Author: James Lyon
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: James Lyon (July 22, 2012)
Get it: Amazon
"The smell of blood is in the air, I sense it even now. People thirst for it; the entire country is mad with desire for it. And now we are going to war with our brothers because they look like us, and because we can smell our blood coursing through their veins...” A mysterious letter starts a university student on a journey into the war-torn lands of rapidly disintegrating Yugoslavia. Naively trusting his enigmatic professor, the student unwittingly descends into a dystopian crucible of decay, destruction, passion, death, romance, lust, immorality, genocide, and forbidden knowledge promising immortality. As the journey grows ever more perilous, he realizes he must confront an ancient evil that has been once again loosed upon the earth: from medieval Bosnia to enlightenment-era Vienna, from the bright beaches of modern-day Southern California to the exotically dark cityscapes of Budapest and Belgrade, and horrors of Bosnia.
Vampires have formed an integral part of Balkan folklore for over a thousand years. "Kiss" represents a radical departure from popular vampire legend, based as it is on genuine Balkan folklore from as far back as the 14th century, not on pop culture or fantasy. "Kiss of the Butterfly" offers up the real, horrible creatures that existed long before Dracula and places them within a modern spectrum.
The story revolves around Steven, a university student who with the help of Professor Slatina, receives a scholarship from the Balkan Ethnography Trust so that he can get inside of war-torn Yugoslavia to finish his research for his dissertation. Professor Slatina, however, has Steven researching vampire lore, but there is more to it than what Professor Slatina is willing to admit to Steven. Steven's research not only puts himself but other people in danger. The government doesn't want him uncovering certain truths.
I have to admit that I dreaded writing this review. It's not that I hated the book, not at all, but it was very difficult for me to get into the story. I'd say I was probably half way through the book before it really became interesting. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have given up on trying to read it, if I hadn't agreed to review it.
The factual information that was woven into the story, I enjoyed that to some extent. For some reason though, I felt like I was reading a history book. There are a lot of hard to pronounce names (though granted, there was a small guide at the front of the book that helped with that) and a lot of historical dates offered up. I had a hard time following along at time.
Now, as I've said before, I'm no expert on punctuation and such, but I've read quite a lot in the last few years to feel as though there were quite a few errors in this book. Part of the reason I felt it was hard to get through the book was because of the way it was written. For example, instead of a character's unspoken thoughts being italicized, they had quotes around them as if they were spoken out loud. Occasionally there was a change in scene but no obvious break to let the reader know of the change, which would throw me off. And although this may seem odd to mention, colons were used way more in this book than I've ever seen used in one book before, and I don't believe it was always used correctly.
Having said all that, I do feel that Mr. Lyon has a great way with words. For me though, I suppose that there was just too much, and it interrupted the flow of the story. But I was rather fascinated by the vampire lore, and I really enjoyed the cast of characters that Steven met along the way.
** I received a ebook copy of Kiss of the Butterfly in exchange for a review.**
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