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Oniki (2010)

by Jasper Kent(Favorite Author)
3.48 of 5 Votes: 1
9750711756 (ISBN13: 9789750711756)
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The Danilov Quintet
review 1: One cool thing about the book is that the vampires are pretty realistic. They have advantages over humans, but they have weaknesses to even the balance. Another thing is that the vampires don’t actively seek to increase their numbers. Instead, they rely on those that approach them and share a willingness to give up their humanity. Hence, vampirism is as much a state of mind as a disease or even existence as a separate species. Twelve certainly sounds like an interesting book and it’s the main reason I bought it. Unfortunately, I had a few problems with it. My main complaint is that the book did not feel like a historical novel. Other than political details, there is nothing that made me feel like I was in 19th Century Russia fighting Napoleon. Frankly, the tal... moree could be have been set during Caesar’s conquest of Gaul or the Boxer Rebellion in China for all the importance of the setting. Truly, the book is not about the Napoleonic Wars at all but rather about the main character's battle against the vampires and I think the story suffers for it. To put it another way: if the setting is secondary, why have a vampire story in this time period at all? Part of the problem with this may be Kent’s prose style. The novel is written in first person narrative yet I had quite a bit of difficulty believing in Aleksei’s motivations and actions. For instance, as an officer, Aleksei has a wife and son in St. Petersburg. He also has a mistress in Moscow, yet his love for her is never convincing. Neither did I believe his “instinctive” hatred for the vampires when all his knowledge of them is from fairy tales told by his grandmother. Aleksei even goes so far as to turn against his fellow comrades. Characterization on the whole was better for the supporting cast then it ever was for the voice of the narrative. The last third of the book, exclusively about Aleksei against the vampires, was nearly a slog to read. Twelve has a very interesting premise. Unfortunately, I felt the author didn’t quite pull it off. Perhaps I was expecting too much from a book with a historical setting, or maybe I was not in the right frame of mind when I read it. In any case, the book might still appeal to other readers of vampire or horror fiction.
review 2: My God.I had such high hopes for this series. I love Russian mythology, and I especially love its plethora of vampire myths. The premise of the series was great, and had so much potential.Too bad the author royally fucked it up.The entire time I was reading this book, I was caught in a kind of disbelieving rapture at how much I loathed the protagonist. I felt more sympathy for Christian Grey than I do for this man.When he's not actively cheating on his wife, he's disparaging of their relationship and completely dismissive of her obvious devotion to him. His attitude towards this woman who would obviously do anything for him, and who loves him so completely, is verging on contemptuous. Oh, and when he isn't just being a giant asshole in general to the people around him, he's saying shit to himself like "She was always very astute when it came to politics--especially for a woman." As well as reinforcing cultural stereotypes about Russian culture and gender roles.Oh, Lord, it was pleasant.Don't even get me started on the heavy-handed references to the folk-tale from the beginning. When did authors begin to assume their victims-- excuse me, readers-- were drooling morons? I mean, for all the subtlety in this novel, Kent might as well have said "The Vampires are the monkeys, the French are the rats, and the people of Moscow are the birds, except not really, because the metaphor kind of falls apart there and fuck you."Fuck you too, Kent. Fuck you too. less
Reviews (see all)
Good story but a bit too drawn out, ending felt a bit weak compared to the body of the story.
Very good kept me interested. And wondering. Throughout the book. Enjoyed it a lot
Very difficult to follow, subject goes so slowly.
Interesting twist on the basic vampire story.
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