By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan
Reviewed by Steve(n)
In his celebrated werewolf trilogy, Glen Duncan has inventively scrutinized the human experience from perspectives abstracted just enough to blur the lines between objective observation and subjective participation. Whereas The Last Werewolf was an existential examination of absolute power, moral compromise, and social isolation, and Talulla Rising explored loss and responsibility through the red fog of lycanthropic animality, By Blood We Live takes a more complex route towards enlightenment – overlapping fractured, expository shards to address themes of love, destiny, and narrative obligation through the telescopic lens of vampiric prescience. All this by way of saying, “It was cool when the werewolves battled the vampires, and all the buildings exploded, and the army men shot the machine guns at the monsters. I wanna read it again.”
In the wake of an interrupted blood sacrifice and the repudiation of a fraudulent prophesy, By Blood We Live establishes an uneasy peace between contentious werewolf and vampire clans. Veiled threats by shadowy government agencies have been upstaged by manifest violence from religious extremists, and, while survival remains a priority, the human ramifications of true immortality take a front seat as a twenty-thousand-year-old vampire seeks to understand his purpose in the world. Told with an unflinching penchant for unsentimental realism, By Blood We Live is a smart and satisfying culmination of this brooding, brilliant saga.
Glen Duncan will be appearing at BookPeople on Tuesday February 18th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss By Blood We Live, answer questions, sign books, and do his best to convince the audience that he himself is not a werewolf. Like every BookPeople event, the festivities are free to attend and open to the public. If you wish to have anything signed by the prestigious and prolific author, all we ask is that you purchase a copy of By Blood We Live from BookPeople. With the full moon this month falling on Valentine’s Day, there should be plenty of shapeshifters in the audience, so stock up on wolfsbane, load your antique revolver with silver bullets, and head down to BookPeople this Tuesday for a literary frenzy.
(And if you can’t make it to the event and would like a signed copy, you can order a signed, personalized book via our website, bookpeople.com. We ship all over the world.)