Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Fangland," by John Marks

Fangland is unlike any book I've ever read, though it has been called a new take on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Forget the romantic vampire who seduces his victim before plunging his fangs into her neck. This book's dark villain uses a bucket and knife for his bloodletting, but it's his song of whispered places of the slain that drives to madness.

Evangeline Harker is an associate producer at the news show The Hour (think 60 Minutes). She is sent to Romania to scout the location and meet with crime lord Ion Torgu for a possible interview. Once there, she meets fellow American Clementine Spence, who travels with Evangeline to Transylvania, where she is scheduled to meet Torgu. After they part ways, Evangeline is abducted, not to be heard from again for months.

Now, the first third of the story was all Evangeline's to tell. And it was a creepy one, let me tell you. I could visualize it as a movie. I'm not usually scared by books, but this one was giving me goosebumps.

Then the rest of the book went back and forth between journal entries, emails, and so on. A virus infects the staff of The Hour, making editors and producers start losing their minds and, for a few, even their own lives.

I don't know how much I liked this book. It was definitely different and clever. There were some very spooky parts, which I liked. I think maybe if I had written this book, I would have stuck to one narrator. Possibly two. And I'm not sure exactly what thoughts the author wanted to leave the readers with, a sense of media as an outlet for the evils of the world? Or is it that we've become immune to the horrors out there, and by ignoring it, we're creating a greater injustice? Hmm... Deep thoughts.

4 stars


metamorphose said...

me likey the cover.

Anonymous said...

I thought the emails and journal entries were very annoying, to tell you the truth. Haha I found myself swearing at the book every time I would turn to one of those ;) I felt like it stopped the action. But I loved the book, all around. The sheer horror Mr. Marks used in his writing was great. He has a very professional and straight-forward style.

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