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Traveling with the Dead (James Asher #2)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,151 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Down through the deathless centuries, the vampires had drunk human blood for sustenance and for sport. They preyed where they willed, for no mortal humans could resist their unclean powers. But now came the ultimate perversion, the unthinkable: someone was conscripting the vampires into the secret services of a foreign power.

No government agency or bureaucrat could contro
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published September 5th 1995 by Del Rey (first published 1995)
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Oct 18, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I put this book down with a sense of awe. That Hambly conceived of this story is impressive enough; that she pored huge amounts of knowledge about late 19th century Europe into the tale is incredible. She establishes the look and feel of every locale with the same clarity and texture that Eric Ambler achieves in his early 20th century spy tales. The sense that nations and people are heading, unbeknownst, towards World War I, is heady and creepy--and the way that Hambly inserts her own tale into ...more
May 03, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of vampires or Conan Doyle
Shelves: fantasy
The sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night. James and Lydia Asher, an academic couple in Victorian England, must once more venture into vampire society. Their growing understanding of their (few) vampiric allies puts pressure on their morals and their marriage—it’s hard to maintain a moral high ground when your bodyguard kills to survive. Hambly is one of the only authors to remember that old vampires should not think or react like people from our society. Born into a set of rules and mores that are ...more
Jamie Collins
This is a sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night, set one year later (in 1908) and featuring Lydia and James Asher along with the vampire Don Simon Ysidro, who first arrived in England in the retinue of King Philip of Spain when he came to court Mary Tudor.

When Asher disappears chasing vampires and spies halfway across Europe, Lydia and Ysidro strike up an uneasy alliance and head out in pursuit.

I didn't find the plot especially interesting, and overall the book isn't as good as the first one, but e
Robert Defrank
Mar 05, 2016 Robert Defrank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For untold millennia, vampires have drained the blood of the living, but have remained apart from mortal conflicts as they stalked their prey, but there has never been such a time as this.

The First World War looms on the horizon. All Europe teeters on the edge and while the inciting incident is beyond anyone’s ability to predict, a war that would tear the West apart is inevitable, and not even the undead will be permitted to stand aside.

In Traveling with the Dead, readers revisit the husband and
Lesley Arrowsmith
Mar 20, 2015 Lesley Arrowsmith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Barbara Hambly's work (the first books of hers that I read were the Star Trek novels) and this is a wonderful vampire tale. It's the second in the series, I realised as I got into it, so now I will have to go looking for the first one. The vampires are properly not-human, and the reason for the long and dangerous journey from London to Constantinople, via Vienna, is kept mysterious right to the end. I also liked the heroine, who is short-sighted but too vain to wear her glasses in ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Sandi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, lib
This book was a major disappointment. 1.5 stars rounded up. Uninteresting, antiquated fashion reports abound in this soporific, rambling book. On the one hand, I liked the little wifey-poo getting involved and having an intelligent, systematic approach to investigating the whereabouts of the vampire clans. On the other hand, the narrative jumped around so much and skipped major blocks of time, then tried to fill-in a few of the blanks in retrospect. Too much retrospect, not enough action. Why ha ...more
S.A. Bolich
I enjoyed this one, but not as much as I did the first one, Those Who Hunt the Night. For one, we don't get to see quite as much of Asher, and more of Lydia, his wife. She is far more concerned with how she looks at every moment than I find delightful, and her fixation on keeping Ysidro righteous is just stupid, considering how much she has weakened her only ally. Once again, though, Hambly has done a fantastic job of recreating the Victorian era, and not just in London, but in Paris and Constan ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Emmett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes vampires or history, or both
Recommended to Emmett by: Someone who must've anticipated my response
The breadth (of scope) and depth (of detail) in this story is astounding, going beyond '19th century but with vampires', as Hambly re-creates for the reader the immensity and variety of 19th century Europe, while managing to insert an original intricate plotline. The taut and well-plotted narrative aside, I was also delighted by the various 'asides' that explore the world within the novel, which is especially satisfying given its richness. James and Lydia Asher make very intelligent and plausibl ...more
James Asher happens to glimpse a London vampire and a man he knows is a Hungarian spy boarding a train to Paris. Convinced that if governments start hiring vampires it would be the Worst Thing Ever (particularly in the build-up to WWI), he impulsively decides to follow them and find out what's going on. When (shockingly!) the authorities in Paris do not take his warnings about vampires seriously, he's forced to continue tracking them to Vienna and then Constantinople, teaming up on the way with ...more
Jun 19, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but had a slow start

