London, 1850 by Sebastian Rook
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The cover (I dig sailing ships) and premise (I dig vampires) attracted me to LONDON, 1850, but once I was about 50 pages into it I realized that, well, this book was just sorta ho-hum. It dragged throughout, with just one scene that stayed with me well after I had turned the next page (which I won't reveal for spoiler reasons). The characters of Jack, Ben, and Emily are all lacking complexity and, Sir Donald, the antagonist is unimposing and predictable. In fact, the entire story is formulaic. It's as if the author, Sebastian Rook (a pen name), was following a strict outline handed down from the publisher and was nearly as bored writing this as I was reading it. There was no real sense of drama, no sense of danger, the prose was vapid, the dialog was meh, events just sort of fell neatly into place, and how three kids can fend off hordes of vampires by wielding roses and stabbing the vamps with the thorns is beyond me (the author doesn't bother explaining the details either).
Maybe I expect too much, as this series is intended for the 11-14 year old demographic, but I don't aim to read the other books in "The Vampire Plagues" series. Perhaps they get better, as I believe there are six issues in total and even a boxed set, but one's enough for me. I've got better things to read.
Two stars (out of five). Actually this was 1.5 stars, but I rounded up, as I can't say I hated it—it was just a very predictable, mediocre tale.
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