Friday, June 25, 2010

Jason Dark, Ghost Hunter: Volume II, Theater of Vampires, by Guido Henkel

Theater of Vampires (Jason Dark - Ghost Hunter)Jason Dark returns in the second installment of this series.  Once again aided by Siu Lin, he is after a new menace this time- vampires.  When his old friend Max comes to visit, Jason is treated to a theater show depicting vampiric activity.  After some post theater mingling with the cast, Jason determines these are not mere theatrics, but actual vampires hunting for prey.  When Max is abducted by one of the cast members, Jason and Siu Lin quickly devise plans to rescue him.  Will they be successful?

Once again, Guido Henkel delivers a wonderful gothic horror novella.  The characters of Jason Dark and Siu Lin are revealed a little more in this second volume, but the reader can tell there is a whole lot more the their stories to come.  One of the things I most appreciated about this sequel is that it works exceedingly well as a stand alone story, while still being enriched by having read the first volume.  This is a rarity among series books sometimes.

Henkel also reveals snippits of his personality as a writer.  If I may be so bold, I sensed a bit of homage to Anne Rice in the plot, not to mention a small homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  It was like a literary easter egg, and I loved it! 

I am absolutely fascinated with Henkel's choice to set these novellas in Victorian London.  It is like what would happen if Charles Dickens teamed up with Stephen King.  It is the perfect choice, and one of the many reasons these books stand out from countless others trying to make it in the horror genre.

The action played out well, and I was happy that the ending left the reader wondering if there was more to this story, allowing me to make my own fictional suppositions.  Another fine showing by Henkel, and I look forward to the next volume!

An e-book copy of this work was provided for review courtesy of the author.