The Quick is advertised as a book in a similar vein as Caleb Carr’s The Alienist and Angels of Darkness. Though one might be able to state that because the story takes place in a similar era as Carr’s gothic and atmospheric stories, The Quick doesn’t match up in moodiness and atmosphere. Carr’s beautiful use of language is what truly creates that deeply gothic mood. The Quick seems to crumble under the weight of hype and marketing. Certainly not the author’s fault, but present nonetheless.
The Quick is an engaging and interesting read, but the comparison to Carr led me to believe I would be reading something more than I did, and in that way, was disappointing. At 544 pages, it’s a hefty read, and definitely held my interest to the end.
The story involves a group of The Quick — the name given to non-vampires by a ruling class of the creatures — who strive to survive the coming vampire apocalypse, in which the vampires want to turn all Quick into the undead. There are the obligatory, emotionally tortured creatures (think Louis, from Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire) who decline to feed on humans, and there are the egotistical group (part of an exclusive “Member Only” club), where grand experiments on their own kind take place, via “Dr. Knife,” a mythological creature invented by vampires to scare other vampires into submission), and then there are the humans who battle bravely to rid the city of the vermin vampires.
The story suffers under the author’s attempts to do too many things at once and keep up with the number of characters introduced. Stereotypes abound, and might’ve been better served in creating several composite characters rather than overloading the story with all the different types.
It may sound like I’m being tough on this book, but the truth is that I read it through to the end, and enjoyed it the whole while. It served its purposed, which was to entertain and keep the reader’s interest. While it’s not a stand out, and doesn’t really introduce any new information about the vampire genre, it wasn’t a waste of time. I would read the sequel (which, as the story is left, there will certainly be one).