I really enjoyed this story. It packed a lot of punch—and not a sparkle in sight.
Centering on a vampire and its kill of the night, Das Vampir switches between the viewpoint of the creature, and its unsuspecting victims. From the introduction of the first human character, you get a sense of normalcy and safety—that you know is about to be destroyed. The banter between the crew fleshes them out well and the detailed imagery put me right on the ship with them. I felt their anxiety about the catch, their need to get home after a long separation from their families. There was an underlying notion of eeriness to the isolation that comes with being alone on the water at night.
I’m of the mindset that vampires are meant to be frightening. And this one certainly is. It’s driven purely by instinct and the need to feed. Yet, on occasion, instinct says there had once been something more. It’s in these moments that the author does a fantastic job invoking just the right amount of sympathy for his monster. His subtle hints of a forgotten past transformed an average creature of the night into a compelling character. I wanted to know more. I could see a full length novel spun around its origins. But I wasn’t left feeling frustrated by any means. Mr. Reinhart expertly takes you through the creature’s fleeting ponderings of what was, sparking your imagination to fill in the blanks.
I was engrossed from the first paragraph. The writing has a wonderful poetic quality to it. Even the crabs were creepy! The cyclical nature of the story made for a complete and satisfying ending to a good, old fashioned (and wonderfully disturbing) vampire tale.
You can find out more about Tom Reinhart and his work at http://www.tomreinhart.com/