Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Twelve (Danilov Quintet #1) by Jasper Kent


From Goodreads

The voordalak--creature of legend, the tales of which have terrified Russian children for generations. But for Captain Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov--a child of more enlightened times--it is a legend that has long been forgotten. Besides, in the autumn of 1812, he faces a more tangible enemy: the Grande Armee of Napoleon Bonaparte.

City after city has fallen to the advancing French, and it now seems that only a miracle will keep them from Moscow itself. In desperation, Aleksei and his comrades enlist the help of the Oprichniki--a group of twelve mercenaries from the furthest reaches of Christian Europe, who claim that they can turn the tide of the war. It seems an idle boast, but the Russians soon discover that the Oprichniki are indeed quite capable of fulfilling their promise ... and much more.

Unnerved by the fact that so few can accomplish so much, Aleksei remembers those childhood stories of the voordalak. And as he comes to understand the true, horrific nature of these twelve strangers, he wonders at the nightmare they've unleashed in their midst....

Full of historical detail, thrilling action, and heart-stopping supernatural moments, Twelve is storytelling at its most original and exciting.

My thoughts

This book seemed to take me ages to read (a fortnight to be precise), I'm not sure if it was the book necessarily or the fact that I had a lot going on in my life at the time.  I found the book fairly descriptive with not much in the way of dialogue and possibly this is why it seemed to go on for ages, as I feel that the more descriptive the book is the longer it takes to read. 

The story centres around the Napoleonic war, a group of mercenaries and a group of vampires brought in to help with the fight against the French, however I'm not sure the two mix well at all.  Colonel Ivanovich appears to be your typical mercenary fighting the good fight in the name of Russia but as the story progresses he becomes very suspicious about the nature of the group as it's not apparent to the mercenaries that they are vampires at first.  He begins to doubt how so few can kill so many.  As the truth is uncovered it is left to the mercenaries to deal with the group of vampires once and for all.  The book is a mixture of historical and supernatural themes and is the first in a series of books by Jasper Kent and this first book sets the scene. I will be tempted to buy more books in this series, if and when I come across them but I won't be rushing out to buy them.  I do feel that the book can be read as a standalone novel too.

If you're looking for a Twilight style vampire novel this is not the book for you at all but if you're looking for a more traditional darker vampire novel then I'd definitely say give it a whirl but be prepared that it might take you some time to read it.

I didn't rate this with a score at the time, lookign back I'd give it a 5/10.

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