Book Review: Twelve

This slow moving vampire horror story set in Russia during the Napoleonic war juxtaposes the horrors of battle with the even greater evil wrought by the twelve Wallachians known as the Oprichniki. Originally enlisted to assist in keeping the French at bay, the Twelve have a reputation for coming out only at night and leaving no bodies. After Aleksei Danilov witnessed one of the Oprichniki feeding on a solder he realizes the true nature of the evil amongst them. Although Danilov managed to kill a few of the creatures he soon discovers there are far more then twelve to deal with as he and his comrades are in a fight for their lives and souls.

Cumbersome dialog, an irritatingly infallible main protagonist who somehow overlooks his own moral shortfalls and a long series of tedious fights takes away from could have been a strong horror story. Uneven character development and slow narrative further detract from the strong setting with refreshingly nasty vampires portrayed as evil personified rather then dark romantic figures. There is enough meat to this debut to warrant watching for more work by this promising author.

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