Review: Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning by VMK Fewers
Monday, August 4, 2008
Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning by V.M.K. Fewers
'Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning' by V.M.K. Fewers is a vampire novel told from two perspectives, in the form of diary entries. Both of the main characters, Orpheus and Jadeon, start us off with an entry from June 2006 as the set up to tell the story of how they became what they are, several hundred years earlier.
Jadeon’s family history is somewhat… interesting. He and his brother, Alex, accidentally witness their father and a group of men performing a ritual over a woman they at first believe to be a witch. The brothers see the woman carried through the family castle screaming, and calling out the name “Orpheus”. Thus begins Jadeon's journey to discover the truth about his father's involvement with the group–The Stone Masters-whose duty it is to kill vampires.
I appreciate that Laurell K. Hamilton and Anne Rice can only produce so many novels a year, and that in-between times vampire fans need a fix. So, this little niche opens up for the rest of vampire fic to have its turn. Unfortuately, Stone Masters is like a skeleton of an Anne Rice novel, without the real flesh, and more importantly blood, which vampires need. Anita Blake without any of the wit, and a poor copy-cat.
Not long ago I read Gabrielle Faust’s 'Eternal Vigilance'. After reading Stone Masters I can appreciate what Faust was doing - she tried to recreate a genre that is wearing rather thin on new material by injecting as much of her own originality as she could. And as it should be. Stone Masters just doesn’t have that jolt of excitement, or even just enough good old gore-fun to keep the reader interested. There is nothing new here, however hard you look, and hope.
The movement from one narrator to the next is confusing, the diaries boring. There was one stand-out moment, which was the description of a nasty witches' ceremony. I felt excited at this point, and for just a moment relieved, because I thought I was finally going to get the dark and scary tale that was hinted at in the story up until this point. No such luck. One good chapter was not enough to save Stone Masters. Poetic prose can be a wonderful thing, but not when it is the veil used simply to cover a weak plot.
I struggled with the book, right from the uninspiring cover art, to the less than satisfactory ending. I know it is not supposed to be taken as one of the literary greats, but there has to be something–it wasn’t even so bad that it was hilarious.
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