Only the fucking Guardian…! The best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror novels – reviews roundup

 

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“In a market replete with Buffy clones and romantic portrayals of angst-ridden teen vampires, do we really need another urban bloodsucker novel? Well, perhaps not – unless that novel is The Truants by Lee Markham (Duckworth Overlook, £12.99). It starts with an interestingly bleak premise, and gets ever darker. Distraught at the suicide of his partner, an “old-one” sits down to die in the light of the rising sun, but is stabbed by a young thug before he expires. As the blade is used again and again, and the old-one’s consciousness moves from victim to victim, Markham examines the grim existences of Britain’s have-nots: drug-addicts and the dispossessed, the poverty-stricken inhabitants of sink estates and the victims of mindless violence. A relentlessly brutal, nihilistic read, told in stripped-down, staccato prose, The Truants uses the metaphor of the vampire to portray society’s true victims and shines a despairingly honest light on areas not usually illuminated by genre fiction.”

Source: The Guardian

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