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2.73 of 5 stars 2.73  ·  rating details  ·  493 ratings  ·  99 reviews
A masterful debut thriller about the original female Dracula and an underground gothic cult reenacting her ritualized killings in present day LondonIn sixteenth-century Hungary, Countess Elizabeth Bathory tortured and killed over six hundred servant girls in order to bathe in their blood. She believed this practice would keep her skin youthful and her beauty immortal.

ebook, 289 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Pegasus Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Luhning’s writing is pretty decent for a debut, but I can’t bring myself to go any higher than three stars. She is definitely on the right track, I don’t want to come off as discouraging, but the basic construction leaves much to be desired. More than that though, I think the marketing department failed her in that they set the book up to be something it simply isn’t.

I’ll come back to the construction issues later; I want t...more
When I picked this book up at the library, I didn't know what it was. The synopsis seemed intriguing enough, so I decided to give it a try. Well, I guess not having any expectation was a good thing, because I didn't really get anything out of it.

(view spoiler)...more
I'm sorry this book isn't getting better reviews because I think it's extremely well done for what it is. The problem seems to lie in the marketing - they keep saying it's supposed to be a thriller but it didn't strike me that way at all. It's much more of a psychological exploration than anything else and no, honestly, not a lot "happens" in the traditional thriller/suspense novel tradition. It is instead a fascinating look at the way people can form connections between violence and beauty, obs...more
Sarah Jane
I don't know what everyone was talking about with this book being "slow" - I was hooked the whole time. I wanted to keep reading and keep reading. I like how it flip-flopped in time a little and I like how it included the diary entries of Bathory. I was just plain impressed.

It ended well and I am going to go looking to see if there will be a sequel. The story leaves it up in the air as if there could be a sequel.
Saskatchewan native Holly Luhning has written a compelling novel based on the shocking life of the Hungarian Countess, Elizabeth Bathory. Bathory, who was born in 1560, earned her shocking reputation for having tortured and killed over 600 young girls so that she might bathe in their blood and thus retain her youthful beauty.

Luhning’s novel, Quiver, is a creepy crawly book that follows Danica, a young forensic psychologist, who has moved to London with her artist boyfriend, Henry, to work at Sto...more
Sara Meehan
Oddly enough, "Quiver" makes two books in a row that mention Elizabeth Bathory. Or, as she's known in her native Hungarian and in Holly Luhning's book, Erzsébet Báthory.

Bathory, for those who haven't heard of her, is a 16th-century countess who is infamous for having tortured and killed hundreds of girls before she was arrested and bricked up in her castle, where she later died. "Quiver" is the story of a young woman who is fascinated — really, you could say obsessed — with Bathory. Danica is co...more
I did not like this book at all. It's well-written, but it just disgusts me. I am so sick of reading fiction about Elizabeth Bathory and the consistent glamorization of what this monster did. There were no redeeming qualities. It wasn't erotic. It wasn't sexy. She was a sadistic serial killer with a serious disorder. And yet, author after author glamorizes her. People may not think that's what Holly Luhning is doing and she probably doesn't believe it herself, but I had to stop reading. I'm stil...more
Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha)
Danica, a forensic psychologist, has left Canada and moved to England to work in a forensic hospital. One of Danica’s patients is the infamous Malcolm Foster, who has been imprisoned for murdering a young girl. He’s been surrounded by much media attention as his crime has been tailored after Elizabeth Bathory. Danica has always had a fascination with Bathory, which in part has been made worse by Maria, someone Danica met in her travels.

Once Danica arrives in London, she receives a note from Mari...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I already knew about Elizabeth Bathory and a thriller with a murder based on her crimes was one I simply *had* to read.

Elizabeth Bathory was a 16th century Hungarian Countess who tortured and murdered young women and rumour has it bathed in their blood to keep herself beautiful. No one knows how many girls she killed but figures go as high as 650.

In this book a man, Martin Foster, kills a 14 year-old girl and says it was in homage to Elizabeth Bathory. Canadian forensic psych...more
Robert Campbell
At its core, this book has a confessional autobiographical quality, contrasting the exotic allure of serial killers and psychopaths that draws people into the study of psychology with the stark, quotidian reality of standardized protocols, objectivity and tedium that characterizes the professional practice of psychology. Psychometrics and bureaucracy give way to aesthetics, especially as captured in the seeming external fragility and delicacy of women that can mask a ruthlessness and strength of...more
Matt Schiariti
This came up as a kindle daily deal the other day and the subject matter really piqued my interest so I took a chance on it.

