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Those Who Hunt the Night

(James Asher #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,287 ratings  ·  335 reviews
Alternate Cover Edition can be found here.

At the turn of the twentieth century, a former spy is called into service to hunt down a vampire killer...

Once a spy for Queen Victoria, James Asher has fought for Britain on every continent, using his quick wits to protect the Empire at all costs. After years of grueling service, he marries and retires to a simple academic’s life
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published March 23rd 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1988)
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Samuel Silbory The book avoids the vampire fan girl-ism, teen romance, and poorly thought out supernatural powers. This is a vampire novel for people who hated Twili…moreThe book avoids the vampire fan girl-ism, teen romance, and poorly thought out supernatural powers. This is a vampire novel for people who hated Twilight.(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  4,287 ratings  ·  335 reviews

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There came a turn in the vampire oeuvre -- and that turn had much to do with the Anne Rice's vampire novels -- when the inherent eroticism of vampirism, which was one of many vampiric themes, shifted into a full scale fetishization of vampire sexuality.

I don't say this to criticize totally what vampire tales have become. I remain a fan of Lestat, Louis and Armand, and I certainly dig Sookie's Bill and Eric (the less said about Bella's Edward the better), but the fetishization of vampire sexualit
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Wells, Holmes

There’s nothing like a soupcon of horror to keep you awake during a long, slow night, and Those Who Hunt the Night did the trick. It’s been a long time since I was fascinated by vampires, but Hambly goes old-school with this one (or perhaps it was ‘current-school,’ considering it won a Locus Award for horror in 1989) and imbues her Victorian tale with classic gothic horror themes.

Archer is an Oxford don who has done a little extra-curricular work for
There seems to be a trend in current dark fantasy novels, and that is of the misunderstand vampire lover. Most vampires in popular fiction today tend to be romantic leads. There is Twilight, Anita Blake, The Hollows among many. There is nothing wrong with this, though it does raises a host of questions, among them as Ceridwen aptly pointed out in her review of Kitty and the Midnight Hour, what is so attractive about making love too a walking corpse? Wouldn't it be cold? Additionally, the vampire ...more
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cindy by: SciFi and Fantasy Book Club
Being a vampire is hard! Hambly has created some of the most interesting vampire mythology and characterization I've ever experienced. It was worth reading (only just) for a complex take on the hard realities facing vampires, without a silly romance angle. There's also a neat backstory on how a vampire physically changes through the centuries.

However, the language and construction were killing me throughout the book, particularly in the first 2/3 before the action took over. The story gets drug
Nathaniel Lee
Jun 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vampire and history buffs
Shelves: fantasy
Barbara Hambly studied as a historian, and has a real flair for weaving her research subtly and thoroughly into her novels, as opposed to some other authors who also enjoy research (*coughcough*NealStephenson*cough*). This is one of the books that I look to for some solid characterization of 'realistic' vampires, as well as an enjoyable piece of fiction set in Victorian England, which is as close as we ever get to Steampunk these days. (sigh)

Anyway, the book draws a marvelous parallel between th
Jamie Collins
A novel featuring wicked, murderous vampires, which will be refreshing to those who are disgusted by the modern trend of depicting them as romantic heroes. I personally prefer my vampires slightly less evil than this, but I really enjoyed the book.

This is more of a murder mystery than a horror novel. Someone is killing vampires in London, in 1907, and an Oxford don (who's a former spy for the British government) is forced into a search for the perpetrator. I liked the interaction between the don
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hambly-barbara
I originally read this book over twenty years ago and longed to read more of James Asher and his wife Lydia. As the years passed, I forgot about them and was delighted to find that Barbara Hambly has since written more of their adventures and there are now six books in the series! I loved the first one then and I still love it.

Asher is a former spy turned professor and Lydia is a doctor specializing in research. The Ashers are based near London in the early 1900s. As to the vampires, it is wonde
Maggie K
The premise of this book was fantastic---vampires are being killed, and so they hire a human detective to try and solve the murders....

To me, the style went a little back and forth. Sometimes we went along for the ride with the Detective figure, other times it was just exposition. Also, there was a formalness to the writing that kept me at a bit of distance.
All in all, a fairly quick and fun read!
I like Hambly stuff. Period without being pedantic, romance without being sexually explicit, adventure without excess baggage (like testosterone).
James Asher, aging and retiring ex-spy, in the lull before the Great War, is forced into the service of the hidden vampire world to find an elusive killer.
Anna Kļaviņa

When Simon Ysidro meets pretty girl he sees her as his potential dinner and not as his one true love, for that alone this book is worth reading.

Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Third time reading this book and I still love it. It did seem to take forever for me to read this, but as I have stated elsewhere, I'm on a new medication that makes it difficult to read and keep my eyes open. I'm slowly getting used to it, however, so it shouldn't be a persistent problem. I also started to play a "new" video game that has taken up a lot of my free time.

But enough of my excuses for dawdling on this book.

