Like most of us, Jay had often wondered what had happened
to Chelsea; I guess we all feel that way about lost loves.
We spend time rehearsing scenarios in our heads, how will
we meet them? Will they have changed? For Jay, his musings
are rewarded when he is reunited with Chelsea after five years;
however, it is in circumstances that Jay could not have imagined
in his worst nightmare. Hanging upside down, in bondage gear,
being bled by a bunch of fetishist female vampires might be
some people's idea of a good time, but not Jay's. And as for
how Chelsea had changed, he was pretty sure she wasn't a vampire
the last time they met...
Young Things is the new book by Dominic McDonagh. The
book is less of a novel than a novella as it runs to only
ninety-four pages. My initial feelings about the book were
not great, the book cover and the blurb on the back give the
impression that the book was written for fourteen-year-old
boys who are looking for something salacious to read. However,
I am happy to report, that whilst there is an emphasis on
vampire sexuality this is not at the expense of a well-constructed
and engaging plot.
inclusion of sexuality in vampire stories has a long and honourable
tradition, right from the venerable Bram Stoker, to the more
modern Anne Rice; in this context its inclusion is understandable.
Male vampires often fulfil pseudo rape fantasies; at the least
they represent dominant male sexuality. McDonagh has taken
this iconography and updated it for the twenty-first century;
therefore the girls are described as into bondage which is
another form of domination, though in this case female.
If I had a major problem with the book is that it ends too
soon, me smells a sequel on the horizon. McDonagh whips up
the reader with nefarious villains - not always the vampires
- blood, gore and tense fight scenes only for the book to
end. There was no reason that its couldn't have been expanded
to a full blown novel.
The writing is very cinematic. Whilst reading the book you
feel that this could, without many changes, be made into a
television movie or form the pilot for a new series. After
a few preliminary pages of introduction the plot is fast and
furious, though not at the expense of characterisation. Like
any good story the characters are multi-layered, McDonagh
throws in enough information to grab your attention but also
tantalises you with some historical facts that leave you wanting
this is a nice way to spend an afternoon. Maybe, with luck,
we'll get a chance to spend some more time exploring this
world which hides in the shadows of our modern cities.
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