5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to a winning series
It's the mid-1930s, and even though "The Great War" was supposed to put an end to hostilities, the political situation in Europe seems worse than ever. Saint-Germain has settled in Spain, where he runs a very profitable company that builds airplanes. When the Spanish government decides to overtake the company, Saint-Germain knows he's in danger of being...
Published on Sept. 30 2003 by Lacey Savage
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history, too much repetition
Four thousand year-old vampire Ferenc Ragoczy, Count of Saint-Germaine flees Spain at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Despite his largely successful attempts to mislead those researching him, the Spanish send an assassin after him, tracking him across multiple countries into the United States. Saint-Germaine ends up in San Francisco where a longtime lover welcomes...
Published on Oct. 25 2003 by booksforabuck
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2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn from beginning to end,
By A Customer
I really don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I suppose it's out of loyalty to Saint-Germain. But I must say my hopes for a truly engaging SG book have pretty much been extinquished. There was a time when Yarbro could write...what happened?
I'll overlook the fact that the book opens with an entirely gratuitous and graphic sex scene (can I just say I really don't need a blow by blow description of where the count is sticking his tongue...some things are better left to imagination). But let's move beyond that.
The whole plot of the book was weak. SG leaves Spain on the eve of civil war only to be followed by an assasin of the new regime. Sounds exciting? HA! This is a study in how to make nothing happen throughout an entire book. Things that should have been suspenseful were flattened by endless repetative dialog and an entire lack of action. He must get his lover out of Spain...blah blah blah, lover leaves Spain without incident. He must get out of Spain...blah blah blah, he drives out of Spain without incident. Once he's in America things really pick up. I particularly liked the entire chapter devoted to buying a car. Wheeee! Eleven pages conversations with a saleman...the test drive was really exciting.
It was nice to see Rowena Saxon again (more muff diving). However, the "problems" SG faces with the vinyards he has invested in seem entirely contrived...and again, the action is buried in the repetitive dialog. Let's Beat This Point to Death should have been the title of this book. When action finally does manage to shoulder its way to the fore, Yarbro gets it over with as quickly as possible and gets back to being tedious. SG gets severely injured, turn the page, bing, all better...back to endless yapping.
Die hard fans will still read this just to get their SG fix (look at me). I probably can't talk them out of it. If you've never been introduced to Saint-Germain, for the love of all the forgotten gods, don't start with this one.
4.0 out of 5 stars Saint-Germain Comes to US,
Midnight Harvest, while not as much of an edge-of-seat read as might be a few of the previous books, manages to introduce new connections, resolutions and laying bare of some previously met plots, settings, mysteries and people. Running for his life, as usual, Saint-Germain leaves eve-of-Civil War Spain and makes his way across to America and on to San Francisco. Reuniting with a previous lover, he must survive the attentions of a murderous assassin and help the people he loves and those he cares about survive the attentions of 20th century American villains. While there is not the "cast of thousands" violence seen in some of the earlier adventures, a healthy dose of suspense mixed with Ms. Yarbro's usual extremely competent period scholarship make for a very satisfying read. Saint-Germain is the oldest and, I think, so very romantic of the six vampiric "heroes" in either current TV or books available to us today. This latest book makes for a good addition to any collection of Saint-Germain's adventures, or the beginning of one. After all, you can't beat a bit of sex, violence and learnin' for curl up and enjoyable pleasure.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a disappointment for fans of St. Germain,
By A Customer
For fans of St. Germain, this book is not a disappointment. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro delivers as usual and I hope there are more to come!
If you're a history buff I think it would be difficult not to enjoy. You don't have to love vampires.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting history, too much repetition,
Four thousand year-old vampire Ferenc Ragoczy, Count of Saint-Germaine flees Spain at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Despite his largely successful attempts to mislead those researching him, the Spanish send an assassin after him, tracking him across multiple countries into the United States. Saint-Germaine ends up in San Francisco where a longtime lover welcomes him and near where his investments in California winelands are finally beginning to pay off. Although depression-era United States is not torn by civil war as is Spain, right-wing hate groups threaten Saint-Germaine's Italian partner in the wine business. Somehow, Saint-Germaine must protect both himself and his friends from both assassins and American facists.
