Note: This book contains graphic violence, illicit drug use, non-consensual extreme sex, and potentially offensive material given the religious references.
vivid, explicit, inventive and engrossing...with fangs on it!, May 30, 2009
Overall, I found this to be a great, rather grizzly book with a fine grasp of horror, modern culture and even a certain reverence. Rage blatantly gawks at the darker side of our modern world and draws certain biblical parallels...using vampires. He adeptly mixes our current youth venacular with graphic, brutal horror imagery, a respectable dark poetic prose and a decisive intelligence. This is an author I'd like to see more of. The violence, and sex references are raw, explicit and he just holds nothing back. His grasp of the underside of our culture and the drug trade filter through in a gritty, unapologetic in-your-face prose. But he's not afraid to display an impressively morbid poetic side. The plot is well-thought-out. It is a grimly well paced thrill ride of horror and suspense. You just have to keep turning pages to see what happens next. His parallels to the modern story and the biblical text of the last days of Jesus are inventive and inspired, in a grotesque deformed sort of way. There is material here that I'm sure would cause religious conservatives to say, "There is blasphemy here that would make Jesus roll over in his grave (you know, if he hadn't already risen from the dead)!" Yet, there is a strong, revery that shows a certain connection to faith. Personally as an agnostic, I would have enjoyed the book more if Rage had avoided the religious connections and just stuck with a straight vampire story. But that's just my personal opinion. There is a religious connection that comes together as the book rolls along, but it is still a graphic, nasty horror tale with vampires, drug lords and even a little sex. Rage's command of story and pacing shows a lot of promise for the future. And although I'd like to see him stick to more strictly secular horror stories, this is a brutal, graphic author I'd like to see more from. As someone who enjoys graphic, explicit horror, I can strongly recommend this book...and keep 'em coming, Steven! Never let your fangs go dry!