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Book Review: Vampyrrhic Rites by Simon Clark


Vampyrrhic Rites by Simon Clark

Vampyrrhic Rites

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 in 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 has 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 died. 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 dreams 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 Rowan, 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?

Vampyrrhic Rites 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.

Simon Clark: Vampyrrhic Rites

Buying Options

If 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.


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