The Ethical Psychic Vampire
I was quite pleasantly rewarded with a really, really good explanation of both psychic and sanguine vampires that filled in a lot of the holes in my education, so to speak. Kaldera is an excellent writer, with a very good writing style that doesn’t dumb down the text. It was a rather quick read, somewhere around 144 pages, but not a bad one.
The first part of the book is dedicated to introducing the concept of vampirism, and why it is that some people simply need to feed. He also marks the differences between “primary” and “secondary” vampires, which answers the question of “Is a vampire born, or made?” with “Yes, and here’s why”.
He also dedicates a lot of this book to practical issues, such as physical safety and health for feeding, and problems that can arise in a vampire-donor relationship. And, true to the title, the ethics of vampirism are discussed throughout the book, such as why it’s better to have a willing donor.
This book is rather streamlined–there’s really no extra information beyond the basics, and not pages upon pages of vampire legends and lore (Vlad the Impaler, anyone?) so I’d definitely recommend it as a basic guide to today’s vampires. He does throw some magical rituals in there for specific purposes, but they’re more of an accent to the main body of the text and are purely optional.
My biggest complaint is that the book lacks both internal citations and a bibliography. I don’t doubt that most of the material is original. However, particularly in regards to the chapter on vampires and shamanism, I’d like to know where he got his information–a lot of it sounds like material from Nigel Jackson’s “The Compleat Vampyre”, which is a book dedicated to vampirism, lycanthropy, and shamanism. That’s not to say that this isn’t necessarily Kaldera’s work; I’m just curious as to whether he has read Jackson’s text. The nice thing about bibliographies is that you can use them for further reading, and to see what inspired the author.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book and it’s become an important resource for my own writing. Definitely recommended for anyone who wants a good, basic understanding of modern vampirism.
Five pawprints out of five.