Reviewed by Bryce Grant
Drayton (The Taker) by Tony Bertauski is a novella about a pseudo vampire that’s hoping to right some wrongs.
I don’t want to say too much as a synopsis because it’s a short read, but I will say that it was a nice, well told story. A bit dark, sure, but what book about pseudo vampires isn’t? I will say that I wish it had been longer and more of a story. I felt like a thing happened, sort of got resolved, then the story ended. Nothing ever really felt substantial. This is (potentially) resolved by the existence of 4 more books in the Drayton series. I’m going to run on the assumption that this book was written to develop the protagonist (Drayton) so that we’ll better understand what goes on in the next books. I haven’t read those yet, so it’s still just an assumption for now.
What I will give Bertauski some mad praise for is how real his characters felt to me. I can’t pin down how exactly he drove these characters into my soul so quickly, but they felt so real to me almost immediately that I sympathized with every single one of them at each turn. (Yes, I even sympathized with the narcissistic, chauvinist jerk when things weren’t going his way. Not because I agreed with him, but because he seemed so human.) Character development is something that seems to struggle in shorter works a lot of the time, but Bertauski seemed to have this one on point.
Other than that, I don’t have too much to say about this short read. I didn’t hate it by any means, but it didn’t blow my socks off. I may read the next book in the series just to see if the story develops more, but it’s not on my “I must do this before I do anything else list.”
I’m cranking out a 5/10, right in the middle of the spectrum. It’s a quick read, so have at it.