Chronicles of the Undead by A. F. Stewart

Chronicles of the Undead by A. F. Stewart

Book Review
Title: Chronicles Of The Undead
Author:  A.F. Stewart
Publisher: Lulu.com
Released: July 2009
Pages: 168
ISBN 10 – 0557026709
ISBN 13 – 978-0557026708
Stars:  2.5

Chronicles of the Undead by Nova Scotia author A. F. Stewart is a captivating, quick to read horror novella that pays homage to the master of all vampire tales, Bram Stoker, and will also immediately bring to mind the author of The Vampire ChroniclesAnne Rice.

Set in London, England, at the end of the 18th century, and the first quarter of the 19th, A. F. Stewart has chosen the diary format. She writes with no dialogue in the first person of her main characters, Samuel Harrington, his son, Edmund Harrington, and granddaughter, Charlotte Harrington with an authentic voice for the time period.

Chronicles of the Undead begins with the diary (1793-1795) of Samuel Harrington. Harrington is a stockbroker who has just met his new neighbours, the mysterious Henri Forain and his beautiful cousin, Eleanor de Burgh. He embarks upon a close-knit friendship with Henri based on their shared interests, including carousing in the local brothel, drinking and gambling, much to Harrington’s wife Eliza’s dismay.

Harrington soon reveals that he is not happy in his marriage to a disapproving wife and yearns for the life he led in his wilder youth. Indulging in his newfound hedonistic delight, Samuel spends his days working on his financial interests and nights with Henri at Dame Montague’s brothel.

The estranged Eliza frequently complains about Samuel’s vices and his friendship with Henri, so Harrington takes to giving her sound thrashings, and she becomes very meek and amiable, which pleases her awful husband. But, shortly after, Harrington discovers that his dear friend and partner in hedonism is a vampire!

Will Harrington ever be the same? Will he allow Henri to make him a vampire? What is the exact nature of Henri’s newfound relationship with Harrington’s teenage daughter, Flora?

I won’t give away all the plot, but these are old-fashioned, nasty bloodsuckers who feed on human blood with no remorse.

Stewart’s story continues in part two with the diaries of Harrington’s son Edmund (1795-1797) and concludes in part three with those of his granddaughter, Charlotte (1825-1826).

Chronicles of the Undead is an intimate portrayal of family, weakness, the lure of evil, and how one selfish act can have horrific consequences.” Although it is not unique, it is a satisfying read that ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, although one can figure out the ending for themself. Unfortunately, the book is poorly edited for grammar and punctuation. Still, it is a fine effort from Ms. Stewart, who has a terrific imagination and whose main writing focus is on the fantasy and poetry genres.