Ana felt the eyes watching. She knew the natives had to be close but nothing physical betrayed their presence. No rustling leaves. No pause in the symphony of forest life. Yet an irresistible energy called her to lay bare the secrets of the forest. Up ahead, an ancient leafy serengueija tree summoned her stare with an unexplainable power. Its colossal system of a half-dozen trunks and gigantic branches rose into the canopy and exuded a dark, primal power. When she peered into its shadows, a shiver passed through her from head to foot. She felt stripped, naked, her very soul open to the invading eyes.
“Do you feel the stares, Paulo?” Ana finally asked, breaking the silence.
“Yes, Doctor Ana,” Paulo replied. “They have been watching us for the last twenty minutes.” He slashed at twisting vines entwining the serengueija trunks and branches.“They must be in the trees but do not stare up at them.”
A few minutes later, they burst into a clearing slashed into the forest by the pirate cattlemen. Ana casually covered her brow with her hand to protect her vision from the assault of the punishing tropical sun. A ring of trees circled the open area, covered in new-growth brush and charred stumps. She felt the roil of nausea tug at her gut in the face of the obscene attack on the heart of Nature.
Instantly she felt the tug of hidden eyes, this time from the soaring trees in the canopy on the far side of the clearing. That a human could ascend to such heights seemed impossible, yet Ana was sure someone watched and waited. The nausea was quickly replaced by butterflies of primordial attraction deep in her gut.
Suddenly the brush to the left burst into life as something rustled quickly in their direction. The snorting and ensuing sounds indicated the possibility of a large animal. It was daylight and panthers were generally nocturnal hunters. The animal approached with a rush.
Paulo dashed in between the unseen creature and Doctor Ana. He held the machete up for the attack. There was a loud squeal and the animal’s charge suddenly stopped. Paulo waited. The grasses were silent. He cautiously moved and chopped at the grasses toward the last known location of the animal. He found it.
Ana followed very close behind. She gasped at the sight. A very large tapir lay in the grass, dead, with a single, long arrow protruding from its chest. At that moment the realities of her expedition and group responsibilities hit her. Ana felt dizzy.
Bob Nailor; Jack Franklin (2012-08-28T04:00:00+00:00). Ancient Blood (Kindle Locations 636-655). Damnation Books LLC. Kindle Edition.
Call me old fashioned, but I like my vampires to have some menace to them. I want them to be villainous and I want to be afraid of them.
Jack Franklin and Bob Nailor’s book, Ancient Blood: The Amazon, is the first book in their new series, The Chronicles of Vamazonia, and it delivers all of the horror that a proper vampire story should have. the reader follows the story of an anthropologist named Ana and her team of scientists as they trek deep into the Amazon in pursuit of a newly discovered city uncovered by the ravages of deforestation. Superstition and fear is what they encounter the closer they get to their goal, and when they find a an impossible city of ancient design populated by warrior women, they know they have made the discovery of a lifetime. The only question is, will they survive to share it?
The book is an excellent read filled with the psycho-sexual predations of vampires in their more traditional incarnation, but with a modern twist that keeps the reader engaged rather than bored. The main characters are well developed, but the supporting cast was a bit cookie cutter. This might have been an issue except that once the blood starts flowing and the action kicks in, it really doesn’t matter. The authors’ use of local terms and language made everything feel authentic and convinced me that staying out of the unexplored Amazon is probably in my best interest. There is a lot of sexual content in this book, so I would not recommend it for younger readers, but for adults it is just fine. The sex is not gratuitous and the more graphic portions fit in with the concept of the book, adding to the horror rather than titillating.
Overall, I would recommend this book, especially if you enjoy a good old fashioned horror experience as opposed to supernatural monsters that sparkle.
You can buy the book in paperback or for kindle here: Ancient Blood
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