Author: Sam Stone
Publisher: The House Of Murky Depths
Publication Date: 30 May 2011
Paperback: 297 Pages
Source: Review copy from authorReviewed by Laura
RATING: 7/10 – Very good, would definitely recommend
Lilly has been thrown into another dimension at the whim of an unnamed, undefined entity. To return to her life with Gabriele, she must find a new door, prevent a paradox and seek the truth from the past. The youngest vampire in existence, she will travel the world and centuries of vampire history to become the oldest of her kind with talents that humanize and terrorize those that would manipulate her for their ends. In the end, she must return to where she began and make choices between her first love, the tales of someone she’s had no reason to doubt, and an Über-vampire who reeks of evil and illness yet holds her heart. What is truth? What is instinct? Which acts will she commit that can preserve or will end those of her line? (Goodreads)
“Demon Dance” takes quite a different turn to the first two books in the series. In previous books we read Gabriele and Lucrezia’s stories, which with the exception of the end sequence in ‘Futile Flame’, were appealing to me as they were vampires and stalkers living amidst the real world. Lilly’s story was a lot more fantastical.
It requires the reader to make a few more leaps or faith, with the magical and manipulative Allucian species playing a very important part in the story. At first I felt a little like a duck out of water, and found it hard to grasp that Lilly ended up in what I perceived to be the Garden of Eden. You have to ride through these pages until you become submerged into her story.
Once again, we’re taken on a fascinating journey through time as Lilly’s story begins to unfold. A wickedly dark life outside of the rules and regulations of normal society. The narrative jumps from century to century as we see Lilly’s life in different times and on different lives. And what struck me the most was just how clever it was. How all the different strands in the earlier books all led to this one, and how everything begins and ends with Lilly. There were several big twists I really did not see coming.
I’m not sure I liked Lilly as much as a lead character as I did Gabriele and Lucrezia, while beautiful, I don’t think she was as darkly seductive as the other two. Although she is perhaps the one I’d be more likely to be friends with. She also made some choices with regard to her love life that I disagreed with. And, despite being the most magically adept and knowledgable of the three, ironically at times, she did come across occasionally as the least worldly. Never the less I did still very much enjoy her novel.
This book is gothic and macabre and once again I found myself being seduced by the darkness of Stone’s vampires. Her characters are sometimes cruel, sometimes kind, but very compelling. The novel continues once more with strong themes of sex, violence, rape. The relationships between each of the characters are complicated to say the least, but this aside you cannot help by becoming hooked by their stories. These are vampires that very much sit in the horror genre, but are still darkly appealing as lead characters.
This books nicely pulls together all of the threads of the series. If you’re looking to return to dark and gothic vampires, then Stone gives you a chance to escape from the sparkly and romantic. I’d thought this book was the end of the trilogy, but Stone could very easily pick the story up again, it will be interesting to see if she does.
2. Futile Flame
3. Demon DanceThis book counts towards the following BCC Reading Challenges:
Book #46 100+ Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011
Book #17 Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge 2011