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Well-developed protagonists. A wonderfully classic vampire antagonist. Some of the " old stuff " just what the world needs. I always enjoy seeing horror brought to a western or frontier setting. I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable.
Sheep’s Clothing by Elizabeth Einspanier has all the potential of a great book. Her Vampires display all the traditional characteristics of the classics, no sparkling or glittering in sunshine for Alexandre Russeau, trying to overcome the monster within by munching on wild game or attempting to assimilate into the community by being Mr Nice-guy or getting in touch with his feelings, in fact Russeau very much reflects the more traditional vampires to such an extent that I felt that any moment in the book he would be revealed as a descendant of Dracula himself. It is this refusal to impose current ideology on her ‘monsters’ that most appealed to me in Elizabeth Einspanier’s text; most modern vampire fiction attempts to humanise fictional ‘evil’ in line with contemporary needs to justify and explain the reasons for ‘evil’ itself; as a society we seem to apply the ‘nature vs nurture’ physiological debate to fictional and non-fictional ‘characters’ alike with the winning ‘nurture’ often justifying atrocities in the name of a ‘bad childhood’ or not being loved enough. Not so in Einspanier’s text, here there are no ambiguities and we are urged to pick up our pitchforks and our burning torches (or we would be if Doc and Wolf had not come to the rescue) and smite the ‘vicious and feral‘ vampires with no reservations.
Another interesting aspect of Russeau and his ‘brides’ is their OCD-like need to count, while Arithmomania was common to vampires in early folklore, in literature it now seems to be limited to the Muppet’s Count von Count, and for good reason; if Vampires were so easily distracted that a simple sprinkling of rice could keep them busy for hours and hence keep their potential victims safe, wouldn’t every vampire hunting kit contain a bag of basmati? I can’t help but reimagine all the great vampire showdowns; who needs stealth, cunning and bravery…Van Helsing seems a lot less impressive armed to the teeth with lentils but I like the inclusion of this characteristic in Einspanier’s vampires, it enhances the folklore background of the narrative.
Sheep’s Clothing is good escapism, it is fast moving and action packed but I would have loved it to be a bit longer so I could engage with Doc Meadows and Wolf’s back stories a bit more as I’m sure their fight against Salvation’s villain would have been more poignant if the reader was a bit more invested in the two men and their relationships but perhaps this would hinder their traditional fight against evil.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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