In the Blood

by Scott Miller | Horror |
ISBN: 0595154271 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 3/16/2007
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, March 16, 2007
A while back I was busily collecting as many gay-vampire books as I could find - and there are a LOT of them! - and came across this one on Amazon. It takes an interesting twist on the theme; from the back, it's "...the story of the vampire Zachary Church and Adam Graham, a gay hematologist with HIV, and their budding relationship in the early era of AIDS. If vampires are the only ones who can't be affected by the AIDS virus, do they have some responsibility to pass on their immunity? And for someone with AIDS, what price is too high for acquiring that immunity?..."

Later: I liked some of the ideas in the book, and wanted things to work out for the main characters, but I found the writing a bit awkward - too much telling-instead-of-showing, some conversations that didn't sound like something anyone would actually say - and the tone was inconsistent. I certainly enjoy some snarkiness and humor in my vampire/horror/love stories, but when it appeared here it felt out of place. [One line that I did like: "In the second dream, he was running from something - evil people, a monster, the Carpenters, it was never clear." But it didn't quite fit with the rest of the section, IMO.]

The story does address the ethical problems of vampires who kill people to survive; many of the vampire-romance tales duck neatly around that one way or another, but this one puts it up front. And since Adam is a doctor, his life-or-death-decision ethics have been tested pretty far already, making it more of a challenge for him to accept the situation. The story leads to one final decision point, and the choices Adam and Zack make are the climax of the tale. This could have been more effective, I think, if the back story hadn't meandered so much, and if the focus were a bit clearer. Some good elements, some surprising ones, but it needs a bit of work, I think.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Controlled release: I'm adding this book to KateKintail's LGBT book box. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by kanaye44 from Norwich, Connecticut USA on Saturday, July 26, 2008
Taking this out of the LGBT bookbox.

Journal Entry 4 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Monday, February 23, 2009
Received in the mail just before I headed out of town. I'm looking forward to giving this one a try, since I really enjoy the gay vamp concept and seeing all the different kinds of characters and permutations result.

I'm actually writing a story that sounds like the complete opposite of this (the vamp wants to turn his HIV mortal lover/friend but the mortal doesn't want that).

Thanks so much for the book!

Journal Entry 5 by wingKateKintailwing at Burke, Virginia USA on Monday, January 30, 2012
I wanted to love this book, and I didn't. I woke up on the morning of my own personal Do Nothing But Read Day and decided that it had been sitting beside my bed for almost 3 years untouched. I read it straight through in a few hours, and I didn't even cry at the ending. That's not a particularly great sign, considering everything makes me cry.

The style was definitely tell instead of show and the single flashback (I ADORE vampire flashbacks) that tried to show turned out to be sudden, jarring, and disruptive instead.

The thing that I disliked the most was the character inconsistency. Zack is a vampire who does his best to blend in with humanity and pretend not to be a vampire. But then he goes and just confesses to random people at a party that he's a vampire (he does so because he doesn't expect them to believe him, but still). He absolutely REFUSES to turn someone into a vampire. He will NOT cross that line. But then he goes off with a woman he's just met (even though he's in a serious relationship with that woman's cousin's friend) and ends up turning her because she won't make love to him otherwise (even though he can get sex anywhere and she's nothing special). Makes no sense. He refuses to turn his lover, who is a great person, but he will turn this random person for no real reason. Then there's the drinking of blood. He'll occasionally drink animals (which aren't filling at all) because he doesn't morally like to drink humans. The humans he has to drink are carefully chosen as homeless or members of society who won't be missed. But then he goes and drinks his boyfriend's friend, the man who saved his life at the beginning of the book, because he acts without thinking. These characters think WAY too much and 95% of the book is dialogue, and yet he goes and (off camera, because that's where all the action takes place) kills this important guy, even though he doesn't kill for fun (he claims it's because he thought the guy gave his lover AIDS, and he claims not to know that the guy rescued him, but a few paragraphs before he was aware of that fact). Don't even get me started on Zack's morality/rule-breaking or lack thereof. And, worst of all, you've got Adam, a mortal doctor, who spends the whole book saying he will fight hard for a cure for AIDS, doing all he can to save strangers, friends, and himself. But then it's suddenly revealed at the end that he's Catholic, believes in God, and has always thought that if it's a sick person's time to die that's all right because that's the way God wants it. That makes NO sense to me. I can forgive bad writing and lack of plot if the characters are good... but so many inconsistencies and confusing motivations ruined this story completely for me. I never got a good feel for any of the characters, apart from the one-dimensional ones.

Worst of all, the points of view jumped around constantly. There were only a small number of characters in this book and it would have made more sense to pick one of the main characters and stick with him or even alternate between the two leads. Instead, you've got points of view changing from paragraph to paragraph. At one point, you're with Adam as he makes a phone call, and when the phone call is over, you're with Chaz and Danny, who he'd been on the phone with. This makes things like the angst about revealing that Zack is a vampire lose all emotional impact. And though it lets us explore the thoughts of all the different characters, even secondary ones, the power of the narrative is divided. All that jumping around might have something to do with the inconsistency, as well. Hard to keep everyone straight when you're literally jumping around inside everyone's heads.

All that being said, I enjoyed the basic concept. Blood-related diseases and vampirism seem like the perfect match for a dramatic story involving morality and desire. The emotions behind the story are great, as were many of the morality points brought up. The story sped through it all, though, and I barely felt anything at all for the last chapter, which should have been amazingly powerful (I sobbed my heart out at the end of Forever Knight, which came to a somewhat similar end).

I'm glad I read it, because of the subject matter, but it didn't change my world.

Journal Entry 6 by wingKateKintailwing at emmejo's LGBTQ+ bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, March 29, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (3/30/2015 UTC) at emmejo's LGBTQ+ bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending this off in emmejo's LGBTQ+ bookbox.

I hope it finds a new, loving reader!

Journal Entry 7 by wingemmejowing at Trumansburg, New York USA on Monday, April 06, 2015
This arrived in the LGBTQ+ bookbox. It sounds like this is one of those books that should have been ghostwritten! Some people have good ideas but are terrible writers. I'll give this one a go anyway.

Journal Entry 8 by wingemmejowing at Trumansburg, New York USA on Thursday, December 17, 2015
I'm joining the previous readers on the good idea/bad execution opinion. The unexpected POV changes bothered me the most, because I would assume I was continuing to read something from one characters view, realize my mistake, and then have to go back and try to figure out where it changed. It was an irritating roadbump in this fast-paced, quick-to-read story.

The story also varied wildly between being very ernest and utterly flippant, creating mood whiplash even within paragraphs. The characters were very inconsistent and their actions and motivations seemed to shift to whatever would suit the wobbly plot.

Despite being a very weakly crafted book, I did somehow find it entertaining and engaging. I suspect the light tone and ease of speed-reading it had a lot to do with that. It was a fast, fun romp for a day, but nothing I'd re-read. It is very similar to the plentiful straight paranormal romance stories out there, although I think some of the scare and tension are stronger than the genre's norm, simply because HIV at the time was such an emotionally charged illness.

Journal Entry 9 by wingemmejowing at Trumansburg, New York USA on Friday, March 11, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (3/11/2016 UTC) at Trumansburg, New York USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book is one of the starting novels in the newest round of The Vampire Bookbox

Journal Entry 10 by rubyrebel at Toledo, Ohio USA on Thursday, April 14, 2016
taken out of bookbox

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