Saturday, November 6, 2010
Kate Cary's contribution to the teen vampire phenomenon with her novel, Bloodline, will leave readers with a true definition of what an evil vampire should be, and they definitely do not sparkle in Cary's adaptation! As a sort of sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula, Cary tells a majority of the Bloodline tale through the journal of John Shaw. Recovering from wounds sustained in World War I, Shaw has vivid flashbacks and nightmares of his time in the trenches. The horrors he witnessed are not only from enemies encountered on the battlefield. A majority of his shocking visions are memories of watching his commanding officer, Quincy Harker perform superhuman, impossible feats and although John blames his memories on the side effects of trench fever, he's almost certain that he witnessed Harker drink the blood of their battle enemies. John doesn't want to face the evil truth behind his commanding officer's abilities, but when Quincey Harker shows up to check on John in his England hospital, John must question who his commanding officer truly is. Harker also begins to show interest in John's younger sister, Lucy, and this recent infatuation which makes knowing the truth of Harker's origins all the more imperative to John. He begins researching Harker's bloodline, and makes chilling discoveries about the war hero and himself.
Fans of Bram Stoker's classic will love the writing style of Kate Cary. She mimics the era of writing that encompassed the Gothic literature movement in the late 1800s. Telling the story through the journal entries and letters of different characters was also interesting, but at times kept the story from flowing as easy as it would have if the novel was told from third person POV, and interspersed with journal entries.
Descriptions of the vampire castle and the Transylvania vamps were truly chilling. Cary is a master of imagery when it came to her descriptions of the castle and the dark, shadowy chambers of the castle. I found myself unable to read this novel at night, for fear of Mina, Quincey, and the other vampires watching me from the shadows! There were a few scenes that intertwined blood lust and actual sexual desire that may be too much for teen readers. I would definitely say that grades 8-12 should be the target age-rage for this novel. Any younger might find the scenes from World War I and the Transylvania castle too graphic and gory. Teen vampire enthusiasts also need to take heed: Quincey Harker is NOT Edward Cullen's long-lost cousin. The Harker vampires embrace evil, blood lust, and find human life worthless.This chilling read will definitely leave you searching for the sequel, Bloodline Book Two: Reckoning.