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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Blood and Dust: A Review

I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. However, I want to say right up front that there were some things that I didn’t like. I didn’t enjoy the graphic sex; I also didn’t enjoy the graphic language. I’m sure that I’m most likely in the minority, and it may be argued that they are an essential part of the story, but I could live without it. The thing that is very interesting, to me, is that the graphic violence didn’t worry me. What does this say about me?

Now, what makes this book great? Great story, great characters, great backdrop, great mythology, it’s a real page turner; a very compelling book.

I think Jason has done a great job on his vampire mythology. With the rise popularity of vampires have come dramatic changes in the mythology. I my opinion vampires, in many cases, have become too easy. They’ve lost their sense of tragedy and, in many cases, become mere supernatural super beings that just happen to (mostly) have to keep out of the sun and drink some blood. Part of the loss of angst is the divesting of the religious element. It’s not surprising that this has happened, but the loss of the ‘cursed by God’ element really weakened the vampire legend. Many vampires stopped being conflicted cursed beings or total monsters.

Jason has succeeded in bringing back the angst, and did it without any religious elements. He did this with an idea of life streams, which I think is brilliant. The book is full of conflicted cursed beings and some total monsters, which is just great.

This was my first horror novel, although I don’t know if I would call it horror. (More like a supernatural action thriller.) Perhaps it’s the graphic sex and language?;)

Jason Hahrung’s books are all well featured in all the current Australian award nomination lists right now and based on this book he deserves recognition. I want to read more of Jason’s work.


  1. I'm with you regarding the graphic sex and language. I'm not a fan. I still like vampire stories though, so I might check this one out.

    1. Do, it's a good read. The intense sex parts I ended up just glossing over, trying to spot if there was any story line I needed to read. The Language seamed to mellow out towards the end of the book. It could have been that I just zoned it out. The violence gets really intense at the end. Which I guess is to be expected.