Book Review: Haunted House of the Vampire by Bruce Markusen
The First Book in the Coopersville Creepers Series
It all starts the night of September in 1978 in Coopersville, New York. Kenny Odom, a young boy, is home alone and watching a horror movie on "Chiller Theater". During a commercial break, he checks on the laundry in the basement. While there, the door down there catches his attention. His parents had told him never to open it but curiosity got the best of him and he opened it. Inside is a locked wooden crate. Kenny opens it and inside is a preserved man. Victor McAuliffe, a vampire. He tells Kenny about how he became a vampire and enlists his help to bring the town's mayor, now retired, to justice for his past crimes before Victor became a vampire. But, being a vampire, can Victor be trusted? A mysterious man, Edward Malone, warns Kenny that Victor is dangerous. Can this information be trusted? Read to find out the truth!
The story is great and very intriguing. My eyes were glued to the page. It's a light and entertaining story but still manages to be mysterious. The story is straightforward with no distracting side stories. I thought it reminded me a little of the 70s Salem's Lot with the boy who enjoys the classic horror films and legends and the vampire in the basement.
There's a few very minor inconsistencies but so minor, they're easily overlooked.
I just love the atmosphere. As I stated previously, it felt like Salem's Lot and the classic 50s horror scene. It felt very laid back. It was fairly colorful but could've use a touch more depth.
The main characters were few so they were easy to keep track of. Kenny is young, loves horror and fantasy yet is mature in other ways. At times, he's unsure of who to believe. He's likeable. Victor is a fairly new vampire who thinks he's very knowledgeable. He has an ominous air about him but has had no real experience. Still he's a likeable character. The mysterious man, Edward Malone. seems like a modern-day Van Helsing but his affiliation is up in the air. The rest of characters are most there as background and not drawn out much.
All of the characters could've been drawn out with more details but they're fine otherwise.
Great pace, very smooth, and doesn't fluctuate.
The author's style is straightforward with no distractions. Colorful without pointless details or plot devices. Very nice.
While the book has a few minor issues, it's still a fairly good book from this newcomer to the horror novel genre. It's great for a light and easy read for all ages, with little gore and no sex. The author incorporated several different cultures' vampire legends into the story, some of which were new and very intriguing to me – a good vacation from the monotony of the standard vampire legends and rules. The ending has a twist which kept me wanting more. I can't wait until the second book! At just over 100 pages, it seems a bit short for a novel though. Still, very nice and I expect Bruce to grow into a great author in the future. 3/5
Amazon and Amber Quill Press