>The Left Hand by Serenity J Banks

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,  I’m a sucker for Vampires ( pun fully intended). but not just any vampire, I don’t want them to sparkle, I don’t want them hanging around teenage girls, and I sure as hell don’t want mopey navel gazing emo brats that whinge and whine about all of unlifes woes.  I want my vampires to be what they are supposed top be pariahs of society.  Whether full on psychotic killers, like those in Draculas, or twisted scheming demons like those in the Necroscope books. 

Serenity J. Banks novel has Vampires.  I must admit to a fair bit of chauvinistic thoughts before starting this book.  ” A book about vampires written  by a woman!!  This is going to make me want to bang my head against a wall”.  Now ladies calm down, I’m a simple man, a product of my sheltered and simple upbringing, Al Bundy was a role model to me. And I do apologise for my short comings of which there are many.

However it was clear that after the first couple of chapters, Jimmy was not going to have a sore head.  Serenity has crafted an altogether unique twist on the vampire story. This is a story where the vampires are what vampires are supposed to be, evil and down right nasty.    The story is more about the journey and redemption of Eddie, who is  the narrator of the story.  Eddie  is a hopeless down and out junkie, who has lost all faith in man and God.  His chance meeting with Calif, a self appointed warrior of God, who may or may not be more than he seems,  sets him on a journey that will change his life and faith forever.  A journey that will see take on the role of apprentice vampire slayer, travelling from town to town hunting down and destroying all vampires that cross their path, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the media and law enforcement.  this is a war that must be fought in secret. 

Those who are fearing that this is one of these Christian propaganda horror stories, don’t worry.  this like John Prescott’s Pray, which also deals with strong Christian themes, uses them for the good of the story, there is no preaching, no propaganda.  Just one hell of a good story.  Serenity has crafted that novel that flows smoothly from start to finish.  The writing here is assured, it’s clear that Serenity has spent a lot of time honing her craft before publishing this novel.  It can take me a while to get into the rhythm and nuances of a new author.  However, within the first couple of paragraphs, I was completely in the zone, with page after page being devoured.

So what about the vampires?   These are bad boys through and through, hideous rotting corpses that  can use the power of beguilement to mask their true form.   these vampires have no humanity the  truly are demon spawn. Who are   building there numbers for the coming show down with Calif and Eddie.   Even though the vampires here take a back seat in the story, these are no ciphers.  Serenity has produced a fully developed breed of vampires, by the end of the story we know exactly what they are and what drives them.  

The left hand will be part of Dark Continents launch line up.  Which will be going live at The World Horror Con on the 28th of Apr.  If you are going to WHC I highly recommend you search these guys out and get yourself a copy of this and a copy of all their other books.  This is a publishing company that has one hell of a line up of authors.  So far everything that I have read from them has been first class. 

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