Author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro does a fine job conveying a sexy and sophisticated vampire who uses love rather than violence ot gain willing providers to his blood-need. Saint-Germaine's wealth and generosity make him both sexy and a good friend. His four thousand years of life give him a broad range of experiences to draw upon. Together with his vampire ability to stave off the true-death, he is a formidable opponent to the Spanish and American facists.
For the most part, Yarbro's research rings true--from the cars to the movies to the political climate of depression-era America. A few errors stand out--discussions of Molotov Cocktails before this term came into use, description of the load of a shotgun as 'grapeshot' which actually consists of grape-sized balls fired from a cannon, but these can be largely overlooked. More seriously, however, Yarbro choses to slow down the action in her story with long conversations where a few points are discussed ad nauseum. MIDNIGHT HARVEST is interesting. This Spanish Civil War/American Depression historical context, the four-thousand year-old vampire with his two-thousand year-old servant, and the assassination plot are all fascinating. Unfortunately, Yarbro's heavyhanded dialogue and extensive repetition detract from the pleasure.
3.0 out of 5 stars St. Germain in San Francisco when if fizzles,
I have read every one of the St.Germain novels up to now, but I'm beginning to wonder if I will read any more of them. The beloved character has grown stilted with age. The dialog in this outing was frequently wooden, the plot could have been lifted from several of the last 10 novels, and this series seems to me to have lost its spark. There seems to have been more of an attempt to round out the character of Roger. St. Germain's love interest was more interesting than usual. Still, somehow it all just refused to gel. Once again, St. Germain is heroically driven from his home by encroaching bad guys (this time during the Spanish Civil War by Franco's minions.) Once again, St. Germain is followed by an evil assassin. And, once again, St. Germain's love interest is menaced by the bad guys. In a sub-plot, immigrant farmers are menaced by xenophobes wearing sheets.
I think in the future, if I get a hankering to spend some time with St. Germain, I'll go back and read one of the earlier, more heartfelt books. If you have yet to read Hotel Transylvania, Path of the Eclipse, Roman Blood, Out of the House of Life, The Palace, or Tempting Fate---by all means read any of those before this one. Many of the later novels are worth reading, once you've become well and truly hooked, but these last few have had a whiff of doldrums about them.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to a winning series,
It's the mid-1930s, and even though "The Great War" was supposed to put an end to hostilities, the political situation in Europe seems worse than ever. Saint-Germain has settled in Spain, where he runs a very profitable company that builds airplanes. When the Spanish government decides to overtake the company, Saint-Germain knows he's in danger of being imprisoned - or worse. He sees no other option but to flee to America, where Rowena, one of his former lovers is waiting in San Francisco.
America has political and economic issues of her own. At a time when most Americans are struggling with the after-effects of the Stock Market Crash of '29, foreigners are unwelcome. A new group, The White Legion, has vowed to rid America of foreigners taking their jobs. Saint-Germain finds himself in the middle of this dispute, as he's invested heavily in a vineyard owned by an Italian man who has been targeted by the White Legion. Add to that a ruthless killer who has been sent from Spain with orders to kill Saint-Germain, rapid changes in technology, and a wonderfully developed cast of secondary characters, and you have one deeply engaging story!
It's clear that Yarbro has done a great deal of research for MIDNIGHT HARVEST. Rich in detail and beautiful imagery, the setting and time period come alive throughout the novel. Characterization, as in all of Yarbro's works, is magnificent. Saint-Germain is once again perfect in his heroic role, and he's joined by his faithful manservant, Rogerio, and one of his former lovers who is now in her fifties, but no less charming and endearing.
A wonderful addition to the Saint-Germain series, MIDNIGHT HARVEST also stands well on its own, and could serve as a great introduction to Saint-Germain for those unfamiliar with Yarbro's winning series.
3.0 out of 5 stars CaliforniaTravelogue,
I have been reading the St. Germain novels since they were first published. I am very disappointed in this one. While it was fun to see Germain dabble in airplane manufacture, most of the book read like a California travelogue and a catalog of cars in the 1930's. The "threat" moved with the speed of a white Bronco chase. When something exciting finally happened, it was glazed over and the "plots" moved on. It is kinda fun seeing Germain moving around and starting to face modern identification problems, but I could have done without all the speeches about tolerence and bigotry. The last straw was how Germain delt with the threat. Or, rather, he didn't deal... Let's get back to rich, long-ago stories. Or, just go ahead and bring him into the 21st century!
