire will find refreshing and more aligned with the more classical monster side of vampire lore while still bringing just a dash of the sexy vampire aesthetic that many also crave. The pace of the novel starts slow, but quickly picks up speed and dives into the bloody action. The characters, as with all of Kristoff’s characters, are a delight to read as they carve their way through the plot and don’t give a care while doing it.

The faint of heart beware, besides the promise of blood and gore, you will be in for a hefty read, as the book is close in thickness to an average Sanderson novel (an impressive 734 pages in length) however it is a journey well worth the travel if you are willing to tread the path forward. So for those seeking vampires of a more gothic, bloodthirsty nature, with a tone of dark fantasy, this is one that comes highly recommended! You can also read my previous blogs about Kristoff’s novel, Nevernight and Illuminae.

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Information and Digital Services Library Assistant

Enthralling Mysteries: Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen, Dashing Through the Snowbirds by Donna Andrews, and Harry Wild starring Jane Seymore

19 Oct

Lavender House
by Lev AC Rosen

Lavender House is a captivating new mystery by Lev AC Rosen set in 1952.  Andy Mills was recently fired from the police force for being caught at a gay bar.  He is contemplating ending it all when he gets a proposal he can’t refuse.  Irene Lamontaine the matriarch of the famous Lamontaine Soap Company passed away under suspicious circumstances, her personal assistant, who is secretly her widow, wants Andy to prove whether Irene’s death was a tragic accident or murder.  Andy feels a sense of safety at Lavender House, where almost everyone is gay including Irene’s son and the staff, and is able to be his true self, but he becomes increasingly suspicious about what happened to Irene.  The ending though the one I was hoping for, felt a bit simplistic for what was otherwise a fairly gritty story.  I would recommend the book for its interesting fictionalization of a tumultuous time in LGBTQ history and engaging characters.  Rosen has previously written for YA and Middle Grade audiences as well as for adults.

Dashing Through the Snowbirds
by Donna Andrews

You may remember that back in August, I reviewed Donna Andrew’s Round Up the Usual Peacocks, now only a few months later and we have received an early holiday gift in the form of her annual holiday installment in the bird themed Meg Langslow series, Dashing Through the Snowbirds.  This Christmas a herd of Canadians from an Ancestry like company have taken up residence at the Langslow residence while they work on a project with Meg’s brother’s computer programmers.  Things are going wrong with project and they get even worse when one of the Canadians turns up dead on Meg’s property.  There is also a subplot for those that enjoyed the true crime podcast storyline in the previous novel, about Meg’s nephew Kevin’s fellow podcaster, Casey, being stalked by a fan.  As usual Meg’s quirky relatives play a large part in the charm of the story.  Particularly in this novel, Meg’s grandfather causes trouble and lends a helping hand.  For cozy mystery fans Dashing Through the Snowbirds is a warm cup of holiday cheer.

Harry Wild
Literature Professor Harriet “Harry” Wild played by Jane Seymour, has just retired but instead of a life of relaxation she is drawn to solving crimes. Her son is a senior detective on the Dublin Police force, who would prefer his mother let him be the one solving cases, but she soon finds a sidekick in Fergus Reid played by Rohan Nedd, a teen in need of some adult guidance. Nedd previously was a recurring character on Whitstable Pearl. The first season of Harry Wild is a bingeable 8 epsiodes and is available to stream for Hoboken patrons from Hoopla or borrow on DVD from BCCLS libraries. Cases include a wife looking to learn the cause of her husband’s death, a mysterious kidnapping, and even the case of a murder of the wife of one of Harry’s former colleagues. For those who like cozy capers and are fans of Seymour’s Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman series or movies, this is sure to please.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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