New century, new adventure, new label, new cover. 2009 the Chronicles got updated. The series’ title is now on the backside of the book, which got an amazing cover art by the people who have also drawn the comic.
In London of 1666, Andrej Delany and Abu Dun are searching for a serial killer called “he phantom”, which they believe is the still alive god Loki (yeah, a harmless exposion wouldn’t kill him, who would have thought). But actually they are not very interested in this case, for Andrej is much more interested in a group of homeless children, led by the boy Frederick. It’s not the Frederick from Andrej’s past, but still very strangely familiar to him.
When another “ghost” from his past, the goddess Meruhe, appears, things get started. Andrej gets jailed for supposingly killing a young girl, and terribly tortured by chief inspector Marcus, who claims to be a descendent of father Domenicus, Andrej’s old old arch nemesis. But this turns out to be a hoax by – who would have guessed it – the real Frederick. Confused already?
When the famous fire of London starts, all hell starts breaking lose. Meruhe and Abu Dun rescue Andrej from Frederick’s / Loki’s vampires, and Andrej wants to end his feud with the Nordic god once and for all. For this to achieve, he has to become godlike himself, which Meruhe is more than willing to assist him (in more than one way if you know what I mean).
But in order to fully become a god, he has to drain Frederic’s blood, but can he do this? And can he still beat Loki, even if he is not as strong as him? And why do gods not fight each other? And what terrible secret will be revealed at the end of the book, the final twist?
You may have noticed, but this book is fully loaded. There is a lot of stuff going on, and three or four ghosts of Andrej’s past appear. It’s one big mash-up with his greatest foes. This makes this book brilliant. The story is great, and you really notice that things are changing.
The 12th and 13th chapter in the middle of the book may be the best Hohlbein has written in a while, and you are expecting that the book keeps up the good pace. It doesn’t, but that’s not that bad actually. The last third seems a little rushed, and though you are given some answers about this book’s plot, it never goes into detail. It’s good to have Frederic back, who is more a psychological thread to Andrej rather than a physical. But we also have got the torture scenes, the fights against the vampires, and of course Loki, who – it’s a pity – seems to be more of a henchman this time, which makes Frederic even more dangerous in my opinion
The final twist is great and makes you think back to Volume V’s cliffhanger. Basically it’s the same, but much bigger. It is also revealed that Maria is eventually dead, and that Vlad Tepes may have been responsible for it.
Though the book has some minor issues, it is on the same level as the first and fifth one. My hopes were gread for the next volume to continue this awesomeness…