The Vampire Genevieve by Jack Yeovil Rothdas book review RSS
3.0 Stars

Another shockingly competent genre fantasy entry. In this case, I feel like what happened was that a marketing guy came up with the idea "let's publish an enormous story cycle about a sexy, 16 year old looking vampire in the WarHammer universe", an idea that is almost guaranteed to be terrible. And then they passed that mandate off to the author, and the author proceeded to write a series of stories that did their best to avoid said vampire. Genevieve is usually no more than one out of an ensemble of characters, and in one story she literally just drops in to say "hi" to the main characters and then disappears for the rest of the narrative. And where Genevieve does show up and take part, she is usually not one of the leading lights and instead is a sort of affectless or "cold" space in the narrative. It's not that she is written badly, it's more that she suffers from a 600 year bout of ennui and is rarely as fully involved in the events as the other characters are.

So, some examples. Perhaps the first 300 pages are about plays-within-plays-within-plays, and delve surprisingly deep into the running of a theater company in a world of murderous magic and mutation. One of the real main characters of the story cycle, Detlef the writer/producer, is introduced and has an on-again-off-again thing with Genevieve. The author also builds up a number of characters, events, and locations that transfer from story to story, so that over the course of the 700 pages you gradually come to recognize different bars, nobles, city-factions, etc. Several events that are mentioned in passing in one story (e.g. a serial killer or civil unrest) are explored fully in other stories, as other members of the ensemble deal with them. And the long lived nature of Mrs G. allows for checking in on different characters at different portions of their lives. I liked this aspect, and particularly how it allowed some parts of the story to be told in reverse chronological order. What else do we have. There is a unicorn hunt, which makes the wise choice of making the unicorn gigantic, an absolute unit. There are some stories of other vampires, in particular Genevieve's 1200 year old grandmother. There are a couple of hunt-the-serial killer cases, which mix elements of Jack the Ripper, Basic Instinct, and Dirty Harry. Many of the stories are surprisingly and viscerally gory, even for WarHammer. The later stories are also have a lot more variance; in some of them the author seems to be taking his task progressively less seriously, like a GM at the end of an unraveling D and D campaign. Others have these weird injections psycho-sexual Ghost Busters II goo, particularly the Unicorn and the Jack the Ripper story. I don't know if I object to these, I would need to read and understand the author better before doing that, but I am sure some people would object to them. It's certainly not what I expected going into these stories. None of it is remotely canon for WarHammer. The author even pokes some gentle fun at some of the other WarHammer series at several points (e.g. they track down Gotrek and Felix at a bar, where it was mentioned 200 pages earlier that it was the city's main gay bar). Anyway! If you'd like some WarHammer stories by a skilled author who doesn't take his mission statement or genre-world or task entirely seriously, this is a good place to go.