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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Midnight Mass--F. Paul Wilson

Of recent date, I have been so preoccupied with getting things done for home and work that I haven't had the wherewithal to indulge in any extensive or demanding reading.  Sometimes my brain just needs candy (as you've probably noted with some of my reviews).  This is an example of candy, but intriguing candy.

Midnight Mass is a story about vampires.  Not your sparkly teen-angst vampires, nor your tortured byronic (I call them moronic) hero vampires.  No, this hearkens back to the bad old days of Salem's Lot and They Thirst.  There's nothing noble or exalted or wonderful or thoughtful or kind or meaningful about this bunch.  They are about destruction and blood.  Period.  Could care less about art, science, technology, literature, or humanity (except as a food source).

The story starts with the Vampires having taken most, if not all of Europe and Connected Asia.  They made it to the East Coast of the United States and the assault on the country has begun.  New York City has fallen and the tendrils are stretching westward from the coast.  We are in a small town in New Jersey on the first night of the onslaught of the vampires.

The story is fast paced, and while it hews to all the ancient knowledge and legendry around the vampire, it introduces a couple of new twists, which, unfortunately, I cannot discuss for fear of damaging the whole for those of you who would like to pick up a light read of this sort.  Suffice to say that there is enough new here to prevent this from becoming your standard vampire tale.

The story centers around an activist group consisting of a Nun, a Priest, and the Priest's niece.  It almost sounds like the set-up for a joke, doesn't it.  But there's nothing jokey about the path these three cut through the town and the vampire onslaught.

F. Paul Wilson isn't one of the top writers out there.  There are infelicities of language here and there through the book, but not enough to detract from the overall flow and interest of the narrative.  The story is compelling, the events as they unfold fascinating, and the twist he has developed on the legend both interesting and begging further exposition--the whys and the wherefores left unexplained here seem to require further development.

However, if evil, grisly, terrible, monstrous vampires are your cup of tea, you'll find much here to delight in.

****--reccommended to adults interested in vampire fiction

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