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Those Who Hunt The Night (1990)

Those Who Hunt the Night (1990)
3.82 of 5 Votes: 1
0345361326 (ISBN13: 9780345361325)
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Those Who Hunt The Night (1990)
Those Who Hunt The Night (1990)

About book: This almost-steampunk Vampire novel introduces the characters of James Asher, (think Sherlock Holmes for the Home Office), Lydia Asher, his wife and a physician fascinated by blood, and Don Simon Ysidro, one of ‘those who hunt the night.’ Don Simon has been trying to solve the mystery of murdered vampires (coffins exposed to the sun) in London, but needs a human to help out during the day. The book could have been an homage to Sherlock Holmes, but instead seems derivative without adding anything fresh. It could have been good, but just didn’t work for me. I couldn’t connect with the characters in this novel, which doesn’t necessarily mean the author didn’t create good characters, just that for some reason they didn’t reach out and grab me. However, there were some interesting folklore sections. For example, as Asher discovers in his research, not only is garlic protective against the Undead, so are ash, whitethorn, wolfsbane and assorted other unnamed herbs. He also surmises that the Christian crucifix is not so much what protects the wearer as the quantity of the silver in the cross or crucifix. Asher realizes that the crucifix defense “left vast numbers of ancient and modern Chinese, Aztecs, ancient Greeks, Australia bushman, and Hawaiian Islanders, to name only a few, at an unfair disadvantage. Or did ancient Greek vampires fear other sacred things? And how, in that case, had unconverted pagan vampires in the first century A.D. reacted to Christians frantically waving the symbols of their faith at them to protect themselves from having their blood drunk or their noses bitten off?” Don Simon also explains how blood drinking from humans is not only basic food, but also a “psychic hunger, the lust for the draining of the soul,” which he likens to how much more intense is sexual satisfaction than the enjoyment of, say, marzipan. This book offers its own perspective on the now-infamous (by t.v. shows) ‘sire-bond.’ “In the making of the new vampire, their minds lock . . . In a sense . . . the fledgling must give his soul to the master, to hold for him while he – crosses over. I cannot explain it more nearly than that.” New vampires in this story, like others, are lost, easily confused, and need special guidance to understand how to cope with their unique circumstances. However, Don Simon indicates a more mutual transference than I have found in the past, stating, “When a master vampire creates a fledgling, it is in part the master’s will and in part the fledgling’s trust which act” together to create the new creature. I learned that some of the oddball British pub names might have history behind them. For example, a merchant’s house had a pious motto above the door: “God Encompasseth Us,” which after being burned by Cromwell’s troops and rebuilt as an inn became “The Goat and Compasses.” A strange combination of images which would have confused anyone in passing. I’ve been trying to figure out why this book didn’t work for me, but haven’t been able to determine what it was missing; maybe the writing style, although flowery, just wasn’t right? I’m puzzled because I should have liked this book, but I didn’t. I am going to read it again sometime because I want to give it another chance.

