Vampires, an inheritance with a secret, archaeology, scary men in white coats : all classic ingredients in this upbeat retelling of the vampyr legend.
HIDDEN breaks with Transylvanian tradition by placing the vampires deep under the soil of Cappadocia where two archaeologists take their families excavating in 1881, triggering off a series of terrifying adventures.
In this timespill narrative, the lives of 19th century Alexandre and 21st century Maddy cross over in a tantalizing weave, rushing headlong towards an uncertain future.
Here is a book crammed with colour: Byzantine imagery, Victorian charm and a Thoroughly Modern Milly - that is, Maddy, an orphaned teenager in the 21st century who suddenly comes into an inheritance. She and her brother move into Marchwood House and begin exploring, only(as might be expected in a paranormal story) nothing is quite as it seems. An iron door in the cellar hides secrets over a hundred years old and through a series of chilling events, the story of the Cappadocian expedition is pieced together along with its impact on Maddy and Alexandre's lives.
The image of the vampire has haunted many cultures, both East and West, yet curiously there is little reference to them in Turkish folklore - although there is an interesting connection :Vlad Tepes, later Dracula, grew up during a period of semi-fealty to Turkey when his father paid tribute to the Sultan. Bloodthirsty reprisals illustrate most of Vlad's life in his efforts to free his country and he passed into legend as a hero to his own people, until Bram Stoker came across his name in a Whitby library book and spawned a literary genre that is flourishing healthily today.
HIDDEN is a new-comer to this tradition and is the first of a trilogy : it is a fast paced, lively narrative, a fun, imaginative YA read (and quite likely to appeal to other audiences), with some unusual twists and turns. Very visual writing (I can imagine this being televised), with the potential to develop quite a following.