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Book Review

Book Cover

Demon Dance


Author: Sam Stone
The House of Murky Depths
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $8.99
ISBN: 978 1 906584 09 2
Available 30 September 2010

Having found love with Gabriele, after he had searched for so many years for a woman who could survive the bite of a vampire, Lilly is drawn inexplicably through a magic portal to find herself far from Gabriele, apparently in the Garden of Eden...

Demon Dance is the third in a series of books, written by Sam Stone, following Killing Kiss and Futile Flame the story is told in the first person from Lilly’s perspective and is the last book in the Vampire Gene Trilogy.

The previous book had thrown up many questions which this book aims to answer. For those who have never read any of the previous novels, her writings are not unlike Anne Rice, with its slight erotic overtones, but where Rice tended to go to extremes, Stone balances her books well between action and character development.

Through the corridor of portals Lilly is transported to various times in history with an apparent destiny to fulfil. Initially, she appears to meet a god like creature, creating the world, though at first she is never sure if this is god. Right from the beginning both Lilly and the reader get the impression that her travels through time are being controlled by this being.

Lilly is not a willing traveller even when it becomes apparent that whether she is fighting Vikings in Italy, or learning witchcraft in another era, she yearns to return to her own time. As the centuries pass she loses her love for Gabriele, finding solace in a new love.

To explain the narrative any deeper than this would likely spoil the plot as Stone weaves a tale which both explains the events of the first two books, whilst at the same time completely changing their meaning. Lilly becomes many historical figures, figures important to both her and the survival of the vampire race. Through her experiences she becomes more powerful, until she becomes the ultimate vampire.

As a character Lilly is a likeable character, newly created as a vampire she has a lot of frustration and anger at the beginning of the book, although this is not a trait which disappears what changes is her ability to enforce her will onto the world.

The only real issue I had with the book is that as Lilly learns to change her shape and realises that she will play several pivotal roles in the history of the vampires the reader appears to be well ahead of the character in realising what this will mean. When she turns up in a new era, only to discover herself being her own ancestor in events and so fulfilling what must happen, the first few times it’s an interesting device, but this eventually starts to feel like a tick list of major events.

That said when things look to become a little stale Stone overturns the Borgia history and the introduction of an old character in new way breaths more life into the book.

In the end this should either delight her audience or infuriate them as she takes what is known in the first two books, thrown it into the air and let it settle into a new and satisfying pattern.


Charles Packer

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