Oh, my, another vampire novel? You may find comfort in The Lonely Vampire which has a ground-breaking take on the vampire as a creature with roots in folklore. A stand-alone intimate story with past tense writing, short (five-or-six-page) chapters, writing in first-person from Myrna Ivester’s perspective and third-person point-of-view for the other characters in the novel to give insight into their motivations. Ann Greyson explores the inexplicable bond between the vampires showing readers just how broad a range her imagination can encompass.
In 1578, Transylvania, Romanians and Hungarians everywhere unite for the sole purpose to remove the vampires from society by cutting off their heads or driving a wooden stake through their hearts. Ileana Vladislava, a vampire who had been residing with vampires, such as Ruxandra Tepes and Morsus the Elder for thirty-eight years in a castle 16 miles southwest of Brasov, Romania flees to the town of Gheorgheni in the Szekely Land in eastern Transylvania. From there Ileana escapes to Constanta, a city on the shores of the Black Sea, where she boards a ship for England. Claymor, the werewolf, unique because of a pinch of gray fur on the left side of his face near his ear, plans to go after missing vampires.
2017, Newcastle upon Tyne city in Northumberland, England, Ileana Vladislava is perpetually a lonely vampire in her castle, Wightwick Hall, adjacent to Jesmond Dene Park. Ileana doesn’t like the idea of killing other people in order to survive, rather she feeds on the blood of wild animals or helps herself to bags of blood from the Blood Issue Rooms in the hematology units of hospitals. Watching the film Nosferatu on television, Ileana amuses in the inaccurate depiction of vampires when the character Max Schreck portrays disintegrates from exposure to sunlight. Most true that Ileana thrives in darkness and is sensitive to sunlight, but only long-term exposure will inflict severe burns to her body. When Ileana encounters Myrna at the Newcastle City Library, she has her fangs set on her because there is something about Myrna that sets her apart from anyone else. Longing for a vampire family again, Ileana emerges from sadness and loneliness to make an eternal connection by appearing as a bat in Myrna’s dream. In all actual, Myrna is under hypnosis, in a state of deep trance, spell-inducing sleepwalking into the woods for a rendezvous with Ileana who turns her into a vampire without her consent. An astonishing attraction that teases her at just the right time in her life, Myrna embraces her endless immortality without giving a second’s consideration to her bloodlust. This tale of a good vampire will hold up on its own, and engage your imagination right up to the conflict with the werewolf, who at long last finds Ileana.
In the midst of a life-shaping event, the reader will feel Myrna Ivester’s joys and pains, and will appreciate how her relationship with Ileana develops. Leaving her old life behind (only family aunt Eowyn Dymtrow, nursing assistant job, and best friend Siobhan Mulcahy) is heart-wrenchingly sad enough to make you cry or hold back a tear or two, but Myrna finds what she has always been looking for in the vampire’s life, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Who Myrna is at the beginning of the book is not the same person she is at its end. Join Myrna as she truly discovers who she is and the truth of her destiny.
Nothing can prepare you for Lorraine Krag, a nosy busy-body neighbor, who lives in a house nearby Ileana’s castle. This haughty older woman nags at her husband with a never-ending stream of meddling that may lead to the discovery of the truth about Ileana or reach the wrong conclusion entirely, making things fall out-of-your-chair funny along with a thick vein of sly.
It goes without saying that vampire-novels are not all the same and never quite that simple as The Lonely Vampire moves in a different direction. So much more believable and down to Earth, this story will appeal to vampire aficionados as well as anyone who’s fed up with what passes for horror today. Ann Greyson ups her writing game, digging deep into the quirks of her characters. You can connect to a vampire’s world chock-full of characters (such as April Fielding and Viktor Pavlovic) whose strength comes from being different, outcasts that reclaim the concept of weird, wearing it on their sleeve like a badge of honor. Needless to say, it is another highlight of the book which will no doubt be of interest to vampire fans.
The stakes are higher than ever in this dark, engrossing story full of passion, humor, and a fairy tale ending with such a twist that after reading The Lonely Vampire in its entirety you’ll want to read it again to make sure you really get it. Because in the end none of it is the way you expect it to be, is this story’s most non-conformist aspect of all. The Lonely Vampire has such a good finish, people who read it will feel like they are waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve and, when it does drop, you don’t see it coming and that’s the reason you’ll adore this book.
After the release of The Lonely Vampire, other books coming of Ann Greyson’s manuscripts and novelizations of TV programs by 2025 are: Gotham Kitty, Birdwatcher, The Out World, SpaceWoman, Cowgirls & Indians, The Distressed Damsel, Atlanta Penitentiary Hostage Crisis, and O Christmas Tree children’s book.