I'm pretty impressed that this is a first novel. I found the story based around a supposed cult that worships Elisabeth Bathory intriguing.

Danica Winston, a training psychologist, met the mysterious Maria while at a conference several years ago. They were drawn together by a mutual fascination of Bathory..her crimes, her beauty, her monstrous nature. Prior to the events of...more
I was so disapointed by this book. I really wanted to like it. A crazy serial killer, Elizabeth Bathory diaries and a cult that worships her? What could be better? However the main character was obnoxious and in the end her life just plain sucks and she loses everything and the ending is depressing.

Also I HATE cheating and when the MC's boyfriend gets caught screwing someone else and he is cold and callous about it, well I almost put the book down at that point and refused to pick it up 1) beca...more
I just finished reading this book which was one of our book club picks. Book club was on May 10th and today is May 15th.
The book sounded so exciting and interesting on the cover and then just did not live up to the write up.
It was an interesting story and very well written is some ways however the story takes a long time to build, painstakingly slow I would say. The characters were interesting but there were many of them and most of them aren't likable although they are memorable.

Several gory...more
This is one of the most disappointing books I've come across. I picked it up because it purported to be about the infamous Elizabeth of Bathory, the "Blood Countess" -- In a way it is, but it is more concerned with a parallel modern story, which completely falls apart. There simply is such a scarcity of any factual information about Bathory that the book is just not worth reading. There are several, far better books for anyone interested in this distant relative of ... wait for it.... Vlad Tepes...more
I really wanted to like the idea of this book, but at no point did I ever believe that Danica had a degree in clinical/criminal psychology (or whatever her precise degree was supposed to be that supposedly earned her an amazing fellowship opportunity of which she consistently proved herself to be unworthy). Mild spoilers ahoy: (view spoiler)...more
Mary Z
I really was looking forward to this one and there is definitely an audience for it. An audience of people that I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley but an audience nonetheless. But I find Bathory, the greatest female serial killer of all time, a fascinating subject.

There are two parts to this book that complement each other: The first is the modern day story of Danica, a psychologist who is, together with her friend Maria, researching Bathory out of her own interest (what can I say, the girl...more
A B*tches With Books Review

Book: Quiver by Holly Luhning
Publisher: Tor Teen, 2010
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Rating: 3-Page-Turns
: Elizabeth Bathory stories with an academic twists for the win!
Book Pro’s: The story blends modern-day horror with historical myths and terror.
Book Con’s: There comes a point when you want to yell at the protagonist and say, stop being used, stop being stupid!
Favourite Line: “Watch it, your sanity. Watch the line. What I don’t say is that...more

“In sixteenth-century Hungary, Countess Elizabeth Báthory tortured and killed over six hundred servant girls in order to bathe in their blood; she believed this brutal ritual would preserve her youth and beauty. Danica, a young forensic psychologist, is drawn to Báthory’s legend. She has moved from Canada to England to work at Stowmoor, a Victorian insane asylum turned modern-day forensic hospital. One of her patients, the notorious Martin Foster, murdered a fourteen-year-old girl in ho...more
If it were possible to give this book NEGATIVE stars, I would rate it -3 stars! I only began this book because the Amazon description made it sound amazing, what I should have done was read the reviews. Turns out most people, like myself, thought they were getting one thing, but were handed something else entirely.
To say that this book was predictable would be the understatement of the year. Only someone with zero knowledge of classic cliches and a 3rd grade education wouldn't be able to figure...more
Elizabeth Walker
I bought this book as an impulse buy, snagging a good deal on it. I figured it would be a quick, fun read, and that it was. I must admit that I was misinformed in starting this book, thinking that it was a book about vampires. That it is not. I am not however, a vampire enthusiast, I merely like to dapple in different sorts of literature every once in a while. So, for someone looking for a book a bit off the beaten path that would be quick to read, this book fits the bill.

