Tallullah Rising. Glen Duncan

Finally the holidays have kicked in enough for me to want to read something non-work related and completely indulgent. Which is, after all, what reading should be about. I chose to renew my acquaintance with the werewolves and vampires in Glen Duncan's follow up to the wonderful 'Last Werewolf'. The story begins with Tallulah in one hell of a predicament, Jake is dead and she is due to have her baby any day now. She has taken herself off, with her familiar, Cloquet, to the Alaskan wilds. The full moon is on its way just to complicate things and then, it all happens. She gives birth to two babies/werewolves but the vampires have arrived to take the child they believe she is carrying ( the whole twin thing was as new to Tallulah as to them, thank goodness). They steal away with her boy and then she gives birth to a girl. There are several moments of chase, capture, escape and capture again but they do not become too predictable despite the pattern in retrospect. Duncan does not give the twi-hard vampire fans anything to see here. This is an adult novel that is as comfortable with its philosophical musings on life, death and otherness as it is dropping gouts of viscera and sex on its readers. That said, it certainly takes you on an adventure filled ride around the globe and there are enough plot twists to keep you not only interested, but highly involved.

It is not labelled horror/literature by reviewers without good reason. The writing is tight and controlled with many a literary reference and an intelligent backstory. It moves easily from modern London and America to a sort of James Bond with supernaturals but resists being trite for all that.

I will await the next one, it has been left with enough of a cliffhanger to be certain that one is forthcoming.

Fans of Justin Cronin's work would do well to read Duncan's writing too.



The Radleys- Matt Haig

I just finished this and wanted to blog about it in the heat of the moment. I really enjoyed it on so many levels. It is, on the surface a tale about a family of vampires who are abstaining. Well, the parents are, the kids don’t know. All they do know is that they are social outcasts as evidenced by graffiti around the quiet Yorkshire village they live in.
Mum and Dad are in trouble, not vampire trouble, boredom in the marriage trouble. This is not helped by the secrets that Helen is keeping from Peter. The family are all suffering. Things can only get worse. Clara finds out in the most devastating way about her true nature. Then things slowly unravel. Will, Peter’s brother turns up to help and really makes things worse. The hidden secrets are about to surface.
The whole thing keeps up a great pace, largely due to the narrative device of lots of short chapters and a great plot. There are lots of references to pop culture from the Enlightenment, through gothic 1980s, to current bands and novels. Lots of tongue in cheek references to famous vampires (Jimi Hendix, Lord Byron!) and the whole thing doesn’t take itself too seriously.
At heart it’s a live story/morality tale but one that has a light touch.
If you liked ‘Let The Right One In’ you’ll enjoy this one.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad