Review: The Shroud Eaters by Alyx J. Shaw

71zmDLLmsILThe Shroud Eaters by Alyx J. Shaw
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Prizm (February 27, 2013)
Paperback & Kindle Editions

Alyx J. Shaw, author of the widely praised fantasy e-book trilogy, Strange Places in Time, turns her hand to a shudder-inducing tale of vampires and the undead in her e-novel, The Shroud Eaters.

Deirdre of Leeds, a vampire whose mortal life ended in the 1660s, has found relative peace in modern-day Vancouver, working as an itinerant violinist and living in a small flat with her adored guinea pig, Florence. She has long since ceased to ponder why she still walks the earth, as all those who caused her death have long been dust. But her tranquil existence is thrown into disarray by the arrival of another vampire, Stuart, a young man from her own century. Stuart warns her of his escape from an undead creature who preys on their kind – a Shroud Eater.

When Stuart suddenly disappears, apparently killed by the Shroud Eater, Deirdre and Florence must make their escape from the city – and from a creature that now preys on the living as well as on her kind.

Fleeing to deep abandoned mines in the interior of Vancouver Island to hide from the Shroud Eater, Deirdre finds she has leapt from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. She disturbs a dreaded Nosferatu at his feasting, and must help three young girls, whom he had secreted with him in the mines, to escape both him and the Shroud Eater.

Once she sees them back to their cabin, Deirdre sets out alone both to protect herself and to lure the Shroud Eater away from them. But Lisa, one of the girls she rescued, enlists her aid in protecting all of them from the Shroud Eater. A variety of horrifying creatures then begins to stream through Hell’s opened gates, seeking to destroy Deirdre, Lisa, Valerie and Melissa, and all the other island dwellers, to reset the balance between evil and good.

Deirdre also discovers, while attempting to keep herself and her charges intact, that, in fact, not all of those who played a role in her death and that of her baby children had faded into history. She gains the strength to resist all the evils that befall her by recognizing that she can share love with others once again.

Shaw lends light and wit to The Shroud Eaters with her send-ups of currently popular vampire sagas, and by showing how her characters use both TV and the Internet to outwit and defeat their ghastly foes. She also provides a fascinating, well-reasoned primer on how vampires come into existence, and how they can be terminated, both by the living and the undead. The Shroud Eaters returns bone-deep horror to the vampire story, while being truly entertaining at the same time.

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