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Studies Under Pressure

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Aug 4, 2013: I’m not a big fan of vampire literature, especially some of the most recent versions, but I liked Safe As Houses, mostly because it follows some regular, everyday people, rather than undead monsters, as protagonists.

In this world, the vampire disaster seems like it’s been something along the lines of the zombie apocalypse, save for the fact that everything is (more or less) the same during the day. For the most part, we’re following two people, Sally Yan, an athletic, adventurous young woman and Lavinia, an older and wiser woman who ends up helping Sally. This is because Sally has been blackmailed into participating in a Home Run, an event where ‘runners’ have to run a course at night, when the vampires are active, usually by going from one home to another and keeping their outside exposure to a minimum. The really interesting stuff starts in the middle of the race, when Lavinia and Sally meet, and continues on after.

In general, the installments have a pleasing amount of action, but what I liked most about them is the fact that they function equally well as intricate, fascinating character studies of our protagonists and some of the other people they meet during the course of the action. One of the other things I found interesting about this series is the way the author plays with old vampire myths, some of which many modern vampire writers seem never to have heard of. The author does a good job of investigating the scope of some of them, and putting different twists on those that seem to ring true through the course of the story.

At any rate, I found little to suggest to improve, save the occasional typo. For those who like post-apocalyptic stories, or for those that have been looking for something other than standard vampire story fare, I recommend you check this story out. I think you’ll be pleased you did.

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Editor’s First Impression

By Fiona Gregory, editor

May 6, 2013: Is it possible to write a fresh, original vampire story nowadays? Surprisingly, yes.

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