The Night Man Cometh by Tony-Paul de Vissage

COMETH
The Night Man Cometh by Tony-Paul de Vissage
Publisher: Class Act Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (376 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In 1249, Damien La Croix willingly choses Undeath rather than perish of the Plague. Once risen as a vampire, he takes his betrothed into the dark with him, but something goes wrong and Antoinette perishes. Thus, Damien begins a solitary walk down the corridors of time in search of Antoinette’s replacement.

Beginning with Konstancza in 15th century Romania where Damien and his garde de nuit serve Voivoide Vlad Drakula, his search extends into the far future to a fateful meeting in a snow-filled Chicago. Until then, Damien meets, loves, and loses each person he thinks may be the one to replace his Antoinette—Kate in Colonial America, who avenges herself against her rapist but prefers to hang rather than become an Undead; Bess, a 21st century Goth, wanting both an Undead lover and a living one and dying for the wrong choice; Michel, a concentration camp guard where Damien and his kind are imprisoned in the human answer to the Vampire Problem; Alyss – descendant of his beloved Konstancza –lost to a rival vampire’s seduction.

All could be his but all perish, for when the Night Man Cometh, can Death be behind…?

Two questions have been on Damian’s mind since his transformation: will I ever find a second soulmate, and is it really possible to change? Only time will tell if he figures out the answer to either of them.

Damian wasn’t exactly a saint during his short first life, and his thirst for violence only becomes more unquenchable once he begins his Undead one. His severe lack of empathy and self-awareness brings depth to his personality even if certain horrid choices make it difficult to find many positive things to say about him early on. What I found most interesting about Damian’s character development, though, was how slowly it takes place. Centuries can pass between the first glimmer of change and the next step in Damian’s evolution, but because those moments are given so much time to take hold in his mind they always felt genuine to this reader.

I would have liked to see more time spent exploring the personalities and interests of Damian’s potential life partners. Some of them are developed well enough for me to understand his attraction to them, but others were given very little time to express their unique qualities. Even love at first sight eventually needs something to back up that first flush of emotion, and this novel would have easily earned a much higher rating had I better understood why he chose some of his paramours.

From the opening scene Mr. de Vissage kept my interest piqued with strong, even pacing. By covering Damian’s journey through such an incredibly long period of time the author is able to slowly build a complex supernatural society that would have been hard to flesh out in such detail in a shorter story. I found certain subplots even more captivating than the focus of Damian’s mission because of how expertly the author weaves everything together from one millennia to the next.

As someone who has never had any exposure to the French language, it was sometimes difficult for me to determine the meanings of French words and phrases that show up routinely in the first few sections of this novel. Some of them were easy to figure out because their English equivalents were so similar to them, but certain words remained a mystery to me until the end. While I understand why the author wanted Damian to retain this part of his heritage, it would have been helpful to either have had a glossary of the terms at the beginning of the book or more context clues about their meanings embedded in the text near them.

By far my favourite part of this book involves how effortlessly the author brings back the traditional approach to vampire mythology. Damian and his associates are sexually alluring to humans, but they are also extremely dangerous, unpredictable creatures. The horror elements of this tale are ubiquitous and include the darkest themes of that genre.

I would especially recommend The Night Man Cometh to anyone who is a fan of Dracula. Even with its flaws, this is a noteworthy example of what vampire fiction can be.

Comments

  1. Is it bad etiquette to thank you for the review? I hope not for I wish to thank you for your perception and comments. Merci!

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