Every October I re-read Dracula. It's a tradition for me. I've also thought for decades that Dracula's journey on the Demeter would make a great standEvery October I re-read Dracula. It's a tradition for me. I've also thought for decades that Dracula's journey on the Demeter would make a great stand-alone story.
I've never met Mr. Lamoreux, but I have interacted with him through email (briefly) when he submitted a short story for a Halloween collection I put together. When I saw that he'd actually written a book based on the Demeter I was immediately skeptical.
Writing a book about Stoker's vampire is a tricky game to play. Hollywood (in my opinion) has been incorrectly interpreting that character for the past century.
I'm very happy to say that Mr. Lamoreux succeeded where most have failed.
This book felt like a true companion to Stoker's novel. Dracula's Demeter is clearly a labor of love.
This book felt... well... it felt real. The crew of the Demeter felt real. The dialogue felt genuine for the time period. And most importantly, this book felt like it existed in the same world as Stoker's novel. The Dracula in this book isn't Bela Lugosi. He isn't Coppola's interpretation of the character.
This is Bram Stoker's Dracula in all his bloodthirsty glory.
Overall, I was incredibly impressed by this book. It isn't a cheap rip-off and it isn't trying to cash in on Dracula. This book respects Stoker's novel in every possible way.
If you've never read Dracula, find it and read it.
Then, after you're done, read Dracula's Demeter. ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In many ways, it felt like two books: One about Allison's personal life and another about her greater destiny.
AllisonI thoroughly enjoyed this book. In many ways, it felt like two books: One about Allison's personal life and another about her greater destiny.
Allison's personal life isn't just character development. It's a full story running alongside the fantastical story. Salter gives her personal life every bit as much attention as he gives her destiny (if not more).
As the story progresses, however, the epic elements take center stage. It becomes more about Allison's destiny. Salter does a good job of maintaining the balance between the grounded and the fantastic.
The one complaint I have (and this isn't really a complaint) is that the story almost felt too big for one book. I would have liked to have seen it explored in three full length novels instead of just one. Certain periods of Allison's life was summarized; it would have been nice to see it fully explored.
That's hardly a criticism, though, considering the complaint is basically that I'd liked to have seen more from this tale.
Overall, an enjoyable ride. I'm definitely glad I read it. In regards to tone, it felt very much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Lord of the Rings (which is appropriate since the author credits both as inspirations).
One last note, the amount of crafting that went into the world-building is very impressive. The divine language used in this book felt very... well, real.
Full disclosure, this book was written by a fellow author I consider a friend. My review, however, is completely honest (as I promised Mr. Boggs it woFull disclosure, this book was written by a fellow author I consider a friend. My review, however, is completely honest (as I promised Mr. Boggs it would be).
To my relief, I found that I really enjoyed this book. The book is a historical fiction that alters a significant piece of human history. Instead of the English, this book deals with what would have happened if Vikings were the first people to permanently colonize America.
It felt very genuine and it's obvious that Boggs put a ton of effort into staying true to the hearts and souls of both Native Americans and Vikings (specifically Jomsvikings).
At first, the book was a little intimidating. I'm no historian, so the names were a bit unfamiliar. As I read on and became more familiar with the terms and names, though, I found that I genuinely enjoyed the writing style.
I'm a big fan of the Robert E. Howard Conan books and Boggs' writing style felt very similar. He doesn't waste words. He just tells you what happens and moves on with the story. I enjoy that style very much. I don't need 5 pages to explain the exact design of a carpet pattern.
There are a few things I think potential readers should know...
This book is for people who enjoy history. I happen to love the world of the ancient Norse, so I was hooked quickly. While I think this book is a good character piece that transcends setting, if you are generally repelled by viking stories, it might not be the book for you. This book has a Norse heart, which leads me to my next warning...
This is not a book for kids. As the book progresses, it gets more visceral, sometimes disturbingly so. To say it's violent is an understatement. For me, that greatly enhanced the story, because the violence wasn't gratuitous. It felt like an honest reflection of the culture of these characters. But make no mistake, this book gets bloody. Boggs didn't pull punches with these characters, and I'm glad he didn't.
The third thing I think potential readers should know is that this book isn't a stand alone novel. Personally, I think it would do fine on its own, but Valdimar's journey is really just beginning by the end of this book. I'm not sure if it's an ongoing series or a trilogy, but there's definitely more to come (Boggs gives an excerpt of book two at the end).
I'm definitely looking forward to the second book. ...more