Review: Kell’s Legend

Review: Kell’s Legend

Kell’s Legend
The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles #1
by Andy Remic
published by Angry Robot Books  (a publisher specializing in “…modern adult science fiction, fantasy and everything inbetween”)

 “I know you think me sadistic. You are incorrect. When I punish, I punish without pleasure. When I torture, I torture for knowledge, progression, and for truth. And when I kill…” General Graal placed both hands on the icy battlements, staring dream-like to the haze of distant Black Pike Mountains caught shimmering and unreal through the mist: huge, defiant, proud, unconquered. He grinned a narrow, skeletal grin. “Then I kill to feed.”
–Andy Remic
writing in Kell’s Legend

Remic’s work has been likened to the pulp writers of the 1930s and 1940s. To me, though, it was much more evocative of the 1970s.  In particular, readers of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné series may have a sense of familiarity.

That’s not just because of the albino warriors and the sentient, blood-thirsty, weapon (Kell’s axe Ilanna to Elric’s  sword Stormbringer).   Part of 70s New Wave science fiction was pushing the boundaries…sex, violence…and “heroes” who did bad, bad things.

Remic’s characters are well-drawn.  The world has some fascinating character types and set pieces you’ll remember.

You have to be prepared for it to be graphic.  The idea of “clockwork vampires” might make this sound like an interesting read for your young teenager…but you might find yourself explaining some mechanics of sex, some obscenities…and why men would treat women that way.

That’s another issue: this is not a female-friendly world.  It’s not quite as extreme as John Norman’s Gor series, but some people may find it offensive.  Whether the author is treating women badly or not is a different question.  I’m very careful about spoilers, so I’ll let you make that assessment if you read it.

While the events in the plot are generally negative, there is some humor…again, like those books (and movies) of the seventies.

The book moves pretty quickly.  There are sometimes multiple threads of the story that will end with a cliffhanger and then switch to another thread, to pick up the resolution later.  That worked for me.

I will say this much: the book does not conclude the story.  You’ll have to read the second book (and maybe more) if you want closure.

Bottom line: I would not recommend it to mainstream readers, because it is too graphic.  That’s unfortunate, because there is some good writing.  There is an audience out there that will really enjoy Kell’s Legend…whether you are part of it or not is the question. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

One Response to “Review: Kell’s Legend”

  1. Eco Rama » Blog Archive » The Black President Before Obama Says:

    […] Review: Kell's Legend « I Love My Kindle […]

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