Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fangland by John Marks

Book Details
Fangland by John Marks
Paperback, 400 Pages
2008, Penguin
ISBN: 0143112538

As the popularity of Elizabeth Kostova's bestselling The Historian proves, there's always an audience bloodthirsty for quality, page-turning horror. Now, in a marvelously horrifying turn, John Marks-a former 60 Minutes producer-sinks his satirical teeth into twenty-first- century media. In Fangland, Evangeline Harker is an employee of the legendary TV news magazine The Hour. Sent on assignment to Transylvania, she delivers more than a story when mysterious e-mails, coffins, and a creepy guy named Torgu descend on the New York office. This darkly funny tale will appeal to vampire and horror aficionados as well as anyone who's fed up with what passes for "news" today.

Fangland was a very slow read. Usually when a book includes emails, journal entries, and other forms of communications, it helps to move the story along. While these inclusions brought other viewpoints into the story, they didn't do anything to actually liven up the story.

The main character, Evangeline, was all over the place. She was unreliable and unsympathetic. She wasn't the only one. None of the characters gave much of a reason for the reader to care about them at all.

Fangland's version of vampires had weird rules that were hard to understand. They drank blood and were immortal, but even this was strangely different from the norm. They didn't bite their victims as much as bleed them into a bucket to drink after the killing. They chanted place names, which turned humans into their minions. It wasn't explained as to why these things were done.

The idea that a vampire takes over a 60 Minutes type show was much better in theory than it was presented here. For all the intrigue that could have taken place, I found myself largely disappointed. Too much of the "why" was missing to make Fangland a worthwhile read.



  1. Bummer! The last two books your reviewed have only been two shots. I hate it when I have a string of blah reads....

  2. +JMJ+

    And this is a book that really needs that missing "why" you've mentioned, isn't it? I mean, why in the world would vampires want to take over a news show? That's actually a hard premise to sell to a reader like me, so now I know that I'd better steer clear of this book.

    Thanks again, Jennifer!

  3. I'm pretty much over the vampire novel in general, with the exception of The Passage. Those weren't traditional vamps, though, so it worked. Sorry this one was so slow. Sounds like a bit of a mess.

  4. I'm not into vampire novels but this sounded promising and the cover is amazing.

  5. Aw, too bad about this book! It sounds very confusing, and not very well presented. I don't normally enjoy vampire books so I probably won't read it anyways.

  6. Sorry you didn't like this one, Jen! Thanks for participating in the tour anyway! :) Onto the next one, right?! ;)

  7. @Julie P - Luckily, I didn't read the books in a row. I did have some good reads in between with makes things better.

    @Enbrethiliel - That's the thing. Vampire wants to come to America? Sure, I'll believe it. Whats to take over a TV show? I need to know why. What does he want it for? Why a TV show and not something else? It didn't make good use of the situation and I just couldn't get into it.

    @Andi - Mess is a good word. I'm been having much better luck with sci-fi vampires than fantasy vampires lately.

    @Marie - It's hard for me to even say it's a vampire novel, since the mythology wasn't strictly what one would expect. It could have easily been a serial killer novel with a few minor changes.

    @Emidy - There was definitely a lot of confusion.

    @Jennifer - Exactly!

    @Taschima - Aww, indeed :)

  8. This sounded promising but I am glad you were honest in your review. Sometimes books just falls flat :(

  9. It sounded like it could've been better! I love the cover too, reminds me of Dracula :) Great, honest review!

  10. It is hard for me to get into satirical pieces. And part of it is because of the reasons that you essentially listed in your review. While the message might be great for creating discussion points, there isn't always a good story there with well developed awesome characters. And when I'm reading, I'm definitely always looking for that connection with the characters. I'll probably skip this one. They synopsis sounded good but I'm not sure it really delivers all that it could.

    Jennifer @ www.justicejennifer.com

  11. @Felicia - That it did.

    @miss cindy - Thanks. It really could have worked better, at least for me, if it had focused on the TV show instead of Transylvania.

    @Jennifer - I agree. As much as I love a book that generates a good discussion, I'd much rather actually enjoy the reading experience.

  12. I give you two thumbs up for reading the whole book through. I attempted this one a few months back and I didn't make it past 20 pages or so. It was so.... slow, boring for me.... blah!!

  13. @Tandy - Thanks much. I think I deserve them. I really thought about giving up, but it was for an ARC tour and I kept on waiting for it to get better.