- Author: Masood Vahdani
- Publisher: PartridgeSingapore
- Release Date: April 7th, 2015
- Pages: 128
Note: Vahdani reached out to me and offered me a copy of this book to read after seeing my review of Fortune 69. It was my choice to review it. That being said, the content of this review and the ratings given are based on the book itself, not how it was obtained.
Sarah is a tireless and skilled vampire hunter who has just discovered the clues to what could mean a big break in her career. When Sarah is murdered, suspicion arrises within the vampire hunter community about just how valuable the information Sarah discovered may have been, and why someone is working so hard to keep that knowledge a secret. In the wake of her death, Sarah’s son Adam and her old friend Atakan team up uncover the truth about what Sarah had learned.
While the topic of vampires has become more polarizing in the reading community since the Twilight Saga took the stage a decade ago, Beyond the Painting does not follow that YA romantic vein. Much like the works of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series or even Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula, this novel strives for a more old world, mythical approach to vampires.
Beyond the Painting has a sophisticated, organic feel to its world. While the characters are not always endearing, they’re grounded and flawed in interesting ways. Both Atakan and Adam have had strained relationships with Sarah, yet they feel compelled to complete her work. Being her son, Atakan feels a great deal of resentment toward his mother, while to Adam, she is the person in his life who he always let slip away. Atakan’s past as a combat veteran in the Army combined with Adam’s deep sense of self loathing and self harm tendencies make this duo a hostile pair, yet most of the time they work well together. Their banter at times can be annoying, but their skills and ability to keep pressing forward make up for their boyish banter.
In Adam and Atakan’s journey to unlock the clues Sarah left them, we learn more about each of them as an individual.
While the pacing of the story overall wasn’t incredibly fast, there are some scenes that really pull the story along. From a haunting, undead party in a graveyard, to a whorehouse and zombie riddled fight scenes in a bar, there is enough variety to keep Adam and Atakan’s journey interesting.
While the vampire hunters have a good amount of character development to them, they don’t overshadow the vampires in this story. In many ways, the most interesting part of this book is the vampires themselves.
The vampires in this world are refreshingly sophisticated. They are important figures in society and their intelligence goes beyond outsmarting their human foes. These creatures are resilient and comfortable in who they are, again, playing into the older style of vampires readers were used to before the Twilight Saga and Vampire Academy hit the shelves. (No shaming here romantic YA vampire fans, I like those too).
When looking for a light, normal paced read full of vampires that has a bit of an Underworld feel to it, Beyond the Painting fits the bill. Beyond the Painting is available in ebook and print formats through online retailers.