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Posted November 17, 2010
Guido Henkel is a talented writer I met in one of my earlier interviews. And am I ever glad I did!!
The Jason Dark series are dime novels. And if you don't know what those are, they're shorter pieces of fiction with their history originating in the 19th and early 20th century. To quote Wikipedia: "Dime novels are, at least in spirit, the antecedent of today's mass market paperbacks, comic books, and even television shows and movies based on the dime novel genres. In the modern age, "dime novel" has become a term to describe any quickly written, lurid potboiler and as such is generally used as a pejorative to describe a sensationalized yet superficial piece of written work."
Although I'd heard the term "dime novel" previously, I had never actually read one. And I would hardly call them "superficial".
Henkel's series harkens back to Victorian England. It is peppered with supernatural elements and fun historical references. (Bram Stoker makes a cameo in this book!). The Blood Witch, Vol 8 in this series, centers on Jason Dark's adventures against a character based on Elizabeth Báthory - the Blood Countess. She was one of the worst serial killers in history, with some references setting her count at over six hundred victims. Some writings even say she bathed in the blood of her victims in order to conserve her youth and beauty. This is the legend that Henkel does a wonderful job of weaving into his tale. And he adds his own supernatural spin on the story that gives a whole new, and hauntingly sad, dimension to it.
Naturally, Dark is not alone in his battle. He has with him a female counterpart - Siu Lin. She's a martial arts expert that almost acts like his bodyguard. I thought it was a brilliant element that added yet another interesting dimension to this book. And along with this are tantalizing hints at Dark's past. It's enough to whet the appetite and make you want to not only read the earlier books to gather more but also to keep reading the subsequent volumes.
The writing for this book is fast paced with enough detail to get the point across without all the fluff. The Blood Witch was an intriguing read and I now look forward to reading the earlier books in the series. Yes, I read this out of order, and that's fine. From what I can tell, each story stands on its own.
Henkel has now converted one more person to appreciating the dime novel, and in particular the Jason Dark series. The next volume I want to read is called Dead by Dawn. I can't wait!
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Posted December 17, 2011
Henkel again intertwines his novella with history as Bram Stoker is introduced at his Lyceum theater. I absolutely love the literary references and how Henkel keeps writing these famous writers into his work¿ for H.G. Wells, then Jules Verne, and now Bram Stoker. Although Stoker is only in the novel in passing, with few lines, it makes a literary buff, such as myself, giddy.
This was a very interesting story about lycanthropes and witches, intertwining them together as an ancient course wreaks havoc on London. It is another very well written, unique tale that I recommend in this gothic, mystery series.
Posted November 4, 2010
Evil stalks young actress, Fiona Cowie. Fearing for her life, she calls on the esteemed Jason Dark for help. Can he save her - and himself - from the Blood Witch? Another entertaining, fast-paced adventure with a few well-timed twists to keep you turning the pages. I like the way Henkel cleverly drops historical figures and facts into his books. Bram Stoker even makes a cameo appearance in this volume. On a deeper level, Jason Dark and Siu Lu's relationship continues to evolve, the catalyst, a glimpse into Dark's private past. Next one, please.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.