Every Last Drop (Joe Pitt) by Charlie Huston
|Every Last Drop (Joe Pitt) by Charlie Huston|
|Reviewer: Natalie Moran|
|Summary: A refreshingly different and interesting take on the lives of vampires with an awesomely violent and gory atmosphere.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: March 2009|
Joe Pitt is a heavy-drinking, chain-smoking, superhuman Vampyre. A rogue in a secret world of violence and bloodlust set in the heart of The Bronx. Away from the steady infrastructure of American society, the various Vampyre clans have found the perfect place to hide themselves away from the 'Van Helsings' of their world. The clans, each with their own agenda, have claimed a piece of The Bronx as their territory and over the years have established themselves well.
As a loner who has avoided inclusion in a clan, Joe survives by carrying out the dirty work of the more influential clans and is forced to backstab, often literally, those who believe him to be on their side in order to forge his way. He has no regard for anyone except his guiding light and, albeit unusual, girlfriend Evie who serves as his focus in all that he does.
The novel is outstandingly modern, with Huston even abandoning the use of speech marks in favour of dashes which add to the rough tone of the prose. There is an abundance of dialogue, and despite distinctive voices ranging from street talking, frequently swearing Vamps to surprisingly eloquent and sophisticated ones, it can get a little confusing. This isn't helped by the fact that non-Americans may feel a little lost in the setting full of numbered streets and unusual dialects. This said, the novel really couldn't be set anywhere else. The Bronx's high crime rate allows dead bodies to slip unnoticed into darkness, and the squalid living conditions give a lot to the atmosphere created by Huston's comprehensive description.
The author takes a really interesting and original approach to the subject of vampires. The novel does away with the traditional, but implausible, images that surround vampires - those of garlic, crosses and Holy water – so is perfect for readers who find the concept of blood-drinking creatures interesting but crave something a little more credible. The Vampyres of The Bronx are plagued by something referred to as the 'Vyrus'. They are still creatures of the night - as the Vyrus, when exposed to direct sunlight, causes their entire bodies to become cancerous instantly – and attaining a pint of human blood a week allows them to defy age. This proves no easy task for Vampyres not members of the biggest and most powerful clan, who attain their blood by means unknown. The Vyrus is transferred through blood-to-blood contact, but most avoid this by using syringes and blood bags, as more Vampyres means more competition – something they certainly do not need.
The novel is a refreshing change from tales of woe told by individuals damned to an eternity of solitude. On the contrary, these Vampyres are grateful for the power and life that the Vyrus allows them, which makes their stories all the more exciting. No two characters in the book are alike, and Joe's quest to discover the secrets of the Vampyre world is paved with an eclectic mix of unfamiliar faces. The novel isn't for everyone, Huston's style is definitely a question of personal taste, and I'd recommend borrowing the book if you can, rather than buying. If you decide it's to your taste, there are four more novels that follow Joe Pitt in New York - this isn't the first so you may want to read them in order - though I think it works fine as a standalone. There are also plenty more novels by Charlie Huston to sink your teeth into. With this novel he provides a break from tradition and a truly well-construed noir atmosphere complete with violence, gore and debauchery.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals then we think that you might also enjoy Unmarked Graves by Shaun Hutson.
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