The epic tale of the vampire Larten Crepsley continues. The question is – how far can Larten go… alone?
Free from their mentor Seba Nile, Larten Crepsley and Wester Flack join the Cubs – wild young vampires with little respect for human life, and a taste for mindless enjoyment.
For the Cubs, everything is easy. But nothing has ever been easy for Larten, and soon fate throws his life into another spin. With dark paths to travel, Larten finds himself far from the Vampire Mountain and its rules. A long way from home, sick and alone, he must decide what kind of vampire he will be. Whether he will stand firm, be true to his master and his princples – or whether he will lose himself in blood…
Larten and Wester decide to go out on their own to sample the hard drinking playboy lifestyles of Cubs until they are ready to settle back down to the Vampire life. When it is time to test themselves at Vampire Mountain and find their calling, Larten has a crisis of confidence and decides to strike out on his own.
Book 2 starts with the look at the Cub lifestyle of drinking, gambling and whoring, which I really had no interest in reading about. Had the whole book been about this kind of vampire lifestyle, I would have abandoned the book. Thankfully, it didn't last too long and our heroes head back to Seba and their Vampire Mountain experience. I always like the bits at Vampire Mountain and this time we see the confident Larten taking a battering and starting to feel like a failure as a vampire. He is so far removed from the vampire we see in the SODS series, which I found interesting.
We meet a few more old friends in this book. Evanna(don't call me a witch!), Arrow with his human wife and Arra as a grumpy servant of Evanna. This is what I like best in this series, seeing the earlier exploits of some of the characters we know all about from the other books. I also liked the blending of the war into the vampires lives. I did find it a bit amusing to imagine men trying to kill each other while watching a group of weird pale guys hiding under umbrellas on the edge of the battlefield! That just appealed to my strange sense of humour! I also liked the 'Interview with a vampire' scene at the Inn between Larten and Bram Stoker, which was good. The humour in this book is just as good as the previous one.
There is also a lot of good action scenes especially when Larten is out of his mind with vampire flu on the boat. I really liked seeing the crazed vampire followed by the guilt ridden suicidal vampire that he was after the boat journey turns tragic. I like the twists and turns of Larten's character as he continually develops through this series. There is certainly a lot to like about this series though I do agree that it does jump forward in big leaps leaving a few gaps that you would have liked to have been a bit more fleshed out. Still, if the author gave you all of Larten's story, the saga would be about 20 books long!
So a decent read for fans of Larten and it will be interesting to see what happens next.