Gwyn's Reviews > Dhampir

Dhampir by Barb Hendee
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3691208
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Jul 01, 11

bookshelves: vampires, fantasy
Read from June 29 to July 01, 2011

This is a book I've been looking forward to reading pretty much since the moment I heard of it. It has a lot of potential, but gets too bogged down in genre cliches to live up to that potential. While I enjoyed reading it and will definitely be picking up the next in the series, it was disappointed to see all the opportunities for improvement the authors missed.

Right from the beginning, you feel like you're in a D&D campaign rather than reading a novel. I mean, "studded-leather armor"? A falchion? Really? That's straight from the Player's Handbook. When you read about Magiere entering the village in the beginning of the book, you can practically hear the DM's narrating voice. The settings are poorly developed: Stravina is an improbable, wanna-be Transylvania, and the town of Miiska is alternately described as a fishing village with only one blacksmith and sea port with enough population that no one bats an eye when a few disappear and an inn posh enough for any capital city.

Despite these and many other problems, the book's issues are mainly superficial, and the combination of plot and characters are compelling enough to make you stay up late to finish it. The two main characters have a pleasing chemistry that will no doubt develop further and better in later books, and the two main villains are surprisingly complex. Don't let the hackneyed beginning stop you; keep going until you reach the good stuff.
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