On the third read I found that I am much more familiarized with London tha
How exciting to find a new favorite vampire novel among books I already own. I basically had no expectations going in as I didn't remember purchasing this. I was looking for an "Octoberish" read while doing some housekeeping of my kindle content. I didn't know anything about this author or the fact that this was in a series.
I loved the Victorian setting and the gothic feel but in a very readable story. In contrast to the likes of Dracula. I liked Dracula ok, but didn't find it as pleasant to rea
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Read this a little while ago and forgot to give it a rating. Good book, worth reading but nothing outstanding.
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: SciFi & Fantasy Group 2009-10 Fantasy Selection
This was the Fantasy selection for the Goodreads SciFi and Fantasy Book Club for the month of October 2009. Visit this link to see all of the discussions, group member reviews, etc.

A fun read. Starts off too purple:
...And she'd laughed, the sound bright with delight as the April sunlight. He'd kept that laugh—as he'd kept the damp lift of morning fog from the Cherwell meadows or the other-world sweetness of May morning voices drifting down from Magdalen Tower like the far-off singing of angels—i
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to colleen the convivial curmudgeon by: group read
Shelves: group-read, vampire
2 1/2

This book was one of those books where I kept checking how much I had left to read, and kept motivating myself with "just 150 more pages" "just 75 more... " so on and so forth.

In other words, not exactly a compelling read.

I sort of liked it at first - I liked the writing, and even some of the purpley descriptions. But then they kept going. There were some, though I don't remember specifics and am less than inclined to go through the damn thing to find them, but, anyway, some which were so
Pam Baddeley
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
After enjoying book 2 of this series - which I thought at first was a standalone novel - I decided to obtain a copy of the first book despite having a sketchy idea of what had transpired from the book 2 backstory.

Briefly, James Asher philologist, Oxford lecturer and ex-spy, and his wife Lydia - a rich heiress who has managed to fight societal pressures in order to become a doctor and medical researcher in 1904 - are drawn into the affairs of the Undead when one of them approaches James, initial
Quite possibly the most boring novel about vampires ever written. I was totally drawn in by the good reviews this book got. Did I miss something? The plot is fairly straightforward. Someone is killing the vampires of London. One of these vampires, a 16th century Spanish don, forces an Oxford don (get it?) to help find the killer by threatening his life and that of his wife. The Oxford don is James Asher, a sort of Edwardian James Bond who's been around the world spying for the British - with a l ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hf, paranormal
Interesting twist on the vampire genre, fairly early publication before vampire stories were all the rage. Enjoyed the Victorian setting and how the state of medicine and medical research was moving during the times woven into the story. James Asher, now a professor but also a retired spy for the government, is sought out by the vampire Ysidros Simon to help track a killer of vampires in London. He holds the life of Asher's wife, Lydia, as leverage to get him to assist in finding the killer. He ...more
Jun 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mannerpunk
Oooh. Hambly is very good at characterization, and I always find myself intrigued by her characters. She seems to like taking fantasy tropes and twisting them a bit—not in an annoying, Piers Anthony way of punning and “ooh look how clever and cheeky we are, playing with these stereotypes,” but instead by adding a dash of realism and a spoonful of human emotion. Thus her 1900s spy gets PTSD and tries to retire to an academic life, only to be pulled back into violence by a vampiric threat to his l ...more
2/7/18 $2.99 for Kindle.
I liked this yet it never really took ahold of me, which made the reading of the book longer then it should have been.
if you like Anne Rice, you'll like this. ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really happy I stumbled upon this series. Victorian murder mystery with vampires. Can't wait to get into the rest of the series. ...more
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to read this for ages (seriously, I think it may actually be up in the decades) and finally got around to it... thank you Kindle edition! (Much easier to find something to read while I'm traveling.) This was a nice, refreshing old-school style vampire novel and I loved every minute of it. A fun read, with interesting characters and vampires that really show the alienation from humanity that should exist in creatures who outlive everyone and, of course, hunt people for food. I'm ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This was entertaining and atmospheric but it didn't really hold my attention. I just kept losing focus. ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the characters, plot and the setting. But there were times when the reading was too slow. Still, I do plan to read the next book in the series.
Jason Vanhee
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I read this book. I love is still. It is clearly the main source for much of the ttrpg Vampire, and with good reason, as the vampire society of the book is thoughtful and interesting. ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This almost-steampunk Vampire novel introduces the characters of James Asher, (think Sherlock Holmes for the Home Office), Lydia Asher, his wife and a physician fascinated by blood, and Don Simon Ysidro, one of ‘those who hunt the night.’ Don Simon has been trying to solve the mystery of murdered vampires (coffins exposed to the sun) in London, but needs a human to help out during the day. The book could have been an homage to Sherlock Holmes, but instead seems derivative without adding anything ...more
Jen Jen
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great premise, great characters
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Truly a 4.75
I was in a bit of reading slump these past two weeks and had a difficult time picking up anything. I was struggling with a one book in particular and have shelved it for the time to return later. I grabbed this gem off the Kindle store hoping for something drastically different than what was holding me up. I loved it.
The story follows James Asher who is recruited to look into the murders of several vampires in London. Mr. Asher was completely unaware of the paranormal individuals
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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

Other books in the series

James Asher (8 books)
  • Traveling with the Dead (James Asher, #2)
  • 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)
  • Pale Guardian (James Asher, #7)
  • Prisoner of Midnight (James Asher, #8)

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