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Just as I was finishing this, I caught a streaming movie called Byzantium produced the same year as this novel. An indie film from Ireland, it concerns two female vampires trying to ditch the murderous attention of an older sect of strictly male immortal bloodsuckers while siphoning off plasma from the general population of a sleepy, off-season coastal town. Like the most contemporary re-imaginings of these legendary monsters, Byzantium and this novel, Motherless Child, are concerned not with hunting them down and staking them, but as misunderstood, lonely creatures or full bore debauchers who revel in the fact that the party's, like, forever, dude. In fact, in both renderings, traditional lore is disregarded: sunlight is offensive, but doesn't kill; no silver bullets, no garlic, no crosses or acidic holy water, hell, even no fangs; no sleeping in coffins; no flying bats, no metamorphosis at all. The girls of Motherless Child will dig into their victims while throwing body parts around, but the heroines of Byzantium confine their culinary necessities to a more cultured sipping of sorts. Both sets of feminine outcasts are inheritors of the Twilight persuasion, and not Poppy Brite's Lost Souls-type variations. And the enemy is other, more traditional vampires with an out-of-date modus operendi.

I liked the movie better.







Earthling Publications Cover for Motherless Child


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