Blood Bank: Not For Younger Readers by Zoe Markham
Blood Bank by Zoe Markham – Blog Tour
Publisher – CreateSpace
Pages – 156
Release Date – 25th May 2017
ISBN 13 – 978-1546444657
Format – ebook, paperback
Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…
Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?
And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.
In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…
Guest Post – Blood Bank:Not For Younger Readers
The main reason I automatically tag on “Not for younger readers” when I’m talking about Blood Bank isn’t down to the horror factor, or the mild sexual threat, but the language. There a few – seven, in fact – instances of what my mother would call “LANGUAGE!” in this one. Serious swears that would get you properly told off in school. That’s the main reason I try to advise caution, because I know there’s a lot of crossover between YA and MG, and that LANGUAGE! is an area for concern.
It’s sort of mad when you think about it. I’d actually be reasonably comfortable with my seven-year-old reading most of Blood Bank – OK, admittedly not the mild sexual threat early on – but in terms of the vampires themselves, and the violence they perpetuate, it wouldn’t worry me. It’s fantasy threat, after all. He reads Tui T. Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series voraciously, and there’s a way higher body count in those than in mine. Not to mention some of the terrifying things that crop up in the Roald Dahl books he adores: Kids drowning in chocolate, feeding antifreeze to their grandparents, giants crunching up children’s bones, parents being killed by rhinos, teachers torturing pupils. And that’s not even counting The Witches! His mind, like most young readers’ minds in general, is just fantastically good at dealing with fictional threat and compartmentalising it safely.
That’s, to me, the single, coolest thing about books. They can only ever be as frightening as your imagination can handle. Unlike films, which get served up in front of you on the big screen exactly how some enthusiastic director with a massive gore-budget visualises them. Which is why I think horror works so well in MG as well as in YA books. Whatever your age, as a reader you’re fully in control of the images in your head.
With the fantasy elements in Blood Bank it’s pretty straightforward: I want the threat to be there, to be enjoyed, to be relished. These aren’t sparkly vampires; they’re cold, hard killers. It’s the reality element that makes things harder when it comes to thinking about the age of the reader. Lucy’s in her late teens, and faces things far scarier than vampires. A pack of drunk lads on a night out when she’s lost in the wrong end of town. A parent who’s been through a terrifying, violent ordeal. A boyfriend she doesn’t understand anymore. Ugly issues, LANGUAGE, warts and all.
When it comes down to it, this is where the real horror creeps in, and why I’d advise caution with this one. Reality for teens can be rough, and their fictional counterparts, IMHO, need to reflect this.
Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.