One of the things I love about Halloween is monsters. I love them all, from werewolves and vampires to more uncommon monsters like Barker’s Pinhead, or the ones found in urban legends and mythological folklore. So, for the rest of this month I will be writing a lot about monsters in fiction. I started this week off with a review of Glenn Rolfe’s new werewolf novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, and next week I’ll be reviewing Ellen Datlow’s anthology, THE MONSTROUS, and Hunter Shea’s newest book, THE DOVER DEMON. But today I want to toss some vampires into the fray and I can’t think of a better, more unique offering than DUST DEVILS by Jonathan Janz.
From the product description page on Amazon:
When traveling actors recruited his wife for a plum role, Cody Wilson had no idea they would murder her. Twelve-year-old Willet Black was just as devastated the night the fiends slaughtered everyone he loved. Now Cody and Willet are bent on revenge, but neither of them suspects what they’re really up against.
For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. Even if word of their atrocities were to spread, it would take an army to oppose them. But it is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico, and there is no help for Cody and Willet. The two must battle the vampires—alone—or die trying.
Vampires, when done right, are among my favorite monsters. Some excellent examples of vampires done right are I AM LEGEND, by Richard Matheson, SALEM’S LOT, by Stephen King, and THE STRAIN, by Guillermo del Toro. The vampires in these books are bloodthirsty, vicious killers and the thing that makes them good examples–in addition to fine writing–is that these vampires terrify. Another excellent example of vampires done right is DUST DEVILS, by Jonathan Janz.
DUST DEVILS is atypical of the vampire sub-genre. The stage is unique and appealing, and the characters are developed with a mastery that sets this book apart from others of it’s kind. I’ve said before–and it remains true–that Jonathan Janz writes with a depth of emotion that is all too uncommon in modern fiction. His characters come off the page in three-dimensional high-def with surround sound. His monsters huff their fetid, carrion breath on the back of your neck, appalling and terrifying you, and his protagonists draw you into the story, hurtling you along with a sense of urgency and despair, racing towards a climax that is both horrific and intensely satisfying.
If you’re in the mood for a ridiculously entertaining vampire story in this Halloween season, or you just want to read a damn good horror novel by a master artisan, I can’t recommend DUST DEVILS enough. Jonathan Janz is a young author at the top of his game and he’s only getting better with the passage of time. DUST DEVILS is a fine example of what I’m talking about.
Published by: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
About the author: Jonathan Janz is the author of several previous books, including THE SORROWS, DUST DEVILS, THE DARKEST LULLABY and EXORCIST ROAD. His newest novel, WOLF LAND will be released on November 3, 2015. You can learn more about Jonathan and his work at www.jonathanjanz.com and follow him on twitter here.