Review: Blood and Whiskey

Blood and Whiskey
Blood and Whiskey by Clark Hays
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grab a beer, a bowl of peanuts or a martini and some brie cheese or if you are not a human? “There’s no reason to get all pissy, Have something to eat. Or someone, I guess I should say.” (location 150) grab the book and enjoy yourself. I know I did AGAIN with the second in the series.

I discovered this original blend of two of 20th centuries greatest book selling subject matters, cowboys and vampires! How can you say no? The two authors are a husband and wife team who came up with this little endeavor over coffee, pie and cigarettes at a lone truck stop in Oregon. It was two people from two different walks of life who concocted an idea to test the waters out with one of the hardest relationships other than marriage ever, co-authoring. Kathleen with her scientific and journalistic background and Clark being the poetry writing cowboy brought their two worlds together and ended up with this incredible tale.

Funny, this truck stop just happens to be a lot like the diner in Wyoming we often find Tucker sitting at while pondering over what to do with all the new visitors in town, who happen to be vampires and his girl’s new subjects. Oh ya his girl just happens to be the new Queen of the vampires who is carrying his baby, conceived before she was turned by the man who turned out to be her father. Dark? Yes, but it works! Trust me!
“Vampire-sicles,” Tucker said. “There’s a flavor that ain’t gonna catch on at the Tastee Freeze next summer.” (location 1903)


This wonderful edition to the Cowboy and a Vampire series, of which there must be more, lots and lots more, Blood and Whiskey, incorporates the original mythos from Stoker of vampires with the evil that is inheritance in their hearts and soulless bodies (or are they?). Blend in with the raw power of a cowboy story, stir in a little comedy and MacGiver type puzzle with Tucker’s buddy Lenny who can make a vampire killing weapon with a toaster, duct tape and some wooden pencils and puts a whole new spin on the phrase ‘whip-its’.
You might be redneck vampire hunter …”That was a compressed air stake-launching zip gun. One shot, one kill. Uses them little ready-whip containers for whipped cream.” (location 1737)


Add millennial old politics of vampires who have worked hard within their own hiarchy to balance the evil in the Adomite (human) world by only draining and killing the evilest of the human race, well most of them. There is one group of the vampire race which we were introduced to in the first book, the Reptiles whose new spokeswoman has become the right hand woman to their new queen, the dark sensuous Elita:
“All the while my Reptiles brethren have been breeding like rats and feeding on whomever they wish,” Elita said. “Fulfilling their biological imperative while you dither about mystical edicts and destiny.” (location 551)


That kind of covers both the groups. While nine of the families of the race of vampires work hard at their “mystical edicts and destiny” and feed on the evil of the Adomite world, the Reptiles are drinking blood infused cosmos and martinis feeding on the blood and sex of any human they wish. This book is more then dark and bloody dreams and politics. It is more than a miracle baby gestating in the new undead queen. It has transcendental poetic dreams that make up the mystery of the beauty and ritual of the turning. Our double wide living, coffin dwelling queen Lizzie gets a glimpse into the beyond showing us the possibility of what happens beyond the death of both humans and vampires alike. A dark beauty of a true sembiotic relationship which is facing the turn of the 21st century and all the realities involved.
“Then all those conspiracy theory people who talk about the Illuminati, or some group secretly controlling the world, they’re right?” asked Tucker. “It’s all a bunch of Vampires?” (location 2732)


I realize this makes it seem a bit of an overwhelming story, but blend all of the above with the raw power of a cowboy story, the realism of the simple cowboy life that Tucker brought into Lizzie’s world and it balances out. There are lots of wonderful moments of comedy, sometimes light and sometimes dark. Many books have tried to answer the question of how vampires can survive without being killers.
“Well, where the hell is Plush, Oregon?” (location 1036)

We’ve had those that live on rats, sparkling ones that hunt deers, and lets not forget True Blood, which I hear tastes awful! Humans have been called cattle and what would a cowboy book be without a book that milked humans as well as slaughtering cows under the same roof. The stark and evil reality of how quickly this could go south for the human race is brought to a head and only the miracle of the Turning can stop it. The first novel left us with a great many questions left unanswered, book two answers them and also raises more, keeping fans like myself waiting with baited breath to see what comes next. I recommend this to anyone who loves vampire stories that do not involve glittering in the sun, or lunching on rats in the corner…Until then anyone for cocktails?
“Anything I should know?” “Yeah. Do not mess with Lenny when he’s pissed and strung out on government uppers.” (location 1234)

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