A James Asher book #1, also published as Immortal BloodJames Asher, retired spy and scholar, comes home one day to find a vampire in his house. A vampire who has his entire household asleep, and under threat. For if Asher does not hunt down whoever, or whatever, is killing the vampires of London then Asher will die, as will his family.The vampire Ysidro believe their attacker is acting in the daylight, and so he is are forced to turn to a human for help, against all their rules and beliefs.I can’t remember exactly why I picked this one up. I know it was recommended on some blog or another, but where that was, and in connection with what? I’m at a loss. I’ll have to start noting down where I get these recommendations from so that if I enjoy the book I can look to them for more.And in this case I really did enjoy the book.Asher, our hero, is a disillusioned spy1 and he left the Great Game after one too many dirty deeds. He retreated back into the life that used to be his cover, of sorts, academia. He is a linguist and his donnish ways meant that when he was spying he was never suspected. But his background in spying is exactly why the vampires want his assistance.Once Ysidro has left Asher tells his wife everything that happened. And wasn’t that such a relief! I was so worried it was going to be another of those books where the husband goes off to “protect” the wife by keeping her in the dark about real life and so get her into further danger through ignorance2 but Lydia, his wife, has skills of her own. She, although facing great resistance from all around her, studied medicine and is now a researcher in that field.And she has a mind of her own. And an intelligence that her husband respects and loves. I wish that weren’t something to remark upon, but it is. And I liked it :)This book first came out in the 1980s so t=don’t worry about any sort of Twilight-esque vampire here, they even state that there is no sec between vampires, although some do like to entrap humans by playing the game. The vampires here must kill to live, they can live off animals for a short while, but it turns them stupid and liable to be caught out in the sun and killed. There is a psychic aspect to their killing, and to their hunting. They can persuade people to look away and ignore them, or to come close and do as they are bid. They are strong and fast, they are immortal, but they can be killed. They have their vulnerabilities.I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, I think because Hambly writes characters so well, Asher could very easly have been almost a stereotype but I never found him so. And even the vampires have their nuances. Some have obviously serious questions about their life, but the will to survive is a strong one. It is that that makes a vampire live at the moment of turning. If you do not desire and fight for life you will not survive. However, the writing was a little convoluted for me, at least until I got used to the style of it. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I think that I will be looking for other book about James Asher and the vampires of London.
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A novel featuring wicked, murderous vampires, which will be refreshing to those who are disgusted by the modern trend of depicting them as romantic heroes. I personally prefer my vampires slightly less evil than this, but I really enjoyed the book.This is more of a murder mystery than a horror novel. Someone is killing vampires in London, in 1907, and an Oxford don (who's a former spy for the British government) is forced into a search for the perpetrator. I liked the interaction between the don and the main vampire very much. The mystery was intriguing in the beginning, and while I didn't really care for the direction it went in the end, this didn't ruin the book for me.I quite liked the writing, which was lush and dramatic, even though there were many repetitive elements; in particular the vampire's appearance and mannerisms are described over and over again. I kept expecting this to annoy me, but somehow it never did. I'll definitely look for more books by Hambly.
My Inner Shelf
Roman initialement paru en 1988, il est réédité chez Mnémos sous la forme d’un seul gros volume rassemblant les deux premiers romans de la série, qui à ma connaissance n’en compte que deux. Un gros pavé donc, à la couverture sublime, dédicacé, s’il-vous-plait, par l’illustrateur Alain Brion lui-même (comme quoi j’ai bien fait d’aller au Salon du Livre à Paris :))).Bref, une incursion dans l’Angleterre post-victorienne, en 1907 (et non celle de la fin du XIX ème siècle comme indiqué en quatrième de couverture), une époque où les vampires commencent à avoir du mal à rester cachés, du fait de l’urbanisation et des nouvelles technologies.Le vampire Don Simon Ysidro enfreint les règles de sécurité vampiresque les plus élémentaires en recourant aux services d’un ancien espion reconverti. Agissant sous la menace afin de préserver sa propre vie et celle de sa jeune épouse, James Asher va mener l’enquête commanditée par le vampire.Les relations entre les deux personnages sont pour le moins ambiguës. Asher devra changer ses plans et ses intentions vis à vis des vampires, tandis qu’Ysidro fera preuve de mansuétude à l’égard de cet humain potentiellement dangereux mais dont les services sont nécessaires.L’histoire est agréable à suivre, même si le style est relativement lourd, et les personnages un brin stéréotypés. Le vampire Ysidro, blond et pâle, m’a paru trop romantique, surtout quand l’auteur (une femme ne l’oublions pas !) le décrit avec sa chemise ouverte sur une gorge et un torse blancs, ses manches retroussées sur des bras musculeux….et j’en passe.Quant à Asher, héros contraint mais heureux époux d’une jeune médecin très douée et aimante, que lui, pauvre professeur d’Oxford a eu l’heur de séduire au point d’être préféré à tous les autres jeunes prétendants, son passé d’espion sans scrupules le rendrait presque moins fréquentable que le vampire.Ceci dit, malgré quelques clichés et grosses ficelles, l’intrigue se lit bien, le suspens est maintenu. Le mythe du vampire ne m’a pas paru renouvelé, même si le personnage de Lydia, en bonne scientifique, tente d’expliquer médicalement le vampirisme.Une très bonne histoire de vampires, qui ne vaut pas Anne Rice à mon sens, mais qui tient bien la route malgré certains aspects.
tPart mystery novel part vampire novel this story takes the reader to the London of 1906. Someone is murdering vampires! Hambly recreates London in superb detail: the streets, the clothing, traveling habits, the science. She spends quite a bit of time on the science and on the idea that vampirism is a disease with its own peculiar long-term symptoms. She handles the scientific details very deftly.tHambly shies away from having a true villain and so her characters all come off as a lithe too good to be true, but they carry the story smartly. She does drag a bit overdescribing the ways in which her main character – James Asher’s – enlightened wife’s scientific pursuits, but I’ve definitely seen worse. She curbs the tendency to dwell with some success. The ending continues her blending of the scientific and gothic.tThe theing that really bothered me was her constant insistence that everything in gaslight looks “primrose.” It’s a beautiful word choice once, but she must use it a dozen times and after awhile I began to wish she’d be a little more creative and a little less romantic.
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