the fifth empire
In The Fifth Empire: The Harvest of Vincent du Maurier, K. P. Ambroziak takes us on the continuing journey of the ageless vampire, Vincent du Maurier, and his attempts to survive in a world that is consumed with the ongoing war between vampires and zombies, the undead corpses who have a taste, not only for human flesh, but of vampires as well.
In Vincent’s world, what is left of humanity, in its seemingly vain efforts to survive, has descended into something approaching barbarity. Vincent, though, tries to preserve his ‘harvest’ of humans, including the pregnant Evelyn, for whom he has developed a kind of affection, that might be called love, but is love perverted.
Once again, Ambroziak has succeeded in taking the reader into a mind that is as alien as if it had come from another universe. While the reader can never be completely sympathetic to the blood-lusting Vincent, we are made to see a fully-fleshed character with complex motivations and desires not dissimilar to our own should we be faced with such a situation.
This is not a book for squeamish readers – the level of violence and sense of impending doom is intense. But, if you want a fresh new take on the vampire novel, it is highly recommended.
I give The Harvest an easy, and well-deserved, four stars.