Anna Rose's Fiach Fola [review by John Steiner]
For those who are familiar with Siofra by you’ll be pleased to know the saga continues. It begins not long after where Anna Rose’s first novel leaves off. She has to school her “child” in the un-life of vampirism, and at the same time become the junior dance partner in vampire circles predating her by centuries.
Siofra was written to inform the reader of the main character’s past and does that rather well. Fiach Fola also reads like a private journal, but takes place in the protagonist’s modern life’n’times. We learn that vampires aren’t the only mythic creatures in the real world crafted by Anna Rose. What’s more the reader gets to see how a clan-based supernatural society comes about through a different culture.
Much of the book is told through a reflective perspective that lends one to think Fiach Fola might translate into Vampire Tuesday, but I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. Not every story is a major quest nor every protagonist on a grand mission.
As such most of the novel’s side plots don’t come across as challenges to the quadru-centenarian Siofra. I rather believe that’s by design, so as to invoke a sense of how fleeting those events are to someone with multiple lifetimes of experience.
The vampire puns are fast and frequent, but you are fairly warned in advance. There are times of repetitive description, over-description and tangential description that at times pulled me out of the story, but overall Fiach Fola paints a larger more in depth picture of nightcrawler politics and the surprising degree of needed diplomacy between the dead youngsters of only centuries and those who probably predate the second millennium A.D.
The larger subplot includes villains who seem a bit flat. That entails the actions and motivations of human villainy common to Iraq, and is based on observations combat vets who served tours there. However, the true story surfaces in its due course to remind you that life issues pale in comparison to un-death problems by an order or magnitude or three.