Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guest Review!

Mozart's Blood

Louise Marley
Kensington Books (July 1, 2010)
Amazon Digital Services
Kindle Edition
Originally on
Reviewed by Stephanie

From Louise
Mozart’s Blood is historical fiction based
a real-life character, the opera singer
Teresa Saporiti, who created the role of
Donna Anna in Mozart’ s opera Don
Giovanni. The story spans four centuries
and takes place in half a dozen
great opera houses. It’ s all about an
abiding passion for music, which even time
and death cannot extinguish.

I am not really into music but everyone knows something about Mozart. Whether we
have a scholarly and academic knowledge of him, or we think of him as the foppish and
bizarre caricature from the film Amadeus, or somewhere in between, there is no doubt he
was a musical genius. What musician wouldn't want to look into his mind and understand
his intention in writing his music.

Far from an amusing or heavily romantic book,
Mozart's Blood has one of the most original premises
in the vampire or indeed any novel. As I have often
said, vampire stories have a variety of variables, from
"what do they eat - can they eat slid food animal or
packaged blood, are the undead, filled with nanites,
aliens, etc. can they tolerate in the sun, stand to be in
the presence of holy water, etc.

There are two main story lines. Theresa/Octavaia, is based on the first person to play
Donna Anna in Don Giovani, and the second storyline on Ugo, a former male soprano.
Ugo is quite a bit older than Theresa having been born during the productive lifetime of
Alighieri, the sixteenth century. He is also a werewolf. Theresa Saporiti/Octavia was a
historical person who lived in the mid to late eighteenth century. A somewhat villainous
vampire countess, Zdenka, the strange organization Zdenka manages, Mozart and a mad
villain, Domenico, tie them together. There is a smattering of supporting characters, for
both protagonists. Zdenka and her cronies are somewhat cartoon-like.

One such variable is some kind of psychic ability, in this case the sharing of memories
through sharing blood. This variable is the source of the book's premise. Having both
been “ gifted” Zdenka, “ with the tooth” at the same time, Octavia, Zdenka and Mozart
share each other's memories. They understand what he was thinking, what he was after as
he composed each line. As a musician, only Octavia can bring them to life.

Ugo and Octavia's characters are the best developed: both are strong-willed and even
physically strong. They are both supernatural creatures. Neither loves what they are but
each does what is needed to survive. Octavia, was dependent physically and emotionally
on Ugo. In turn, Ugo is loyal to her but not dependent. Ugo is the more interesting and
well fleshed out of the two. The two are devoted to each other but are not romantically
inclined. Zdenka and Domenico, while not stereotypical villains, the villains behave

The premise of music, mental connectivity, and vampires is unique. The plot
rhythmically switches between the characters. It does drag a bit, but I was never sure as
each plot line fell into place what the next would bring. The book seemed fairly accurate;
the world is our world (as opposed to a different reality or parallel universe) with these
improbable circumstances added.

I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story and how it meandered through history and locations
on the coattails of musical performance, but I wished it would move faster. I thought the
idea was really inventive and certainly hadn't ever read anything like it before. I would
read another book by this author and give Mozart's Blood 4 out of 5 curtain calls.

1 comment:

What do you have to say, buddy?

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