Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider, by Ellen C. Maze

It was with some trepidation that I opened my first ever vampire book this weekend. But I couldn't help asking to be involved in reviewing it, due to the sheer amount of noise and success surrounding this particular book.

Beth Rider is an author with a problem when a race of bloodsuckers comes after her for the tale she told in her book. But one pursuer asks why, taking her into his protection - throwing his people into the chaos of the chase.

The major idea here is the correlation of modern vampires to Biblical beings. Following that, it reads like a parable for those who have eyes to see it: the vamps don't need to suck blood or be violent, but they do it to satiate their lust.

I particularly liked the aspect of metafiction - the story within the story. Although we never get to find out what happens in the book Beth wrote (but I hear that's coming out someday for real!), its events and their effects on the vamps are a large part of the plot.

Strangely, it is the character of Beth Rider we see the least of in terms of her internal personality. She is strong in her faith and remarkably unruffled even in the most alarming of situations. Michael Stone on the other hand, the pursuer-turned-protector, is drawn in great detail and depth in the scenes in which he appears.

The plot struck me as very unusual and imaginative. I couldn't tell you another book with a final victory anywhere near similar to this. I'm only sorry there wasn't another round of copyedits to fix the typos and comma use - but those aren't significant enough to spoil a good read.

In all - well done, Ellen Maze. I like the way your brain works. You've heard of "outside the box" - here, there is no box.
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