Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: September 15, 2013
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"The smell of blood is in the air, I sense it even now. People thirst for it; the entire country is mad with desire for it. And now we are going to war with our brothers because they look like us, and because we can smell our blood coursing through their veins...” A mysterious letter starts a university student on a journey into the war-torn lands of rapidly disintegrating Yugoslavia. Naively trusting his enigmatic professor, the student unwittingly descends into a dystopian crucible of decay, destruction, passion, death, romance, lust, immorality, genocide, and forbidden knowledge promising immortality. As the journey grows ever more perilous, he realizes he must confront an ancient evil that has been once again loosed upon the earth: from medieval Bosnia to enlightenment-era Vienna, from the bright beaches of modern-day Southern California to the exotically dark cityscapes of Budapest and Belgrade, and horrors of Bosnia.Thoughts on Kiss of the Butterfly: While I ultimately enjoyed this book and the different take on vampires, it took me a long time to get invested in the characters and what was happening. That said, once I was hooked, I read this bad boy hard and enjoyed the harsh, gritty world that Steven is thrust into.
Here's my warning, these vampires aren't the usual. They're based on Balkan folk tales. They aren't pretty. They aren't glamorous. They're deadly and they spread discord as they hide in plain sight. Wait. Back up. It's not that they aren't pretty-pretty, because some of them are. It's more that these vampires aren't the type you'd want to bring home to meet the folks. They're immoral, wicked creatures who thrive on chaos and destruction.
This book is startling in its ability to paint a picture of a land teetering on the brink of destruction. That this destruction is being brought about by supernatural creatures makes it more chilling because it's so insidious. The countries are flaming out, the people are becoming numb to the atrocities around them, and the land is ripe for wholesale slaughter. In short, it's the perfect atmosphere for vampires to hide in.
As I said, the book has a slow start. It isn't until Steven begins his research in Yugoslavia that things begin to get interesting. Even then, it takes a while for the pieces of information that Steven's unearthing to begin to make sense. Once things start moving, however, they come fast and furious.
Thought provoking and clearly written by someone who has immersed himself in the culture. These aren't your usual vampires and Steven isn't your usual vampire hunter. Which isn't a bad thing.