“ Genre: Horror „
NOCTURNES AND NEON is an exciting, imaginative and very thought-provoking example of how intelligent and fun a horror novel can be! NOCTURNES AND NEON is a horror novel with gritty adventure thriller overtones. There are elements of espionage adventures and police procedural mysteries in the story, which details the investigation into the mysterious home invasion and murder of a corporate tycoon and his family. The investigation reveals the involvement of an underworld of "nightrunners", vampires calling themselves "Moon-Chosen", who are biological mutations instead of the standard supernatural variety we are used to reading about. Vampires, in Author JOSEPH ARMSTEAD's world of a haunted northern California coastal metropolis called "New Barrington", are products of "parallel evolution": they grew as a separate species from normal humanity, a predatory offshoot of mankind that drinks blood, is hyper-photosensitive and has a severe allergy to ultraviolet radiation. Mr. Armstead's "Moon-Chosen" have developed their own culture and mythologies in contrast to those of normal human history. The principal characters are unique in that, although they are of an established genre "type" (the string, silent heroic lead, the man of mystery, the urbane seemingly omnipotent villain, etc.), the reader is treated to a cinematically-rendered "history" of each character that reveals their motivations beyond the expected cliches. The author's haunted immortal anti-hero Montgomery Quinn, also known as "The Adversary", is the stand-out character. Solitary, dour, secretive and ultra-lethal Quinn is a visualization of the Grimm Reaper as an adventure hero. He is not a "white hat" superhero oozing "coolness", but instead a dread force, implacable and unrelenting in his war againmst occult forces and predatorial vampires. Lorenz Novembre, the d isgraced secret agent who becomes a member of the secretive society of occult investigators called "The DarkLink",is an interesting contrast of intelligence and impetuousness. Professor Patricia Silver, a tragic heroine whose bravery is put to the ultimate test, is an innocent "normal" human friend of Quinn's who is drawn deeper into his dark violent world, losing her innocence and, eventually, loosing her "human-ness". The powerful and villainous "Moon-Chosen" vampires are, of course, center stage in this novel of dark intrigue, revenge and violence, and chief amongst those is the Vampire Elder Cartarrian, my vote for best all-time villain! This is NOT a cookie-cutter "Blade" or "Buffy" knock-off, apparently it was written BEFORE the "Blade" movies were made, and it is aimed at an adult, literate audience. There's a lot of detail fleshing out the background of this story. Now get out there and read this novel! It will stay with you long after the book is finished and leave you demanding MORE!!
An exciting, suspenseful horror-thriller that avoids cliches.