The Red Prince by A.J. Smith
Book 3 of the ‘Chronicles of the Long War’ is inept, gratuitous and unusually mean spirited. Things happen that might further the plot but don’t, loads and loads of characters run around doing feck all, people have utter loyalty to evil women, a man shags a spider, bad people do particularly gross things and there is much borrowing from Lovecraft’s mythos. But the plot and writing is all frustratingly inarticulate padding. The grim setup is wasted and people battle rather incoherently. I’ve no idea what was going on and I feel no serious urgency to read any more of Smith’s work.
“He’s got an army. You, as far as I can tell, have trees.”
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Pfeffer
Only the unlucky survive in this sequel to ‘Life as We Knew It’. Alex, Briana and Julie live in New York and their parents are missing, food is running out and there is no way out of the doomed city after the great disaster. There are food riots, deaths, looting and despair in this 2nd entry in the ‘Moon Crash’ saga. Alex is unassailable in his self-righteousness, his sisters are emotionally dependant on him and there are no lonely moments just un-necessary tragedies in a world rendered almost obsolete. Everyone becomes callous and self-absorbed during the preposterously dramatized disaster and like Book 1, Book 2 ends on an effectuated escape which all came to nothing in Book 4. This is all fake fatalism and rudimentary wit.
Sandymount by Hugh Oram
Part of the ‘Ireland in Old Photographs’ series. This is a collection of old photos and nostalgic recollections of the leafy Dublin suburb. Good.
The Mammoth Book of Vampires edited by Stephen Jones, part 1
The 2004 edition of this anthology.
By Clive Barker. A tale of a very unusual vampire. Okay.
A shallow young man sees what he wants and overlooks the obvious. This was okay with a dated reference to Cinzano.
The Man Who Loved The Vampire Lady
In a world ruled by vampires, science is growing in strength and a man with deep regret sets in motion a necessary tragedy. Good.
A Place To Stay
This was a non-dark and non-chilling tale of a man in a tragic loop in New Orleans. This was mediocre.