REVIEW: The Time of Feasting by Mick Farren

REVIEW: The Time of Feasting by Mick FarrenThe Time of Feasting (Renquist Quartet #1) by Mick Farren
Published: Tor Books (1996), Paperback, 384pg
Source: PaperbackSwap
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, GLBTQ, Horror, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Los Angeles, City of Angels, city of dreams. But sometimes the dreams can become nightmares.Victor Renquist, centuries-old Master of a small group of Nosferatu, is working to establish the Colony in L.A. after leaving New York just one step ahead of exposure.

Renquist is uneasy. Ancient instincts warn him that someone is meddling with dark powers. The Council of Nine, the governing board of Apogee, a highly successful quasi-religious cult, is attempting to summon Cthulhu. Renquist must find a way to stop them -- and also solve the problem of the Darklost, a human brought part-way along the road to becoming Nosferatu and then cruelly abandoned. (from Goodreads)

If The Time of Feasting was a movie, it’d be somewhere in the B range. Luckily, I happen to love B movies, so I had a lot of fun reading this. There’s a ton of interesting little details and action stuffed into it, so it moves fast and kept my interest ’til the end. The characters were entertaining (especially the creepy incestuous sisters, one tall and bald and the other like a demonic Shirley Temple), and the history of the nosferatu was interesting and different from other vampire books that I’ve read. Okay, I haven’t read a lot of them but certain details threw me for a loop. (Gotta avoid those spoilers!) Besides the vampires, there’s voodoo priests, fabulous descriptions of the mid-1990’s social scene,and, of course, NYC. I love NYC. I’ve never been, but I love the whole idea of it.

One of the bigger problems I had was that I never really understood the big deal about the Feasting, mostly because it seems to never happen. The Feasting is basically the pent-up frustrations of vampires who subsist on blood bags instead of the fresh stuff, and that’s what these vamps have got. Renquist, being a responsible Master, cooks up a plan to disguise their kills so they don’t get hunted down and killed (again). However, when the Feasting supposedly show up, they all act like, well…vampires. They go around killing people and drinking their blood instead of draining bags. Oh my goodness! Except, oh, wait, that’s what normal vampires do. When you already expect the main characters to be murderous fiends, it’s really no big deal for them to be actually doing that very thing, y’know? The only vampires who actually acted like maniacs were the ones that were unstable to begin with; everyone else was practically a model citizen.

Along with B movies, I love a good antihero. Renquist is perfect: he’s a killer, but he only kills people who want to die anyway. He wants to be a good vampire Master, but those pesky young vampires keep rebelling and threatening to overthrow him. So I was never actually disgusted by anything he did or said (unlike the rebellious vampires), because while Renquist is a killer he’s a likable killer. Such is the irony of both vampires and antiheroes, eh? But then again, I’ve never read a book with a vampire both as the protagonist and as the villian, completely unrepentant. I’m not sure if it’d actually work, especially since I don’t want to be lead through a plot by a person I hate and despise. Anyway.

There’s three more books in the Renquist series, and hopefully all of them are as enjoyable as the first one. I’m itching to know what happens to the colony after the end of The Time of Feasting. Where do they move to? What happens with Julia, the Nazi prostitute-actress and cohort to the colony rebels? Does Renquist fall for her wiles or what? Must know! Must find out! Must read Darklost!

Read: November 2008

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