Thursday, October 2, 2008

Night Road by A.M. Jenkins

First reviewed by Jenn. She gives a great summary so I won't repeat that here. I had a bit of a different reaction than her which is why I decided to write about it as well.

The author had an extremely interesting take on vampires. I really enjoyed that she created an entirely new mythology that was well thought out and consistent throughout the entire novel. I especially liked how they were Hemes, very definitely not vampires. Sure they feed on humans and drink their blood just like vampires, but they are NOT vampires so do not call them that. Seriously don't do it - it even tells you not to on the cover. The author tells us that they are actually still human, but have been infected with a virus that changes their physiology. The vampire myth has evolved from them, but they basically view themselves as differently abled humans. It was fascinating.

I also loved that the whole process of how the Hemes fed was so sexual. Everyone knows (although apparently many Twilight fans are blissfully and astonishingly unaware) that the bite is a metaphor for sex. So bravo to the author for making it so unabashedly obvious. Regular humans, or Omnis, as Hemes refer to them, get intense gratification akin to sexual gratification from being fed on. Hemes have the ability to either feed without the Omni being aware that they have been fed on, or creating a relationship with an Omni who is aware and can possibly become addicted to the process because it is so enjoyable. In fact they often combine the act of feeding with sexual acts to increase the pleasure both parties get. Phew! Is it getting hot in here or is it just me!

This being said I found the dialog stitlted and unrealistic. The main Hemes are hundreds of years old and it appeared to me that the author wanted to make a distinction between how they spoke and how the newly created Heme spoke. The dialog, instead of showing me that they were from another time period just seemed clunky.


I also had a major problem with Cole not picking up on the whole Royal situation. Obviously, this Royal character was following them. Obviously when Gordo mentioned that he had seen this strange person at a frat party wearing the same outfit and adornments as when Cole ran into him at the bar it was Royal. And then it is OBVIOUSLY Royal's car that Cole found in the parking lot. It was frustrating as a reader to have Cole be so incredibly obtuse. Yes he was distracted by training Gordo and by his own emotional past, but so distracted he ignores all signs? Dude.

***End of Spoilers***

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