Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Path Of Razors - Chris Marie Green


The Path Of Razors
Vampire Babylon – Book 5
Chris Marie Green
Ace

Urban Fantasy

The author structures these books so that major story arcs are contained and (mostly) resolved within a trilogy. The first three books, including BREAK OF DAWN, concerned a vampire Underground in Hollywood. Beginning with the fourth book, A DROP OF RED, the team has moved on to hunt down a new Underground, in England. If you haven’t read A DROP OF RED, this review will contain unavoidable spoilers.

Once upon a time, Dawn Madison was a stuntwoman. Then she was a vampire hunter. Then, briefly, a vampire. Now she makes it her business to hunt down and wipe out every vampire Underground she can find. She’s not alone; there’s a group of like-minded individuals who work with her. At the end of the previous book, they’d discovered the Queenshill school, and found that that some Mean Girls are meaner than others. While the girls and their handlers know there is a danger, they’re not acting very afraid. Clearly, each Underground takes on the characteristics of its founding vampire.

Long ago, several blood brothers exchanged blood with the dragon. Then they went out into the world to create more of their kind, in anticipation of the day the dragon would reappear and wage war on humanity. That was several centuries ago, though, and complacency has set in for many Underground members. That’s possibly good news for the hunters. But the Queenshill girls are about to find out just how far they’ll go to prove their loyalty.

Far too often, the ‘middle’ book of a trilogy seems like a bunch of filler; a way to get from the setup in the first book to the climax in the last. That is absolutely not the case here. The vampires are more fully developed, and their attitudes and outlooks are interestingly human. They may live forever, but some human flaws are apparently hard to shake. There are some really neat twists in this novel, including the addition of some interesting characters. The hunters are also flawed human beings, making the whole setup more interesting. Many storylines are left open for the final installment of this trilogy, but this is a such a complete experience that readers won’t feel cheated by that. It might work better to read the previous book first, but this is a great addition to the author’s mythos.

Rating: 8
August 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01720-1 (trade paperback)

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