This was an interesting book. Weird devices, weird happenings, weird characters - all of which I like. But there was too much weirdness. I spent most...moreThis was an interesting book. Weird devices, weird happenings, weird characters - all of which I like. But there was too much weirdness. I spent most of the book feeling confused, and when the revelations finally came they were delivered in an underwhelming way. George didn't really figure anything out for himself; instead he kept ending up in situations where other characters simply told him what was happening, in long, rather dry monologues.
Added to which, the population was maybe too weird too. The characters were so busy doing Weird Things that it was impossible to connect with any of them. George himself couldn't pick up the slack, as he was too dull. There may have been interesting reasons why he was dull, but that didn't make him entertaining to read about.
In the end, while there are some really clever ideas in this book, I didn't much enjoy hearing about them.
Also, I was very disappointed in my lovely new paperback edition, which was published only last year. It's like someone picked up a handful of punctuation and scattered it randomly over the text. Full stops, exclamation marks, hyphens and capitalised letters were frequently missing from important places and appeared, at random, in the middle of sentences. There were also some issues with the wrong words used - entrails instead of entails, first instead of fist, oil (most bizarrely) instead of on - which kept interrupting my reading while I tried to figure out what it was supposed to say. How did this make it to print? Definitely the most badly presented print book I've ever read. Poor show. (less)
I first read this book in my mid-teens and I have long recalled it as a book that held me completely mesmerised. I have finally read it again, more th...moreI first read this book in my mid-teens and I have long recalled it as a book that held me completely mesmerised. I have finally read it again, more than ten years later. Would I love it as much as I did the first time? I really did.
'A Taste of Blood Wine' is a complex, detailed portrait of a human family, the Nevilles, and a ring of vampires; the two become dangerously tangled over the course of this book. George Neville is a scientist, with one son (a veteran of the first world war), and three daughters. The middle daughter, Charlotte, is his assistant in his scientific research - and his substitute for his dead wife, her perfect mother. This role has always smothered her, left her unable to express her true self; until she meets Karl, a vampire who is still quite able to feel all the human emotions he ought to have left behind.
Karl intends no harm at all to the Neville family; he only wants to study science. But his presence draws other vampires after him. And besides, he cannot resist Charlotte's mixture of passion and vulnerability... Their love threatens to destroy both Charlotte and her family; and none of them can escape Karl's eternal enemy, Kristian.
This beautiful book is extremely well plotted, and offers a glittering feast of complex, believable characters. But it's not only that: Freda Warrington's prose is stunning. She presents the story in sumptuous, graceful language that's as seductive as the vampires she portrays. This author is one of the greatest we have in fantasy and horror; she deserves much greater acclaim. (less)