This is the first Tim Powers novel I have read and can confidently say that may be I will read another one. I liked this one. I did not love it but I sure did like it a lot. The blend of fantasy fiction and historical fiction intrigued and that’s what prompted me to read this book. I am glad I did. It was a different sort of experience for me.
Hide me among the Graves is a very distant sequel to his book, The Stress of her Regard (you don’t have to read this one first). The book is about pre-Raphaelite painter Gabriel Dante Rossetti and poetess Christina Rossetti as they fight the Nephilic vampires banished by the Romantic poets Byron and Shelley. Interesting, isn’t it? There is more to it than this. Someone re-woke the Nephilim and Christina invited one of the vampires to her house, in the form of her uncle John Polidori, and now everyone is in danger – of not dying but of turning to a vampire. The Rossetti family is accompanied by an ex-prostitute, Adelaide, her lover and a missing daughter.
This is the plot and thus begins the Victorian journey of Goth and Darkness. Hide me among the Graves is a very fast read. One doesn’t have to think so much while reading it and once a while you need a book like this, amongst the literary reads. The characters are unlikely and you will not know what hit you as you read along. Imagine Christina Rossetti fighting a vampire – I love this kind of flights of fancy in books, the unexpected always lurking to take you by surprise.
Tim Powers’ writing is sharp and meant for readers who are into vampires but not of the pop kind. The book has famed poets and artists peeping from the pages and the reader can sense Powers’ love for the Classical. The secondary characters are also well-rounded and not ignored in the book, which is another plus for me when I read a book.
The setting of the book is brilliant – Victorian London – dark and cold, perfect for a book of this nature. Hide me among the Graves is a delightful read – it has the “secret fantasy” element that unravels itself as you go along and at the same time it mingles with the classical without getting too pedantic (though sometimes predictable). I enjoyed the book.