Vampire of the Mists

Vampire of the Mists is an interesting story. Unlike most vampire stories, this one follows a sun elf whose a vampire. While a part of the greater Forgotten Realms setting, it takes place in a separate land called Barovia. The novel also stretches over a long span of years. Overall it has both its good and bad points.

First off, I’m not a huge fan of vampire books. However Golden’s tale holds its own with the likes of Anne Rice. When compared with a story like Interview with a Vampire, Christie’s characters were much more likeable. The story also had a greater focus, and the literary wanderings that Rice sometimes likes to delve into were noticeably absent. At moments the characters really shined and were intriguing. There were some missed opportunities though.

One of the great things about the Forgotten Realms setting is variety. Vampire of the Mists had a strong start as it kicked off in Waterdeep. Yet 95% of the story takes place in the drab setting of Barovia. It’s the classic Transylvania setting: a dark, mist enshrouded place with woods, a village, and a castle. The villagers are all humans and distrustful of outsiders. They are simple minded and easily stirred to lynch anything they don’t understand. Beyond them is some roaming gypsies and another town that is mentioned but never traveled to. Vampires and werewolves rule the night. And that’s it. That’s the main setting and it’s one that isn’t really new. I felt this was a huge missed opportunity to add some spice to the classic vampire tales by throwing in halflings, orcs, dwarves, and all the other species that make the Realms such a varied and interesting place. Instead it was a bit dull.

Secondly the story dragged along too much. Part of this is because of the long lives vampires live. Any story centered on a vampire’s life is naturally going to cover centuries. Story threads went this way and that for most of the book during long spans of decades and even centuries before finally coming together. Sometimes this works, but here it created some confusion. I had no idea where the book was going until just past the halfway mark. The one plot point that was revealed early on was drawn out past the point of interest. The main character had an objective, but seemed too easily distracted and too ignorant of some of the obvious answers. Worst of all the book ended without resolution. The majority (if not all) of the plot threads were left for the next book. It was a little unsatisfying.

Nevertheless, the story wasn’t overly bad. Again, it held its own with Interview with a Vampire. There were some good moments, my favorite being when Jander, the elf vampire, admonishes another character and reveals why he finds being a vampire so dreadful. He longs for the idea that he could be alive again, and he would cherish every day. That passage really churned my emotions. I also enjoyed the chapter that dove into Strahd’s head and revealed his history. Christie really nailed some good character moments. The problem simply being that it felt little overshadowed by some of the bad points of the story.

When the last page was done, I was ultimately left with mixed feelings. I’m not really sure I want to read the next book. In my opinion it was average, and that lukewarm sense has me hesitant to invest my time and emotions into the next novel. But keep all this in mind with a grain of salt. As previously said, I’m not a big fan of vampire stories: Salem’s Lot, Interview with a Vampire, Queen of the Damned, and Vampire of the Mists are all average stories in my opinion. If vampires are your thing and you really enjoyed some of the above books, then Vampire of the Mists may be to your liking.

I give it a 3 out of 5 metal bikinis. While I might not be interested in reading another vampire book by Golden, I didn’t feel that it was a waste of my time or a seriously flawed story.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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