Knight Moves (Black Knight Chronicles, #3) - John G. Hartness James and Greg are called for a rather worrying murder – a body drained of blood and ready to wake up again as a vampire. Yes, they’re not the only vampires in town any more.Far from it, they suddenly find themselves surrounded by vampires – a whole pack of bloodsuckers who have passed under their radar. Or, perhaps more accurately, James and Greg have passed under their radar.They’ve been noticed now – and not only do they have a baby vampire to look after, but James’s creator is in town. Throw in a pack of college vampires preying indiscriminately and an old vampire who claims to be the boss of all vampires in the city and there’s a lot to handle and a lot to learnEven before the werewolf vampire hunter shows upGreg and James’ experience as vampires is interesting and grows complex in this book. I have previously said that I loved how we had 2 vampires who genuinely enjoyed being vampires. In this that changes a lot – while James still very much revels in being a vampire, he clearly still holds a severe grudge against the vampire that sired him. This is as much from the way he was sired as anything else. But Greg goes beyond that – he doesn’t like being a vampire, and part of that is linked to his weight, as a fat man who can now never lose weight, he resents being a vampire, but part of it is linked to the old cliché – he won’t be able to grow old and have kids. I have to say I don’t like the meme, it’s been done too often and there’s rarely enough justification for why people should hate being supernatural immortals so much. In this case we have more because of the way they were sired as well as watching their childhood friend grow old and develop cancer it probably brings it home much more powerfully. So, it’s a more reasoned depiction of the whole “woe is me I’m a vampire” and they certainly don’t spend pages whining about it, but I can’t help but be sad that they’ve reversed something in the series I loved so much.But this also partially reflects their conflicting attitudes towards what it takes to be a vampire. Greg is ferociously dedicated to drinking blood only from blood bags and hates that James continues to bite people and teach the new vampire Abby how to hunt. They even have an outright argument about it when James finally snaps in the face of Greg’s judgement and reluctance because Sabrina is in trouble and it’s time for Greg to act like the apex predator he is. In some ways it’s reminiscent of the whole Musty Vampire vs Evil Fun Vampire trope we see a lot – but by making them friends and the differences not so extreme it adds a lot of new angles to an old idea.I really quite like how Greg and James were introduced to the greater vampire community and authority. It’s interesting because, again, it’s so very different from what we’re used to. So often the local vampire authorities are extremely powerful and not to be messed with – they serve as a deus ex machinae, a limit on character actions. But Greg and James, because of their contact with Sabrina (and I also like that killing a human detective isn’t seen as something that can be done in a casual or offhand manner, even for a vampire) and the fae in previous books, they’re too much a wildcard to be so dismissed. It strikes an excellent balance between having a vastly older more powerful vampire to be respected, yet not having to grovel – it, again, flies in the face of many tropes and not just because the protagonist is cocky and spunky and refuses to grovel when they should. I like that the master of the city is clearly powerful through machinations and plotting not just age and power – and the plotting is rather nicely displayed.Read More