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Book Review

Book Cover

Hateful Heart


Author: Sam Stone
The House of Murky Depths
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 90658427 6
Available 01 September 2011

It would seem for a time that when Sam Stone concluded her time travelling vampire trilogy with Demon Dance, that that would be the end of the story. As it turns out, not all good things have to come to an end and Stone has produced another enjoyable novel set in the same fictional universe.

Her habit in the previous novels has been to take one of her characters and explore them more thoroughly and in doing so both open up the narrative and sometimes change her audiences perspective on particular characters, a lot like films like Sixth Sense, when you are finally in possession of more facts, your perception of what was going on flips right over.

If you are new to the Vampire Gene series of books, then Hateful Heart is probably not the best place to start, not that it doesn’t stand up well as a standalone novel, it does, it’s that much of the richness of the main characters relationships will be diluted.

In her new novel Stone continues to develop the joint themes vampirism and time travel, with a new threat to the vampire family and a new arrival in their midst.

The book opens with the arrival of Amalia, who not only declares that she is a newly formed vampire, but also announces the death of Lilly’s close friend Harry, a virtual impossibility for a fully developed vampire. Something is out to kill all of them and they have no idea who.

Stone intertwines this narrative with another more enigmatic story of a chest from antiquity, which holds some form of undisclosed horror, which seems to blight the lives of anyone it touches. Obviously the two become interlinked as the book moves towards its climax.

There is a touch of the Anne Rice’s about the amount of sexuality which is displayed in the book, although in the book's defence, both overt and concealed sexuality are a staple trope of vampire books.

Well written, Hateful Heart works well on its own but is far more satisfying as a continuation of the Vampire Gene series of novels.


Charles Packer

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