Many years ago I read the first book in this series and loved it. At the time there wasn't a second and I was on to other books and forgot all about it not even knowing there would be more. I have read other books by Hambly before and loved them too so when I stumbled across this amore in this series I was really excited to start reading it. I was really disappointed at first because It wasn't living up to the first, at least as I had remembered it but I stuck with it th
Oh. Oh dear. I have to be honest and say this was a major disappointment. I loved the first Asher book and I was hoping for something along the same lines, but this was confusing and rambling

I admire the way Hambly writes such poetic details. She has a wonderful turn of phrase at times that allows me to 'be there' in the story - an onlooker as it were. However, Traveling with the Dead was a bit like eating an overly generous meal consisting of course after course of richly seasoned exotic foods
Andreas Whoever
The first one was much better
Aug 11, 2014 ms.beau rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
I was disappointed by this second in the series. It felt frantic and disjointed, I couldn't focus on any character long enough to establish a connection.
Jan 12, 2009 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Really enjoyed Hambly's interpretation of how vampirism works. She never lets you lose sight that they may appear human but they are definitely not like us.
May 05, 2014 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ill-marina
This book gives me issues. I've read it twice now, and both times I get a couple chapters in and think it's going to turn into just another poorly-done doomed vampire romance, and ruin the characters for me. And then it turns out to be a WONDERFUL fakeout. ...and then, after pages of viciously subverted romance tropes and a suspense plot that stretches from London to Constantinople in the build up to WWI, it turns out there *is* doomed vampire romance after all, and I love it anyway, because by ...more
Rebecca Wright
Nov 24, 2015 Rebecca Wright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. The vampires are not the dark and brooding romantic types of a lot of recent vampire fiction. These creatures are intelligent predators. James Asher is an excellent "hero" and his wife Lydia a wonderful partner. Her skill as a researcher compliments Ashers former spy experience. This series is complex and suspenseful. I love it.Barbara Hambly creates world full of danger and excitement, weaving real history with her world's alternate story. Anyone looking for vampire fiction ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Innsbruck rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night, this book is an enjoyable read, even though I didn't adore it as I did its predecessor.

Set in Europe in 1908, a year after the events of the previous novel, this book reunites the reader with retired spy James Asher, his pathologist wife Lydia, and vampire Don Simon Ysidro, as well as a few others. A chance encounter sends James in pursuit of an old enemy, while Lydia and Ysrido follow James hoping to catch up with him and aid him in his mission.

Traveling wi
Erin (PT)
I haven't read Traveling with the Dead as many times as some of Hambly's other books, though I remember liking it a lot. I don't know if my reasons are the same now as they were then, but on this re-read--and though it's still a good book--I'd definitely say it's not one of my favorite Hambly books or my favorite of this series.

Part of it is the narrative itself; sprawling (somewhat by necessity, as the book goes from London to Constantinople) and not as tight, as cohesive, as I would've liked.
Shawn Spjut
Traveling With the Dead; 1995 Barbara Hambly; Del Ray, NY

This is number two of Hambly's vampire/murder/suspense novels involving Dr. James Asher, his wife Lydia Asher and their unwilling, older than dirt, vamperic associate Don Simon Ysidro.

As always my reviews are not as much about the content of the book as it is about the over all flow and structure. But let me state here that I think of the three books in this particular series to date - "Those Who Hunt the Night"; "The Magistrates of Hell"
John Kirk
I've read Those Who Hunt the Night several times, and I often thought that I'd like to read a sequel (so that I could see more of the characters) but I didn't think it would be possible based on the way that the previous book ended. When I belatedly found out that there was a sequel, I immediately bought a copy, but I was disappointed; I think my concerns were well-founded. Admittedly, it may be significant that I read this over the space of a week (on train journeys); maybe I would have enjoyed ...more
Nov 14, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, supernatural
Traveling with the Dead , the second novel in this series, picks up in 1908. James Asher, ostensibly the mild-mannered Oxford don, but in reality a former spy, happens to glimpse an old enemy, Ignace Karolyi with vampire Charles Farren, Earl of Ernchester. This meeting can promise no good to the Empire, especially with all of the troubles that are already boiling over in Eastern Europe.

