Traveling with the Dead
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Traveling with the Dead (James Asher #2)

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  811 ratings  ·  48 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...more
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published September 5th 1995 by Del Rey (first published 1995)
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Daniel
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
Jamie
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...more
Wealhtheow
May 03, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Brigdh
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
Tamara
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.
Sara
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
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....more
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"...more
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
Jen
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...more
Elli
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
robyn
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...more
Deborah
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
Bonnie
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...more
Ryan
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
Anna
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...more
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
Joy
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...more
Viccy
Lydia Asher creeps into the lair of the vampire Don Simon Ysidro. Her husband, James, is missing and Lydia suspects he is on the trail of vampires. She solicits assistance from Don Simon and they travel to Constantinople along with a companion Don Simon beguiles into escorting Lydia. James has actually seen one of his enemies from his former life as a spy in "The Great Game" of statesmanship played across Europe before the First World War. He followed Karolyi to Turkey and uncovers a plot to ove...more
Zsor
This is the second book in the Asher vampire series. James and Lydia Asher are once again drawn into the dangerous world of vampires.

A little bit spy novel, a little bit detective novel, I thoroughly enjoyed both the first and second books and intend to read any others. That being said, these books are very similar to her dragon stories - like in another life the lead human characters hunted dragons and in another life the lead vampire was a dragon. There are also a few contradictions and less...more
S.collier
Most everybody else's reviews say it as well or better than I can: story-wise, the first book, "Those Who Hunt The Night", was superior, character-wise, this story is superior.

The "main" story was so convoluted I gave up trying to follow it. I just enjoyed the "other stories" especially the Ysidro/Lydia parts, and Asher's other interactions. I've always liked Barbara Hambly's vampires because they have emotions, yet they are also supernatural monsters. I like the moral dilemma that comes about i...more
Jill
Such good descriptions.
Amanda
Barbara Hambly's vampires are absolutely the best. They are written as genuine predators, not just pretty faces. I loved how she continued exploring the world of the vampires in Traveling with the Dead. She brilliantly balances the monstrous aspects of the vampire nature with glimmers of humanity that draw you to them like moths to flame. Barbara Hambly is also a genius with using historical details in her writing to bring everything to life within her books. I can't wait to sink my teeth into t...more
Kristin
This book took me /forever/ to read. I think I was just focussed on other things.

Once again, Hambly's writing was amazing. She has a great way with words that I truly appreciate.

I got lost a couple times, which could've been because it took so long to read, but once the villain was revealed, I didn't recall hearing about it previously. No investigation. It was weird.

It was a good story. Enjoyable.
Stephanie
Ex-spy James Asher spots agent Karolgi speaking with a vampire named Einchester and assumes the worst. the enemies are recruiting the Undead. He follows them - first to Paris and then to Constantinople. His wife, Lydia, fears he's walking into a trap, so she joins the chase with James's old vampire master Ysidro and an enthralled governess named Margaret. Set in Britian, pre-WWI.

Read-a-likes: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.
Ting
An enjoyable and quick read of the vampire genre. The story and characters are engaging but at times become convoluted and confusing. Many times I found myself re-reading sections trying to understand what was going on and am not sure if this was intentional on the author's part in an attempt to imitate the mysteriousness and ambiguity of the East. Not a bad read overall.
Suzie Quint
I just reread this and it holds up well even though it gets a little slow in the middle. I love the culture Barbara created for the vampires and the unapologetic way they live. I also love that she allows them to love each other, even though love isn't common for them. Ysidro even has an honorable streak in him that makes like a vampire tolerable.
VeganMedusa
I was a bit bored, really. Another one of those books that I felt like I should have been enjoying - it seemed to have many good things about it - but I just couldn't care.
I did realise eventually that this is the second in a series so maybe that would have made a difference, although it seemed to stand alone well.
Bob Caroti
I came upon this book many years after reading 'Those Who Hunt the Night' and was instantly transformed back to the world of vampires and the secret service ... awesome combination! Hambly's best series and a wonderful dark fantasy. Highly Recomended! Looking foward to reading 'Blood Maidens'
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10333
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
More about Barbara Hambly...
Children of the Jedi (Star Wars) Dragonsbane (Winterlands #1) The Time of the Dark (Darwath, #1) Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher, #1) The Armies of Daylight (Darwath, #3)

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