It’s a Psychic, it’s a Vampire, it’s the Crimson Shadow

Original publish date: 19 April 2014

Vampires.

Ugh. Need I say more? (Yes, I do need to.)

They’re popular, so it makes sense that I’d continue reading books about them, but what nuance can there be left?!?. 

Nathan Squiers’s Crimson Shadow: Noir is a vampire story, but it was not what I had braced myself for (cue Twilight flashbacks) and I was pleased with the premise and couldn’t wait to finish reading what would happen next.

The was a thorough explanation of what governs these vampires and it’s a generally original take on the traditionally accepted and repeated lore. I found the concept of Mind-Trepis to be rather interesting. That alone hooked me–it’s the voice in your head on a whole different level. On the flip side of the more unique vampire lore, I was underwhelmed with the run-down explanation of the lore for the reader. It was just kind of BLEGH, all there at once in straight narration. This could have easily been remedied by having it sprinkled through out the text a bit more and/or providing some of the dialoge to a character other than Range to divulge. 

There were some areas of the novel that I found to be jarring while reading it, namely where we were learning of a new character that would be entering into the story arc at a later point for Xander to encounter. I think this could easily be remedied with the use of better signifiers for a break in continuity and narrative character focus. Along the same lines, I thought there were some areas of the text that could have been placed in a different order to generate a similarly strong, yet vastly clearer, story.

While the story is self-contained and could be viewed as complete and resolved after the action-packed climax, there is certainly an opening for a clarified resolution to be offered, as well as additional stories to be told within this same world, as Xander’s endeavors appear to just be beginning. 

Overall, I’d give this 4 out of 5 stars.

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