Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Vampireology: The True History of the Fallen Ones

Vampireology: The True History of the Fallen Ones

Nicky Raven
Illustrator:  Gary Blythe , Anne Yvonne Gilbert , Nicki Palin , Colin Stimpson 
Novelty Book  Series
For ages 9 and up
Candlewick Press, 2010   ISBN: 978-0763649142

One day Joshua T. Kraik receives a telegram from Archibald Brooks, who is his friend and colleague. In the telegram Brooks asks Kraik to come to see him at the museum because he is afraid that his “life is in danger.” If he should arrive at the museum “too late,” Kraik should retrieve a casket that is in the concealed cupboard. The contents of the casket will explain everything.

   When Kraik, a private detective, arrives at the British Museum he finds that Brooks is dead. Per the instructions that he got in the telegram, Kraik searches Brooks’s room and finds the concealed cupboard. In it he finds a casket which contains: a book, a letter from Brooks, and old scroll, a silver locket, and a photo of Brooks and a lovely woman. In the letter Brooks asks his friend to be his “successor,” the next “Protector.” Poor Kraik has no idea what his friend is talking about, but he is willing to do his best to find out.

   The book Kraik found in the casket is called The True History of the Fallen Ones. After retrieving the book, Kraik reads through the volume, adding notes, newspaper clippings and other papers to the narrative. The book is about vampires (the Fallen Ones), which Brooks believed “have insinuated themselves into every corner of human society.” Brooks tells the story of the Fallen Ones, sharing a great deal of knowledge with the reader.

   At first Kraik finds it hard to believe what he is reading. He is confused. On the one hand the contents of the book sound more like fiction than fact, and yet on the other hand he knows that Brooks was a man who could be trusted to tell the truth. Carefully Kraik reads every word that his friend wrote and he begins to understand that a frightful responsibility has been placed on his shoulders. Hopefully the knowledge in the book will help him to understand the Fallen Ones.

   Then Kraik gets a telegram from an Italian countess. She claims that she was Brooks’s old friend, and that he left a book to her in his will. Kraik presumes that she means Brooks’s history. For some reason Kraik’s instincts tell him that something about the woman does not feel quite right. Still, he decides to write to her. Perhaps she will be able to help him in his “search for understanding,” or perhaps she is dangerous. Kraik now knows that vampires are everywhere, walking amongst us. He cannot trust anyone.

   This book is a must for readers who have an interest in the history of vampires. Within its pages they will learn all kinds of fascinating facts about vampires, and read about some of the world’s more infamous Fallen Ones. With rich artwork and interesting novelty features throughout the book, this is a title that will intrigue readers, and they will get caught up in Kraik’s bizarre story.

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