By Simon Clark
Vampyrrhic Rites is
the sequel to Vampyrrhic
and takes up the story three years later. In the original book four
people joined together to fight and destroy the vampires:
David Leppington, Electra Charnwood, Bernice Mochardi and Jack Black.
Jack Black was my favourite character in the book, but he died while
fighting the good fight against the vampire hoards and I was not sure
how much I would enjoy a sequel in which it seemed unlikely that he
would appear. I needn't have worried, however, because the big thug
still manages to make himself useful this time around, despite the
obvious disadvantage of being dead and dismembered and buried in more
than one grave.
Out of the three survivors, Electra is the only one who still remains
Leppington, where she continues to run the Station Hotel. Jack Black
was probably the only man that Electra could ever have loved. She still
mourns for him and has even named one of her hotel rooms after him.
Electra has also set up a website called The Hotel Midnight, where she
documented the events that happened three years previously. The
site also has a
forum that is designed to help those who have had—or who might
have—similar problems with vampires.
Bernice has never returned to Leppington. She lives alone, in a small
flat, along with the huge collection of boots and shoes that attest to
the fact that has a shoe fetish. Lately though, Bernice has been
feeling strangely unsettled with her life; so perhaps it is time she
and her boots did some walking.
David is working in a busy London Hospital. He has done his best to put
the past behind him, but something strange happens on his thirtieth
birthday: he has quite an unusual conversation with a dead man, and
then—as if that is not surprise enough for one day—his
schizophrenic ex-girlfriend, Katrina, suddenly walks back into his life
and rekindles the embers of an old love that never really
Just as quickly as she appeared, though, Katrina vanishes again,
leaving David with some very confused emotions and an awful lot of
worry when he realizes that she has stopped taking her medication.
Apart from the events of three years ago Electra, Bernice and David all
share something else in common: they have all recently been having
about Jack Black; and, when a new breed of vampire turns up near a lake
called Lazarus Deep, it becomes obvious that Jack Black knows more
about what is going on than they do, and is trying to help them from
beyond the grave.
The vampires this time around live at the bottom of a lake, instead of
underneath the town. Like their predecessors though, they want David
to lead their vampire army. They have also imprisoned a man, named
in a house near the lake. Rowan is in a bad way, but he has been in
constant touch with Electra, through her Hotel Midnight site, and he
wants her help. But is it a trap?
is 504 pages long and it is a good read, but I must
admit I much preferred the first book. Even though Jack Black
still plays a very important part this time around, he is not the man
he once was and—dare I say it?—he never really comes to life as a
character. Jack is like a cardboard cut-out of the man he once was. In
the first book the reader got to see things from Jacks viewpoint. In
this one, however, the reader only receives the other characters
impressions of Jack. He never speaks, and is a ghost of his former
self in more ways than the one.
There are a few new characters added to the mix. Two of which are a
young man named Dylan Adams and a girl called Vicky Lawton. Dylan is
eighteen-years-old and he lives in the small town of Morningdale, which
is not very far from Leppington. Or Lazarus Deep, for that matter. He
is introduced early on in the book (page 9) and when the reader first
meets him he is standing beside Lazarus Deep, in the middle of the
night. Dylan has the chance of a good job in London, and he wants to
take it, but he has always had deep feelings for Vicky and is
feeling a little confused. I suppose he would be just as confused at
home in his bed—and warmer too—but hey, he's young and in love.
Dylan and Vicky are both important characters in the book and their
developing relationship forms an interesting sub-plot. In fact they
turn up more frequently than Denise, who is not perhaps as important
this time around, although she does have a crucial role to play in the
final pages of the book.
you decide that you want to read Vampyrrhic
Rites, I would strongly
recommend reading Vampyrhhic
first because the first book will
give you a better understanding of the main characters, the history
behind the vampires; and the reason for their connection with the
Leppington family. Reading the first book will also give you the chance
to appreciate what a strong character Jack Black was and just how,
and where, he fits into the story.