on September 12, 2002
Garreth Mikaelian is a fascinatingly different vampire, and maybe the most exciting one of all.
He lives on bottled blood, like most of the vampires I like (Forever Knight etc) and write about (Those of My Blood, Dreamspy -- or even my fantasy vampire, Dorian St. James in the anthology Heaven and Hell from Speculation Press.) But what makes him realistic for me and thus different is the way his ex-partner and family accepts what he is.
It's Garreth who has trouble accepting his human friends' acceptance. His ex-partner's wife is especially interesting for her expertise with the I-Ching and Garreth's attitude toward her pronouncements.
Meanwhile Garreth is acquiring a new family - a vampire family.
This novel, Blood Games, takes us through a necessary transition phase in Garreth's existence, and it's a page turner with a complex multi-leveled plot and rich adult themes.
At the start, Garreth is settled into a stable, somewhat fulfilling and almost happy life. Nothing has happened for years now as he works in the Sheriff's dept. in a small town and becomes well known and trusted. Once again, Lee Killough paints us a picture of a normal person who happens to be a vampire. You can easily picture yourself in his position.
But by the nature of his condition, it can't last. And here in this book is the beginning of change.
The plot is all about chasing a serial killer or three who seem perhaps to be vampires (or think they are). You aren't really sure about what Garreth is chasing until the end -- and neither is he.
He shows us once again that despite being a vampire, he's a cop. It's what he's always been - it's what he wants to be.
And he's still able to use his original identity, but in this novel, he's facing the fact that he must soon move on. And that's the real conflict in this novel - the real developmental tension for these characters -- change. The resistance to change, the confrontation with necessity, the anguished acceptance of change, and the whole new situation that results at the end of the novel -- is all about change.
The new situation at the ending puts me in mind of Fred Saberhagen's FRIEND OF THE FAMILY - the vampire that watches over generations of a human family.
I'm hoping that Lee will carry on Garreth's tale and let us meet up with his family's descendents as he watches over them.
But this book leaves us with a twist. If you like vampire novels at all, you must have this book on your special shelf.
Live Long and Prosper,
on September 22, 2001
Lee Killough's BLOOD GAMES grabs you from the first paragraph and never lets go. Killough masterfully intertwines fantasy, science fiction, psychology and solid police procedures in an excellent and excting story of a vampire detective. Garreth Mikaelian balances his detecting with one foot in this world and one in the vampire world. Yet, throughout the book, he he solves crimes with good detection, sometimes making use ot his unique abilities. I highly ecommend this book. Janet B. Fudala, Ph.D. CEO, Educational Solutions
on July 22, 2001
Sixteen years after he became a vampire, Garreth Mikaelian is back. This time he's hunting a killer - who -might- be a vampire - across the western United States. Lee Killough meshes the police procedural elements of this story with the vampire elements, making a seamless and absorbing whole.
All this takes place against a background where the main character has to take some major life decisions. As in the previous books in this series (published together as "Blood Walk") Killough has done a wonderful job in fleshing out this sympathetic and entirely human vampire and his dilemmas. Many of her secondary characters from this series return, and a new and fascinating character is introduced about two thirds of the way through. If the author writes a sequel I hope she appears in it.
I waited nearly ten years for this book. It was worth it.
on July 13, 2001
Garreth Mikaelian is the original vampire detective, and he's finally back. This book takes place 15 years after the last book in this series (bloodlinks), and the fact that Garreth doesn't age as 'normal' is now starting to become a talking point among his family and the people he works with.
This is an inevitable situation for any vampire-sytle character, if they survive long enough, but not many books actually chronicle with how it would be delt with, given the links to the human world that any vampire would need to survive.
Garreth is grounded in 'real world' police procedures and its limitations, and in many ways that is what sets this series apart from many other 'cop-vampire' books. There are very definate limits to what you can do as a police detective, and still stay as one later when the adventure is over.
In this book, Garreth gets caught in a car accident in daylight, and his is girlfriend killed, while the people who deliberatly crashed into him drink his blood when he is unconcious, beliving him dead.
Garreth is shattered by this turn of events, but in a whirlwind of anger and fear that new vampires have been created, he sets of on a cross country chase down what turns out to be a serial killer.
In many ways this book is a real turning point. What has gone before can no longer be continued and by the end great changes have occured in all the main characters life. It'll be interesting to see where the next book goes.
This book will not be for you if you like vampire stories to be horror stories or full of romance and sex, because this book is really about how a policeman, who just happens to be a vampire, learns to deal with the world as it comes without bending the rules so much that the story becomes ridiculus.
Lee Killough writes fine police based books and by the end you always have the feeling that in the 'real world' this could just have happened. They are always worth reading more than once.