Review by Davis Farnsworth, submitted on 28-Oct-2001

Bloodchild by Andrew Neiderman (published by Berkley Books, 1990).

A young couple's first child is stillborn, and they are immediately offered the chance to adopt another newborn. They accept, and take the changeling home with them to teenage Aunt Colleen, and visiting Grandmother. The only problem is that the little adoptee is a vampire child. Mom is immediately under the infant's control, and brings in a voluptuous vampire nurse who beguiles Daddy. Grandma and Aunt Colleen start to suspect something is wrong, but Grandma gets to be the first victim, and Auntie, as a teenager and a female, has no credibility. The prospects for help are very grim...

Although I do not recommend this book, there are a couple of good things about it. The front cover picture of a chubby-cheeked little darling with glowing yellow eyes and tiny little fangs is charming, in a pleasantly warped way. The other thing I liked is that the main character, and "hero" of the story, is a female. As the father of four daughters, I enjoy seeing female salvific figures as well as male. But overall, the cons outweigh the pros on this one. The characterizations aren't much deeper than a Harlequin Romance. The prose is fine, but not particularly impressive. The vampires are unattractive (I guess I think vampires should be either Nosferatu or Lestat.) and, to my mind, much too easily dispatched. It is not very bloody, and not very sexy. Those are either pros or cons, depending on your perspective. At least it is only 268 pages long, and is "a fast read," if you know what I mean.

I had two other objections to express: the author played on (at least) two common prejudices in American Society. One is the stereotype of dark-haired, olive-complected persons as evil/licentious (with light-haired, fair-skinned persons as good/virtuous). I felt it was so clearly a stereotype that it weakened the story by making characters too obviously good or evil. The other is the underlying suspicion that there is something strange about an adopted child. I agree that the adoption was a necessary plot device for this particular tale, but as an adoptive father I feel that there is a basic prejudice that "helps" the American reader feel comfortable with this story line.

So, I give this book two fangs out of five. It's okay for a little light reading and has a couple of interesting concepts - female salvific figure, vampire child taking over the family. But, I would say that only true devotees of vampire tales would want to bother with it.

:-[ :-[

Fanged Films

Denmark, 1998
Angel of the Night / La Nuit des Vampires / Engel Der Finsternis
Mexico, 1972
Ángeles y Querubines

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?

Vol. 2 No. 6
The Hungry Vampire
Vol. 3 No. 1
House of the Vampire