Blood Maidens

Blood Maidens

by Barbara Hambly
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Blood Maidens 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
DeborahJRoss More than 1 year ago
If you're nauseated by sparkly, angst-ridden teenage vampires, and you like your dark suspense with wit and political savvy, check out Blood Maidens, the third in Barbara Hambly's turn-of-the-century vampire novels. It's as much mystery as it is adventure or spy novel or horror, both fast-paced and literate. It stands well on its own, although the previous two are highly recommended. Hambly's vampires are neither sparkly nor nice. They're dark and dangerous, and on the eve of World War I, the Kaiser would very much like to enlist them as his agents. Not that this is any concern of the vampires themselves, existing as they do in their own separate, hidden world, one in which even the pleasures of the mind eventually wear away into apathy. (One of the most poignant images in the novel is a once-beloved harp, so long disused that its stings have turned to rust.) Enter James Asher, ex-British spy and former uneasy and unwilling ally of the Renaissance vampire, Don Simon Ysidro. Asher's search for Ysidro's missing friend takes him to St. Petersburg, from its daylight fads for the supernatural and spiritualism, fueled by Rasputin's utterances, to its nightly contest between two claimants to the mastery of the vampire population, to a mysterious woman who by all reason must be a vampire...except she appears in public in daylight. Hambly neatly connects the belief in spontaneous human combustion to the fate of vampires exposed to sunlight. One set of questions gives rise to the next, with the threat of a German-vampire alliance overshadowing the landscape of Europe, all tempered by Hambly's deft and humane touch.
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suzatm07 More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to see that after all of these years another book was coming out in this series. I wanted so much to like this book. I re-read the first two to prepare for this one and I really did not like it. It seemed very disjointed/choppy to me. I don't know if that could have been due to how the book was laid out on the ereader - where you would go to read the next paragraph only to find that it had jumped to the other character without any warning. But I could not put the first two books down - even all of the typos in Traveling with Dead did not keep me from enjoying what I was reading. Blood Maidens fell flat for me. Ysidro - my favorite character - didn't seem the same as he had in the first two books. When I finished the book I just felt disappointed and I'm sorry for that because I have always liked B. Hambly's books. This one - Blood Maidens - I would put at the end of her long list of good books. If you don't read this one you haven't missed much.