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Posted May 4, 2012 by The Captain in All Series
 
 

Review: The Last Vampire (Author’s Revised Edition) by Kathryn Meyer Griffith


TLDR recap:

The world has gone mad. Over the course of a few months, the Earth enters a death spiral, and the few remaining humans face the uncertainty of the future in ways varied and mean. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, only desperation and cataclysmic events that surely wiped out the dinosaurs. Emma is a graphic designer who finds a well of strength and iron will that carry her through events large, small, and terrible to eke out a new, unchosen existence after losing everything she holds dear. Even with a new love in her life, nothing is going to be easy, and the punches will just keep coming. The Last Vampire (Author’s Revised Edition) is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

  • Title: The Last Vampire
  • Series: n/a
  • Author: Kathryn Meyer Griffith
  • Prominent Characters: Emma, Matthew
  • Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Horror
  • Recommended reader age: 17+
  • Sexual content level: Low

*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence!***

Thoughts:

This book runs like a freight train off its tracks, fast, hard, unrelenting, and unforgiving. To try to categorize it as simply horror would be incorrect. It is also more than romance, more than urban fantasy. It blends elements of all three genres into a book set in a post apocalyptic world gone mad that the author pulls no punches exploring and exploiting.

There are no humanized vampires in this book that come swooping in and save the protagonist. No sudden appearances of military helicopters or tanks or a stop to the upheaval that the planet is undergoing. This is a study in putting a character in the worst possible situation and then taking that to its logical conclusion — something even worse.

And yet at the end I found myself satisfied. To have given the two main characters, Emma and Matthew, some kind of rosy afterglow would have been nice from the point of view that these two have been through hell and deserve a happy ending. But it would have been complete crap when you look at the rest of the story arc. I would have had to cry foul and toss the Kindle across the room. So, while I felt like things sucked for them, I also felt like it was the only true way to end this story without compromising the integrity of the novel.

Kathryn Meyer Griffith originally wrote this book all the way back in 1992. So this is a revised author’s edition. Imagine that. She wrote vampires with the thread of a love story twenty years ago, can we say innovator? The story is as innovative and fresh now as it was then. This book  won’t suit a pure romance fan, but for those who (like me) enjoy a wide range of genre and damn good storytelling, this is a keeper for your shelves.

The Last Vampire is ballsy, well written, and has that feel of authenticity we’re all looking for in our books. Any time I can nod and say “Crap that sucks, but that’s totally what would happen.”, especially in a horror novel, you’ve got me hooked.

Memorable quotes:

Can you believe this is in chapter one? And it just keeps coming folks…

Another joly hit, almost knocking them down. Hairline cracks shot down the sold wall to their right with violent whip-like sounds.

Emma screamed. Frozen.

Think you like vampires? Think again….

He looked horrified at the question. “Live in humans’ houses? Never. They’re our food. Surely, Emma, you wouldn’t want to live in their places? It would be like living in barns. Where cows and pigs live.”

If you liked The Last Vampire…

Another really fantastic post-apocalyptic book that I read last year with vampires is The Passage by Justin Cronin. Cronin takes advantage of everything that living in that sort of environment has to offer and blows it right out of the water. But be warned, this book is a brick, suitable for holding open doors, smashing bad guys over the head, and pressing flowers flat, if you’re so inclined. Masterful story telling, a plot that won’t quit, and the promise of a sequel. What more can a girl ask for?

I also really enjoyed The Strain and The Fall, parts one and two of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chick Hogan. Fantastic job of setting up a world over come by vampires, disease, and the break down of society. Powerful story telling that punches you in the gut, latches on with bared teeth, and doesn’t let go.

Final thoughts:

For those of you out there that love to read about love, but occasionally just want to read a good spooky story by an author that doesn’t believe in giving a cheat to make the story line easier on her characters, The Last Vampire is for you. Griffith creates a world gone mad and sticks to it, riding it to its inevitable conclusion with tight story telling and the guts to drag you along, squirming and wishing that there was a different possible outcome for the protagonist. The Last Vampire is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

Rating: The Last Vampire (Revised)

A Must-Read!

*This book was originally reviewed for and posted on authorjenniferjames.com.  GT thanks The Captain for sharing it with us!


The Captain

 
When not in pursuit of two small children, a sausage shaped black lab, workaholic husband, crazed hermit crab, bachelor's degree, Jensen Ackles, or editors, I spend time writing and reading PNR/UF as fast as my overtaxed eyes and fingers can read and type. I'm busily writing a series with plenty of Smex Beam deployment and the occasional short story. I am susceptible to bribes involving chocolate, peanut butter, and interesting combinations of the two.