(Necroscope, #1)

Except to Harry Keogh, Necroscope. And what they tell him is horrifying.

In the Balkan mountains of Rumania, a terrible evil is growing. Long buried in hallowed ground, bound by earth and silver, the master vampire schemes and plots. Trapped in unlife, neither dead nor living, Thibor Ferenczy hungers for freedom and revenge.

The vampire's human tool is Boris Dragosani, part of a super-secret Soviet spy agency. Dragosani is an avid pupil, eager to plumb the depthless evil of the vampire's mind. Ferenczy teaches Dragosani the awful skills of the necromancer, gives him the ability to rip secrets from the mind and bodies of the dead.

Dragosani works not for Ferenczy's freedom but world domination. he will rule the world with knowledge raped from the dead.

His only opponent: Harry Koegh, champion of the dead and the living.

To protect Harry, the dead will do anything--even rise from their graves!

It seems like I’ve had Necroscope and some of its sequels on my bookshelves forever. I think my early twenties I tried reading one of them and got bored in the first chapter so didn’t get back to it. Thanks for a group read at Horror Aficionados group, I finally dug in, stuck with it, and soon became absorbed.

It still takes a mighty long time to take off, but it’s just a slower style, a long tome that promises interest but divides its action sequences randomly. When fight is present, it stands out and doesn’t hold back punches.

Harry is an outcast child trying to fit in at school, blessed with the powers of speaking to the dead. Some may call that a curse, but for him it works as he keeps the dead company. There’s an especially sad death where he shows later he can learn their skills by allowing them temporary possession and getting out of tough spots. When Harry was on the page, I was riveted to the story, loving to read through his viewpoints and what he went through.

The villains of the story were just as fascinating, if not more so. Dragosani is a demented power-seeker who has uncovered a vampire buried deep in the ground. He himself has learned how to unlock the secrets of the dead, but instead of the subtle dance and conversation Harry uses, he rapes it from their minds when they’ve first fallen and are still fresh. Telepathically the evil vampire Ferenczy communicates with him, bringing him closer with knowledge as the web.

It’s a serious book with little joy, but the evil Ferenczy managed to amuse me, especially when teasing Dragosani about his lack of experience. I can’t help but like the putrid character – he’s diseased in soul and mean as a snake, but he’s entertaining to read about.

Unfortunately the book finds itself spending a ridiculous amount of time in the heads of other characters too – characters in political positions that I care absolutely nothing about. The political angles and subplots mixed with these dry characters made the book duller than it deserved to be.

Overall my rating is strong (4 stars), and I was riveted, but I had to skim sometimes through some dull parts. Politics bore me like nothing else does.

The author's guide to the series 

   Book Quotes:

“Blood is the life.”

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