#Horror Review: Choosing a Master by S.M. Perlow (@smperlow)

An intriguing take on vampires, with an interesting look at the power of blood, Choosing a Master makes for an exciting read, even if it does succumb to some unfortunate clichés in the final chapters.

S.M. Perlow suggests a world where vampires live openly among us, feared, tolerated, and admired, depending on the circles in which they operate. The Spectavi thrive in circles of business, politics, science, and more, earning the world's acceptance by adopting a diet of synthetic blood. The Sanguan, meanwhile, linger in back alleys, bars, and clubs, with feeding a sexual experience for those who accept it . . . and a deadly one for those who don't.

Connecting them all is the legend of a rare human blood type, one with a taste like no other, and the power to cure any mortal wound. It is the search for a carrier of the blood around which the story revolves, and the implications of finding him that drives it to a climax. Choosing a Master is about far more than just deciding who to follow or who to feed, it is about a decision that could change the world.

There is a lot to like about this. The characters are well-rounded, with genuine relationships that make it worth reading. Their worlds are distinct, and I really liked the interplay between powers. It's a largely mortal world, one where faith and superstition really don't play a part - except for the one area where they might, and that's where the story shies away from something truly deep and original, and falls into that cliché I mentioned at the opening.

I loved the idea of a vampire priest, and was fascinated by the potential he represented, especially with the story of his homeland. It's a window into a deeper war between Spectavi and Sanguan that lies at the heart of the wider story, but unless there's a twist in the next book that reverses the twist here, then it makes for an uncomfortable climax. What could have been really exciting is, instead, ugly and disappointing.

Paperback, 413 pages
Expected publication: January 16th 2018 by Bealion Publishing

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review.


  1. Vampire priest...that part certainly sounds interesting. I don't think I've read that in a book before. What a pity the cliches made it disappointing for you.


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