The closest connection...more
For the reader coming to this book expecting suspense, excitement, danger...well, look somewhere else. While the book's storyline has every opportunity to rig itself up as a psychological thriller, it did not catch and hold me as it might have done. There are various reasons for this. First off, the main character is about as bright as a lead weight. From nearly the very start it becomes clear that she is being led around the garden path by a dangerously charismatic antagonist. As a consequence,...more
Illyria Nightshade
I am admittedly a fan of most writing about Erzabet Bathory and this book combined history with a current day thriller. Danica is a psychologist researching the murder committed by a self-professed follower of Bathory, named Foster. Her research leads her to reconnect with an enigmatic figure from her past named Maria who (like Danica) has a fascination with all things Bathory.

Danica's research, interviews with Foster, and renewed relationship with Maria lead her on a path of self-destruction a...more
2.5 stars. I had this on my Kindle for about a year & have decided in 2013 to get some of the lingerers read & done. The best thing I can say is that my task was completed & I finished reading this book. It was well written but a true slog.

Dani annoyed me for much of the story because I was able to see that Maria was a serious problem & not a very nice person but Dani was pulled in & dismissed just about everything because she believed Maria's story about Bathory's diary. It...more
At first, this book was OK, I found the writing style very easy to follow, and it held my interest. It didn't take long for the whole thing to fall apart. I found almost every character to be quite annoying. Foster's personaility really got on my nerves, and Danica just came off as an idiot to me. Danica didn't even seem to be qualified enough to be an assistant to any kind of doctor; she's quite lame. Maria is obviously a freak, and I could not understand why Danica wouldn't stay away from her....more
Danica is a young forensic psychologist getting her certification at a mental hospital in London. A patient she is assigned to meet with, Malcolm Foster, murdered a 14-year-old girl. Danica finds herself fascinated by Foster and begins to suspect that he had help in the murder by a underground group that follows and idolizes Elizabeth Bathory, "The Blood Countess" who in 16-century Hungary, tortured and killed over six hundred servant girls in order to bathe in their blood to keep her beauty int...more
If you've ever been intrigued by the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, better known as the Blood Countess who liked to bathe in the blood of young girls to stay young, then you would find this book enjoyable.

This is the story about Dani, a young psychologist fellow in London, who had a fascination with Bathory, and then is given a patient who killed in the name of the Blood Countess. And, supposedly, he is in a secret society who worships the Blood Countess and kill in her name.

Dani has this old "fr...more
3.5 stars

I was a little disappointed with this book. The writing is mediocre at best; it often drags on and isn't very descriptive. Also, there isn't much of a plot. I really wish the story would have focused more on Danica's job working with a psychopath. Instead, almost the entire book is spent discussing how sketchy her friend Maria is. For the record, this girl seems like trouble from the very first time the two meet, but for some reason Danica can't seem to say no or shut her out of her lif...more
I think this book is perhaps suffering from a bad title and cover. I read this one at home as the cover made it look like I was reading a naughty bodice ripper. And while this book did have some interesting and sort of naughty moments, it was a psychological thriller more than anything else. Interesting historical and pseudo-historical elements about Elizabeth Bathory, fairly interesting main character, but sadly a nearly laughably silly plot about a sort of cult that deifies Bathory and acts ou...more
I picked up this story because of the synopsis. The title also drew me. I'm always interested in historical fact mixed in with a fictional character. The author draws you into the relationship between Danica & Maria.They met when they were younger both discovering themselves. They grow apart, and find each other just as Danica starts her new position as a psychologist at, what I will presume is, a mental health prison. In comes the historical part about the Countess Bàthory and her atrocitie...more
And now for something completely different. Despite its cover, this is actually neither a teen book nor a vampire book. It actually more of a psychological thriller built around the history of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. For the most part, I enjoyed it. It was compelling, and the supposed passages from Bathory's diaries held just enough detail to give me the slightly ill feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I witness other people's pain. But the ending kind of ruined it for me. I just did...more
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quiver? more like shudder 4 18 Mar 17, 2014 02:43PM  
Love Bathory 2 4 Dec 03, 2012 09:57PM  
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Raised in rural Saskatchewan and now living in Toronto, Holly Luhning holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature, madness and theories of the body. She has received a Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award, and her collection of poetry, Sway, was nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her first novel, Quiver, is forthcoming in January 2011.
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“Watch it, your sanity. Watch the line. What I don’t say is that the line is hardly there. It’s as blurry and fluid as the slope of the shore, from beach to the shallows to water over your head to the open sea. And I’m not really supposed to believe in that spectrum…..But we’re all there on the slope. I think the difference is whether you’ve maneuvered yourself into a position where your head’s above the sea.” 2 likes
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