The drought-stricken Louisiana town of Bristol Springs was turning into a living grave. Little by little its desperate citizens were watching their dreams die. But the terrible blight was bringing something else to life--a deadly horror far worse than any earthly bane. A vampire as old as time with powers greater than mere legend, she summoned the beasts of the night to serve her foul will. Fierce, relentless, they made humans their unnatural prey, leaving them helpless victims of her endless blood-thirst...
Now she is growing stronger, insidiously gathering followers, drawing ever closer to completing an unspeakable ritual of nightmare. Only a few townspeople suspect the unthinkable truth; fewer still will try to stop her monstrous plan. But they will be forced to use nature's most savage forces to turn the tide--in a battle where the choice is between eternal torment--or hellish oblivion...
Sidney Williams is the author of thrillers including Dark Hours, Midnight Eyes and Disciples of the Serpent. Early horror novels include Azarius, Blood Hunter, Gnelfs and When Darkness Falls. He also penned three young adult horror novels under the name Michael August. Sidney worked for years as a newspaper reporter with varied beats that included crime and entertainment news. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and currently teaches creative writing.
NIGHT BROTHERS - A VAMPIRE NOVEL is an exemplary horror thriller, a chilling blend of straight-up occult horror with the pacing and excitement of an action thriller. The pace accelerates smoothly and in the story’s latter stages moves to its climax at breakneck speed. Alison and Travis have settled down to manage a small-town newspaper when mysterious and lethal animal attacks start occurring. Parallel with that we are shown Navarra’s occult practice, controlling animals to attack residents as cover for her taking their blood to continue her life-in-death. In the story’s middle she takes an interest in Alison, and this unfolds in a superbly controlled manner redolent of such spiritual horror as Henry James' Turn of the Screw.
Most impressive was the detail and backstory given for all the characters, even relatively minor ones. It’s done with deft and swift economy, never impeding story flow. I realized as I read this how much more powerful mystery and action in any genre become when the reader is given a fuller picture of each character. Thus do character motivation, desire, regrets, preferences, fears, and all the panoply of human emotions percolate in the background as the action unfolds. That said, the story has a multiple protagonist, an ensemble of characters who work together opposing the antagonist, Navarra, and those retainers she gathers about her. Usually I prefer a single heroic protagonist, but this approach works well here.
The story exhibits a rare blend of physical horror, the psychological horror of Navarra’s selective control of minds, and the spiritual horror of her origins, especially in the lengths she’s gone to over the centuries to maintain her line.
Bizarre animal attacks in the small, drought-plagued town of Bristol Springs are only a prelude to something much deadlier - Navarra. Ageless daughter of the night, she awakens after a century's sleep, determined to exact revenge on the town and fulfill what her persecutors had denied her over a century before.
Pretty decent read, though, IMHO, a good fifty pages could have been shaved off without hurting the story any.