Having recently finished 'The Priest's Graveyard,' perhaps my expectations for this Dekker book were artificially high because the reading reality of 'Immanuel's Veins' was a letdown.
I had to think "why was that?" to write this review since a lot of the book is good. The plot line is excellent. The setting is full of beauty and intrigue. The characters are nicely introduced. But it did not deliver. I came up with two reasons for this:
1) We really got into the hero's head. That part was classic Dekker. But I never got into his heart. It felt more like a brotherly love than a romantic passion, so the romance wasn't fully credible.
2) The Vampire theme seemed as if it had been a publisher's assignment, not an idea birthed from the author's soul. There is a lot of deviation from standard mythology for no obvious reason. For one thing, these vampires were supposedly descendants of the biblical nephilim! Um, no. The nephilim were giants, not vampires. Additionally, this troop does not bite necksthey store blood in bottles like wine and use goblets for their draught. I found the explanation by the Tsar vampire that he considered biting the lip to be more highbrow than biting the neck to be ludicrous.
My analysis: This could make a great movie because it has stunning visuals with mountain landscapes and an electrifying thunderstorm. The actors and actresses could supply the chemistry that the book lacks if well cast. But the book lacks the chemistry of a believably gripping vampire seduction; and because of that, I was left asking why the heroine ever needed rescued? Why couldn't she have just walked away?