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint-Germaine vs.advancing technology,
Imagine witnessing the rise and fall of the Egyptian and Roman Great Empires. Ferenc Ragoczy, The Comte de Saint-Germain, walked the Earth when Nineva and Tyre fell, met Ghengis Kahn and Imbhtep of Egypt. He is a vampire over four million years old and travels the Earth with his friend and manservant Rogerio who happens to be a youthful two million-year-old ghoul.
At present, Saint-Germain is in Spain on the cusp of it's 1930s civil war and the army plans to confiscate his airplane manufacturing plant. Through careful planning he and Rogerio are able to escape Spain on the very eve of his arrest to travel to the United States to check up on his investments and see Rowena Saxon who shares the blood bond with him. An assassin is sent from Spain to kill Saint-Germain so that the confiscation of his property will not end up in the Spanish courts but the vampire ignores the signs of the assassin's search for him until he starts attacking the vampire's loved ones.
In MIDNIGHT HARVEST, Saint-Germaine is becoming aware that advancing technology is making the world too small for him and his kind to easily blend into accepted normal society. This is how Chelsea Quinn Yarbro keeps her hero fresh through his long literary history by forcing Saint-Germain to deal with the advances of the age in which the plot takes place. The story line is taut and Saint-Germane and his ilk are fascinating as is his opponents. It should prove interesting to see how he copes in the twenty-first century if the author goes that route one day. This novel is an excellent thriller wrapped inside a horror tale.
5.0 out of 5 stars She's Done It Again!!,
As a loyal Yarbro/Saint-Germain fan, it's going to be very hard for me to be objective about this book, but I'll do the best I can.
Allow me to begin by saying: She's done it again!
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro succeeds where many authors fail: Continuing to hold our interest in a character for over 20 years, without any of the bells and whistles that accompany other, more 'traditional' vampire novels, all without compromising the character's dignity and honor.
Set in the 1930's, on the heels of the time period the very popular "Tempting Fate" takes place in, it's obvious from the get go that we're in for quite a ride (pun intended). While the action throughout the novel isn't exactly break-neck speed, this is a very evenly paced story. Whereas some of the novels have, IMHO, dragged in some spots, I didn't detect any lags here at all.
In a way, this book reminded me of a 'buddy/road trip' type movie. Saint-Germain and Roger (who is referred to in this story as 'Rogerio') are forced to flee Spain and fly to the United States after a brief layover in Ireland.
Once they're in the States, we get to meet some very colorful characters, some likeable, some not and most, personalities that we can all relate to in our every day lives i.e, used car salesmen, lawyers, insurance men, policemen, cab drivers, even carpet installers. All of which, help to make this novel very believable as Roger and Saint-Germain do their best to fit into 20th century America while constantly being on guard against forces wishing to do Saint-Germain harm.
That being said, the Saint-Germain/Roger relationship is of great interest to me and I find myself wondering exactly what it is about these two men that, after 2,000 years, not only keeps them together, but makes for such a fantastic team. Yes, loyalty, devotion, respect, honor, gratitude and brotherly love
all play a part, but I sometimes get a bit frustrated with the 'master/servant' thing. By now we know they're way beyond that. I'd just like to see more of the components of their unique friendship outlined and detailed a bit more while they maintain the decorum they've established.
It was a pleasure revisiting Rowena Saxon, now a bit older and wiser than when Saint-Germain first met her in "Writ in Blood", and I found the character of Cenere fascinating. I wish we could have seen a bit more of him, but his face-off with Saint-Germain is worth the price of admission, alone.
And true followers of the series will recognize many references to past and future events/characters that will play important parts in past novels. Ms. Yarbro does a splendid job of filling in those holes for us while still cleverly foreshadowing events that we already know are going to take place.
My favorite part? Saint-Germain haggling over the price of a used Packard. Great stuff!
And of course, the romance/sexual encounters were top-notch.
All in all, another wonderful read by a gifted and prolific author. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!
An easy five stars from me.
You outdid yourself, Ms. Yarbro. Take a bow.
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Midnight Harvest by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 1 2005)
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