Shelflight: Throne of Vampires

“Shelflight”  is a random series of posts where I shine a spotlight on something geeky and entertaining, usually a book or movie. Why put that in a food blog? Why not? “If you are not having fun, you aren’t doing it right” as the adage goes.

Today is a “twofer”…
Over the holidays, I read “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith. It was  just the brain-candy I was hoping to find in my stocking. In the beginning, it has echoes of Anne Rice’s “Interview With A Vampire” through a contemporary start that lapses into a memoir. I have to hand it to the author for the skillful, subtle way he alters the writing to fit the time period at hand. The modern parts sound modern, and the parts from the ‘journal’ sounds very much a part of the nineteenth century. While that device is genius, it creates an odd dichotomy for the emotional tone of the supernatural bits…on one hand it makes history more interesting by adding vampires, but at the same time it makes the vampires a little dry by trying to make them sound historical. In the end, it is an interesting, entertaining blend. My only objection (and it is a tiny, nit-picking one) comes from  a nerd-ish need for continuity in the “how to make a vampire” bits. It is implied that ingesting vampire blood from a vial kills you, but a bite plus ingesting blood transforms you into one.  The vagueness on the vampire side of the story gives a somewhat  “wait…what?” unsatisfying quality to some of the lesser reveals at the end of the book. But the surprise ending renders all of that trivial. That, and the photos. They are photo-shopped subtly and skillfully, adding an axe here, sunglasses there…the book just wouldn’t have been the same without them.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” has just enough historical information in it to make you want to learn more about the real Lincoln, and just enough vampires to make the geek inside say “cool”.

I haven’t seen the movie, but if it is anything like the book, it will be worth the 90 or so minutes to see. Will let you know in a future “Shelflight” post if that happens.

Since finishing “Abraham”  I’ve been completely absorbed in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George RR Martin. I don’t know what it is about these epic writers and putting a bunch of Rs in their name, but if it gives us books this good, he and Mr. Tolkien can use all the initials they want. I haven’t seen the HBO television series, and I’m only 3/5 of the way through the books, but everything I’ve heard and read is very positive – if you consider totally hooked as “positive”. “Game of Thrones” was nowhere on my radar until I heard one of the characters is named “Jon Snow”, which naturally peaked my curiosity.  One chapter, and G.R.R. Martin had me hook, line and broadsword.

For those under 18, parental guidance is way suggested. If you are over 18, have at it – this is great stuff.

I’m a huge fan of “Dune” (and “Harry Potter” too), so it is high praise in my world to say the “Song of Ice and Fire” series is Dune, mixed with Wizard Chess wrapped in an adult renaissance faire.

’nuff said. Now back to Westeros…I’m only halfway through book four.

Ronda Snow is author of “Triquetra: The Dance of Worlds”, “Modern Oracle Tarot Blog” “The Vampire Diet Blog” and “Baihu’s Haikus Blog” all available on amazon.com for Kindle. For more information please visit www.RondaSnow.com

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9 thoughts on “Shelflight: Throne of Vampires

    • Have you seen the HBO thing? We don’t get HBO. I’d be curious to see how it compares to the books. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have…though fair warning – if you like the first book, you’ll want to sign on for the whole five book ride! It amazes me how he weaves together such a complex story.

      • I’ve watched some of the scenes from season II on youtube. Even with a series they had to make little tweeks from the book to translate it to video. As amazing as the series looks…and I LOVE the main title sequence (also on youtube) because it totally captures the essence of the thing…I still think the books are just that smidge better. In all fairness, that may change if / when I actually watch the series, which would require breaking down and buying the dvd.

  1. I made a New Year’s Resolution to read one book a month for the whole year. So far, I’ve read zero. Nothing has grabbed my interest enough, but I think I might break down and give Martin’s books a try. I’ve heard AMAZING things.

    • wow…blog a a day on PaBlam! and omnomalicious AND read a book a month and a family, and work? You have your hands full! At that rate, I don’t think I could manage “Green Eggs and Ham” much less “Game of Thrones”! But if you want an enjoyable, enthralling read, I give the “Song of Ice and Fire” series two thumbs, both toes, a sword and an ale glass up!:D

      • I do seem to spread myself really thin sometimes… because I have fitness goals on top of that which involve spending at least an hour at the gym three times a week… and walking the dog every day… and cooking dinner. I think I need to step back on something before I burn myself out!

      • I know what you mean. Luckily, there is a big difference between failure and adaptation. “I’m not retreating, I’m advancing in another direction!”

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