Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review: Skarlet

If you’ve ever read a book involving any virus or monster related epidemic (or even seen a similar movie), you know there are two ways the creator can handle it: 1. Explain the origin story and hope the reader buys it or 2. Have the characters just accept the circumstances as they are.  If they choose the later, the audience is free to speculate and come to their own conclusions or often, critique the author for being too lazy to explain it themselves.  If the writer explains the origin, they will often get picked apart for credibility.  We readers are BRUTAL to writers… In Skarlet, the new vampire novel by Thomas Emson, he chooses to successfully explain the origins, combining it with mysticism and science.  He creates unlikely allies, unique foes and gives them a twisted and dark backstory spanning the years. 
A mysterious new drug, only with the marking “S” has made it’s way into one of London’s dance club, despite the best efforts of Jake Lawton, one of the clubs bouncers.  Unfortunately, the partiers find that this is a drug with lasting affect.  Everyone who tried it soon convulses and dies.  Yet, unlike most hard drugs that end in death, this one does not.  After 24 hrs, they all return, thirsty for blood and ready to regain their dominance over the humans. 

Lawton already has a murky past and becomes the perfect scapegoat.  Not only is he eager to clear his name and live a normal life but he also wants to find answers to why the girl he once loved has become cold and blood thirsty.  In order to do so, he must work with the journalist who soiled his name and the dealer responsible.  All the while, London is under attack and no one is safe. 

What I liked: This is a story that weaves many lives together to create a big picture.  I LOVE when stories do this.  Back through time and in present day the story is brilliant linked.  It’s also a nice balance of character development and action.  There were countless “AH-HA” moments when a character is revealed and you see a connection.  The vampires also have a nice amount of primal grit. I like that.

What made me say meh: This is the first book of the Vampire Trinity.  Unfortunately, it means do not expect closure.  Even knowing that this story is to be continued, I felt like the action packed scenes at the end were lacking a little depth.   I suppose with so many characters, it would have been tough to tie off loose ends in one book.   I’ll read the sequel but I’ll walk to the store.  I won’t run.

Who should read this book: If you want a good thriller with a solid story, this is it!  It’s well told and very well planned.  It has action, gore, history and romance.  All is tastefully done.

Who should wait this one out: Not for people who want non-stop action or super-duper gore.  This story moves at a very steady and comfortable pace.

Recommended:  Yes.  I enjoyed the book.  It reminded me slightly of a less intense version of The Strain (Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan).  There are definitely similarities but where The Strain keeps the reader in fear, Skarlet makes you feel like there is still hope for humanity. 

Overall: Drugs used to help Vampires take over the world?  Yea, that’s different.  Unusual allies and mysterious connections add an interesting spin to the classic bloodsucker.  I give this book 3 brains and a mangled torso (3 ¾ stars… dropped a ¼ because of the ending) or 4 ancient coffins since we’re dealing with Vampires.

You can read my review for A Book of Horrors here.

Also, many other reviews are on here.

AND if you're feeling a little extra nosy, follow me on Goodreads.  I love talking about what I'm reading!  Till next time darlings, I'm sure it will be amazing, stay pretty and prepare!!

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