First of all, I didn't finish this book. It's over 800 pages long and I read as much as 500+ but I gave it up all together. For a while I thought I might stick with it and get through it, but one night I just got fed up with it.
I've been reading this novel for almost 6 weeks and I was tired of it. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King and I especially like his novels from the 70's and 80's and I thought I'd like this too being horror from the 80's, but it's not so. I've yet to encounter a writer who writes as well and consistent as the forementioned King, and Dan Simmons isn't coming close. Not with Carrion Comfort at least, maybe other works of his do fit the bill. But enough chitchat, I'll tell you why I didn't like it after a brief summary...
THE PAST... Caught behind the lines of Hitler’s Final Solution, Saul Laski is one of the multitudes destined to die in the notorious Chelmno extermination camp. Until he rises to meet his fate and finds himself face to face with an evil far older, and far greater, than the Nazi’s themselves…
THE PRESENT... Compelled by the encounter to survive at all costs, so begins a journey that for Saul will span decades and cross continents, plunging into the darkest corners of 20th century history to reveal a secret society of beings who may often exist behind the world's most horrible and violent events. Killing from a distance, and by darkly manipulative proxy, they are people with the psychic ability to 'use' humans: read their minds, subjugate them to their wills, experience through their senses, feed off their emotions, force them to acts of unspeakable aggression. Each year, three of the most powerful of this hidden order meet to discuss their ongoing campaign of induced bloodshed and deliberate destruction. But this reunion, something will go terribly wrong. Saul’s quest is about to reach its elusive object, drawing hunter and hunted alike into a struggle that will plumb the depths of mankind’s attraction to violence, and determine the future of the world itself…(www.goodreads.com)All in all, it starts out well. You have quite some bonechilling action right at the beginning, which later on enfolds into a larger story as more people get involved.
We get to know the bad guys... the brain vampires sort of speak, as being evil. They lust for power and status and they don't flinch from using other for their gain or pleasure. Not a single good attribute is been handed out to them. Of course they have a picking order, with an absolutely powerful man at the top who can control most of the others and the cockroaches at the bottom who have to do the dirty work. In between there are those who don't want to walk the same line and cause trouble for their kind, which of course ends in a thrive to eliminate these 'bad eggs'.
At the other side we have the good guys, mere humans of course, which die in mass and you never get to know them as far as the story needs you to know them. Only exception to the rule is Saul and Natalie. He's a jew, formerly being held at a concentration camp where he encounters such a brain vampire but lives to tell and Natalie is introduced as her father is a victim on the battlefield between two brain vampires and she seeks revenge. There was also a deputy from the town where the first battle was held, but he dies quickly and is being thrown aside.
I read over half of the novel and still it wasn't getting to the action. All you get in those 500 pages is a lot of talk about them, a little showdown and most of all people getting eliminated all over the place because not only can these 'vampires' control minds, they seem also to detect whenever someone is investigating them. How 'bout that? And as more and more humans die with no explanation what so ever, you have another story parallel to it, of a old female brain vampire who has no moral obligation, going 'round killing kids and whatnot when they are in her way.
This book mainly bored me, and if it caused an emotion it was mainly being disgusted by the emotionless killing done by the 'vampires'. I don't like people dying as fodder to fill the pages, please give me a little background, just a snip, I don't ask for much more.
Well, since I didn't finish, I'm going to give a rating of the pages I did read. Maybe it would've gotten better near the end, but I guess I'll never know..
Score: 4 out of 10.