book review - zen in the art of slaying vampires by steven-elliot altman
Steven-Elliot Altman, bestselling author of Deprivers and Severed Wings and video game writer of 9Dragons, Pearl’s Peril, Ancient Aliens, Project Blue Book and Terminator: Dark Fate has outdone himself once again with Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires—in fact, he outdid himself decades ago when it was first published. Now, fans of horror, thriller, action, philosophical, and experimental fiction were counting down the days until this cult classic was re-released on June 1.
This book is probably one of the most unique works of fiction I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Its two major themes are, as the title implies, the philosophy of Zen and vampirism/vampire slaying. To add yet another layer of mystique, the protagonist is both a vampire and a vampire slayer who tries to use Zen to overcome his natural bloodthirst. The thematic uniqueness alone makes this meditation on mysticism and monsters a one-of-a-kind read; however, the appeal does not end there. This book is actually even more than meets the eye, and delves into questions of identity, what it means to be human, what it means to live and what it means to transcend one’s ‘nature.’ Who are we? Are we our beliefs, our philosophies? Are we our biology? Our fate? Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires asks all of these questions and more, arriving at some seriously mind-warping answers.
Once again, the influence the gaming world has had on Altman is clear, as the novel is peppered with almost ‘checkpoint’ and ‘boss’-like scenarios, as well as rich settings and clear goals that exponentially increase in intensity. As the plot thickens, you will certainly feel like Player One right in the middle of the action. A must-read.
Places to buy ZEN IN THE ART OF SLAYING VAMPIRES: Amazon
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