|'Silent Sand' by Sam Stone|
If you've read my post about meeting Sam Stone, you'll already know just how much I love her 'Vampire Gene' books.'Silent Sand' is the fifth and latest in the sequence. I finished reading it this afternoon and felt the urge to blog about it instantly. I wanted to share my thoughts with the world and spread the word about these books in general.
A lot of the time, when I'm reading a sequence of books that involve the same set of characters, I tend to get a little bored after a while. It's easy for characters to become stale, for plots to become repetitive. But this has not been the case with Sam Stone's books. With each novel, the characters become more alive for me, more 3D in my mind. Each instalment teaches us more about the characters and the world they inhabit. And at the end of each novel, we're left wanting more.
'Silent Sand' explores the nature of the Vampire Gene further, dipping into new ideas of how Vampirism may be spread. I won't give it away but there's a really inspired plot point to do with a certain bodily fluid that I really didn't see coming. It also explores the idea of how those with similar but not identical genetics to those who carry the Vampire Gene might react to being bitten. The result is a really clever story that expands the possibilities of the world we have come to know in the first four books.
I enjoyed catching up with Lucrezia Borgia and her life as Lucy Collins the Haematologist (I have a little fondness for Lucrezia. Plus, I love the Science-y stuff that she gets herself involved in). I also loved the flashbacks that Gabriele showed us of his life in the Paris of Louis XV. That's the kind of depth of character I like in books.
One of the things I really like about these books is the way Sam Stone experiments with Point of View. She switches between first person narration by Gabriele and a third person perspective which allows us to see more of what is going on than Gabriele would possibly be able to tell us. It's brave, not a lot of writer's attempt this kind of thing but I love it. It keeps the writing lively and the plot moving forward.
All in all, I loved this book, even the torturous cliff-hanger of an ending which I had to read three times before I was willing to accept was actually how I would be forced to leave this book.
So of course, now I'm impatiently awaiting the next instalment. Perhaps I'll use the time to re-visit the previous four books...