- Taschenbuch: 224 Seiten
- Verlag: Alyson Pubn Inc (Juni 2003)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 155583728X
- ISBN-13: 978-1555837280
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,5 x 1,8 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.785.042 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Vampire Thrall (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Juni 2003
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The latest volume in this fantastic cult series of gay vampire thrillers. Once a Roman officer rejected as a lover by Jesus of Nazareth, now a vampire still haunted by Jesus after two millennia of grisly revenge in monasteries around the world, Victor Decimus is back in his home town, the Eternal City of Rome. At the Monastery of San Benedetto, "Brother Victor" continues his campaign of defiance against the Christian God, while remaining near his first love, whose apparitions have never ceased. Meanwhile, across the ocean in a small Kansas town, the gentle, sensuous artist Paul Lewis sees strange visions of a shadowy vampire. When he is hired to illuminate a new manuscript of the gospels undertaken by the monks of San Benedetto, Paul goes to Rome and falls in love with the bold Brother Victor. Sensing danger in this handsome visitor, Victor resists his attraction to Paul - until the young artist witnesses Victor committing murder. Unwilling to destroy Paul, Victor transforms him into his vampire thrall.Now in a limbo between the living and the undead, Paul may choose full life as a vampire, but not without a price: the release of his beloved Victor to the Dark Kingdom and his own solitary existence for two hundred years as stalker of the night. Complicating this choice, the strange force that caused Paul's early visions now aims to turn Paul against his vampire creator...and Victor must defeat this powerful opponent before it is too late.
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Schiefelbein creates a unique perspective of the story by switching between the two main characters for each chapter. Vampire Thrall brings back the lovable Victor and introduces his new consort, Paul. The story takes place in modern day Rome in yet another cloister.
On a side note, one of the many interesting things that drew me to this sequel, were the aspects of monastic life. Even though this was a purely leisurely read, I found myself learning a great deal about monks and their way of life. I never would have thought this would happen because of a vampire novel.
This book is very gory and very graphic, and not for the faint of heart. If you're looking for a vampire book with some real "bite" (haha) then this is the one for you. If you're offended by male on male "activities" and the idea of Jesus being an ultimate conquest, steer away from this quick.
Schiefelbein has a knack for creating characters. He has a wonderful fluidity to his writing that I really enjoy. I hope he writes a third book in this series. I eagerly await his next novel.
For those who are Catholic or devote followers of any religion will find this book very disturbing and may in fact not choose to finish the book. Not only is the gay sex very graphic and constant, but Victor's defiling of the monks and all things held reverent by religious people may be enough to turn your stomach. It's hard to believe that the author, Michael Schiefelbein, is said to have studied for the priesthood for 10 years. One gets the feeling that Mr. Schiefelbein had some very bad experiences during his studies and was either thrown out or left in such poor terms that nothing but spite and hatred are left.
The underlying story is actually a good one and if you can get beyond the gay sex and the religious perversity, it's very captivating. Due to developing situations, Victor transforms Paul into his Thrall, a being who is part human and part Vampire. There is a huge stake involved for both of their futures and the story intensifies as the stakes get higher.
Mr Schiefelbein is a distinguished writer, and his plotting cannot fail to raise his reader's attention, but this time unfortunately his work shines a little less brightly.
The first part of the novel, the first 80 pages or so, are permeated with a lazy tourist guide attitude, every paragraph scattered with redundant descriptive details about Rome, probably aiming at depicting an exotic setting instead of creating a gothic atmosphere.
This problem is probably magnified by my being Italian and by my knowing Rome and its true atmosphere. The author's clumsy attempts at Italian, put in the mouth of Victor, who after all is supposed to have spoken the language for centuries and should know it quite well, may sound appealing to an English speaking reader but did not help me in the least.
Luckily enough Mr Schiefelbein finally gets to business and the temperature rises steeply, revealing the author I cherished in the first book. The reader meets here an older Victor (not so much in years, but in spirit): a vampire who no longer seems to kill out of rage but out of necessity. Once again I was a little disappointed: the great novelty of the first book was the blodshedding raw rage of a heart/pride broken man who, not being able to get the object of his desire, the object being no less than "the" Jesus, exacts his revenge by massacring his followers and defiling all that is sacred to him. Here Victor seems tired, more heart broken than vicious. The change is legitimate but disappointing.
Anyway the plot develops nicely: the shift of p.o.v. between Victor and his new love, Paul, allows the author to explore new depths in characterization. It is also interesting to face the change of Paul who, starting from a harmless boy next door kind of guy, slowly and consistently changes into something dark and frightening, not because Victor changes him, but as a "natural" development of self.
I do not know whether Mr Schiefelbein plans a third volume. The end of this one, which I will not spoil because it is totally unexpected, is entirely satisfying.
In case he does, I wish he would reconsider his style critically and stick to the breathtaking perfection of the first volume; his second volume his worthy and surely 5 stars worth but compared with the previous one it is lacking.
As for the first volume, I recommend conservative/religious/touchy readers avoid this book; yougsters should be kept at large too: this story is not suited for them.
I know a lot of people do not like to see gay characters in a novel, but if you do like that, and love vampire novels, go pick up this one. You won't regret it.
And now I have to go sit and wait until book 3 arrives at my doorstep :)