James follows the pair to Paris, hoping to discover what reason an enemy spy and a dangerous vampire could hav
Jan 23, 2011 Elli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, intrigue
Actually I got this book because I just loved her Benjamin January series. They dealt with New Orleans during the early 1800's, life for a family of color within color, mother and children bought as a de facto wife and freed, and living within the strata though their eyes. Excellent. Vampires have never been subject matter of interest to me other than certain legends, and horror?" Oh, no! Intrigue, drama, yes, and the more I got into this, the more I really got into it. England is where it start ...more
Sep 01, 2015 robyn rated it really liked it
Book two in Hambly's vampire series.

This book and the following book, Blood Maidens, both fall victim to involved, convoluted seeming plots that suddenly resolve into something almost too simple to support all the speculation the protagonists have been engaged in. In that sense they're both inferior to the first book, Those Who Hunt the Night.

Where they shine is in suddenly and unexpectedly bringing Don Simon and Lydia forward as real human beings (despite the fact that one of them is dead), cau
In my review of the first book in the James Asher series, Those Who Hunt the Night, I said that I would like to see Lydia take more of an active role. Hambly must have heard me, because most of Traveling with the Dead is devoted to Lydia's adventures as she tries to find James in Constantinople. Unfortunately, however, this focus did not translate into a deepening of Lydia's character; while her love for James came through as strongly as in the first book, she still felt like a secondary charact ...more
Sep 28, 2015 Yan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The plot of this one is a bit of a problem, because it involves one set of characters dogging another two characters across Europe and it feels like it takes them a long time to get anywhere. Also there's a lack of tension because often when Lydia is worrying about James, the reader already knows what's happened to him. And Margaret is a terrible wet rag of a character who seems to just exist to make other people loathe her.

Because I'm me, I did like the OT3 implications, though.
Jan 10, 2014 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this book as well as the first book in the series mostly because I had a hard time figuring out what was going on with the hero midway through the book. In a way this was appropriate since he didn't know where he was or what was going on. What I did like was the atmosphere that Ms. Hambly was able to generate. Also the differentiation between the vampires. They were very definitely not all the same and their personalities were well-defined as were the human characters.

The climax of
Jan 01, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
James recognizes an old adversary and is off on a journey without enough money and with only a brief note home (its amazing how much the cell phone has changed the world - a very different book if it were set today). He ends up traveling with vampires, following vampires, being followed by vampires, etc. Lydia - and I really like her as a characters because she would be tough and creative even if she were moved to 2013 - realizes he is in danger, that he needs her help and also ends up traveling ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book for the characterization. I see a lot of criticism that the plot is overly convoluted, but to be honest I feel that way about virtually every mystery novel I've ever read. The only mysteries I read are either historical, for the sense of place, or supernatural, for the monsters. This series has both, yay!

This second book is superior to the first one, Those Who Hunt the Night, for both sense of place and characterization. Constantinople is vivid.

Don Ysidro is probably my
Kamas Kirian
Another excellent vampire book by Barbara Hambly. It was pretty well paced, though it seemed just a tad rushed at the end. I loved the dynamic between Ysidro and Asher (James) in Those Who Hunt the Night. This book didn't really have that. Ysidro was with Lydia Asher, and James Asher was, for awhile, with Anthea Farren. I like Lydia as a character, but I missed that interaction between Ysidro and James. I did like seeing Vienna and especially Constantinople as venues. I'm looking forward to the ...more
I enjoy a good gothic vampire story. One in which the vampires hsve truly lost all humility and are ruthless predators, not glamorized sex symbols. Asher is the former British spy turned scholar and Ysidro is the 350 year old, spanish nobel born, vampire. They become allies not because of any love or friendship but because Ysidro needs a human to help him during the day, although a kind of respect is developed

In this Asher's wife implores Ysidro help to find her husband who has gone missing whil
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aka Barbara Hamilton

Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.

"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone
More about Barbara Hambly...

Other Books in the Series

James Asher (6 books)
  • Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher, #1)
  • Blood Maidens (James Asher, #3)
  • Magistrates of Hell (James Asher, #4)
  • The Kindred of Darkness (James Asher, #5)
  • Darkness on his Bones (James Asher, #6)

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“The Dead always find ways,” Ysidro said, “to get the living to serve them.” 0 likes
“Refrigeration works, you must know, my dear Frau Asher, by compression of ammonia gas, much better than the old sulfur dioxide system. Sulfur dioxide—that’s a chemical compound—has the inconvenient habit of becoming corrosive and eating up the machinery which stores it.” 0 likes
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