Thursday 24 June 2010

Book Reviews

Warhammer: Bloodborn
Nathan Long
Black Library

Available Now - £7.99 (Paperback)
Review by Brad Harmer

Ulrika, a female warrior, has recently been turned into a vampire, and she now finds herself attempting to adjust to her new way of life. But when a fellow vampire is killed in Nuln, Ulrika and her mentor, Gabriella, are sent to investigate. Soon they find themselves facing danger from all sides as they attempt to solve a mystery that threatens the very existence of the Lahmian bloodline. How can they hope to destroy something with the power to kill a vampire?

Taking the Gothic fantasy sentiments of Ravenloft and smashing it with a Warhammer, Bloodborn is a rivetting read from the off. All of the characters – especially leads Gabriella and Ulrika – are fantastically conceived and portrayed. They’re vampires that manage to be rounded characters, full of their own motivations and idiosyncrasies, and they can also rip people into shreds without thinking.


Bloodborn’s greatest strength is its merging of three styles: Gothic horror, swashbuckling fantasy, and Takashi Miike style ultraviolence. Whilst a story containing those three elements sounds like “a bit of a chuckle”, let me assure you that in Bloodborn it’s not played for laughs, and it actually works. It calls to mind the styles of the old Penny Dreadfuls from the mid nineteenth century, in the best way.

Combined with a hard-hitting, explodey and unexpected ending, Bloodborn has the potential to become a great ongoing series. In any event, this is best vampire story so far this year.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Frequent, hyper-violent and gory. Bitings, eviscerations, stabbings, slicings, guns and explosions.
Sex/Nudity: Some references, and sexual undertones.
Swearing: None.
Summary: An excellent fantasy/horror novel. The characters are awesome, the set-pieces are exciting and the blood flows frequently. 10/10

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