Posted by: chartroose | February 3, 2009

The Pine Deep Trilogy

The Pine Deep Trilogy





Jonathan Maberry, 2006-2008, 1588 p.



Have you noticed that vampires seem to be “in” right at the moment?  Books and television and films are swarming with vampires and vampire knockoffs (like zombies, whom I’ve always thought of as vampires’ slow-witted hillbilly cousins).  There are (or were) Angel and Spike and Edward and probably a bunch of other pretty-boy vampires running around glistening from head to toe and causing beautiful women to swoon and fall at their feet.  Vampires are the teen idols of the past couple of decades, but it isn’t only teens that are gaga over these pointy-toothed Lotharios—older women love them too.  All a vampire has to do is stare all twirly-eyed at his chosen prey, and the woman is his, forever and ever and ever, world without end.


I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know why women are so enthralled by vampires.  There is a great deal of latent and overt sexuality in many vampire stories, (most especially Dracula), but does this entirely account for female fascination with these undead bloodsuckers?  Maybe they represent the “bad boy” some women seem to be drawn to time and time again:  the guy who smokes and drinks too much and rides a Harley and listens to hardcore thrash metal.  This guy only smacks his woman around a little bit, at least in the beginning… 


It seems like vampires have been romanticized to such an extent that they don’t even resemble themselves anymore.  What happened to the terrifying Klaus Kinski “Nosferatu” types of vampires from the good old days?  What happened to the slightly more palatable Christopher Lees and Gary Oldmans of yore?  When did these guys become the overly conscientious and nauseatingly remorseful Brad Pitts and Robert Pattinsons?


Vampires are supposed to be EVIL, not pretty.  They do not love; they do not care, they will not save your life—they’ll destroy it.  They are killing machines.  A little blood will not satisfy them; they must have it all, all night long.  Enough of this saccharine debasement of true vampire legends!  Vampires deserve to be reinstated to their former glory as the most ferocious monsters in monsterdom.  Vampires must rule the kingdom of the unholy once more!


So it is with great pleasure that I bring you the Pine Deep Trilogy by Jonathan Maberry.  Finally, vampires have been put back in their place at the top of the undead heap.  The first book starts with a bang:  three bad guys are speeding through Pine Deep and have an automobile accident.  The leader of the bad guys is badder than just about any character I’ve ever encountered in fiction.  His name is Karl Ruger, and once he gets going, there’s no stopping him, especially after he joins the ranks of the undead.  I hated Ruger–hated, hated, HATED him.  He scared me half to death a few times as well.


The novels are action-packed from beginning to end, and, speaking of the end, the ending is one of the finest I’ve ever read in the horror fiction genre.  I was on the edge of my seat during the entire climactic vampire/human battle scene.  It has been a long time since I’ve felt such anxiety while reading a book, and boy was I sweating this one!  


I learned a few things from these novels too:


1.  A werewolf that has been killed but not totally destroyed (i.e.      cremation) can be resurrected as a vampire.


2.     A Dhampyr is the child of a vampire father and a human mother.  

Dampyr’s can become efficient vampire slayers.


I’m not the only reader who was impressed by these novels:  Ghost Road Blues won the Bram Stoker award for “Best First Novel” in 2006.  It deserved the award, and Maberry deserves even more recognition.


Read these if you want to destroy your manicure!




  1. I’m delighted to find that you enjoyed my Pine Deep novels. I had a wonderful time writing them and I certainly agree that I like my vampires EVIL.

    I’m probably going to write at least one sequel to the trilogy, and probably one or two prequels. Though right now I’m about to launch a new series. PATIENT ZERO kicks off a new series of bioterrorism thrillers. Hope you enjoy that one, too.

    The book comes out on March 3, but you can download a free prequel via a link on my website.

    Happy Hauntings!
    Jonathan Maberry

  2. […] The Pine Deep Trilogy « Bloody Hell, It’s a Book Barrage! […]

  3. Thanks for sharing these. I’m always looking for something delicious and dark to read!

  4. I’m a huge fan of Maberry’s work; I’m really looking forward to the release of Patient Zero. How great that there will be more Pine Deep novels!

  5. Hey cool…you got an author comment!

    I like how the bad guy is named after a gun.

    Yesterday I had a little too much fun at B&N…I bought a Wodehouse, and Dracula. What a combo, eh?

  6. Ooh, I’m very interested! I get so sick of the vampire with a soul theme going on right now. Its refreshing to see that some authors remember what vampires are all about.

  7. Woo-Hoo!

    Jonathan–I’ll be reading “Patient Zero” as soon as I can. I can’t wait! I hope you’ll have a lot more of Iron Mike Sweeney in your new Pine Deep books. He was such a great character.

    Chris–I’m going to have to check out your website, especially if, like me, you like your scary books to be frightening and not all “romancey.”

    Jenn–I’ll be checking out your website too…

    Jill–Yep, Wodehouse and Dracula, what a combo! I can just imagine Jeeves going all bloodsucky on poor dimwitted Wooster’s heinie, “I say sir, dreadfully sorry, but I just cannot seem to help myself. Rarrrrrrrr!”

    I agree rants! Do you have a website?

  8. A strange response, but quite personally, I’m sick of vampires. But I’ve already ranted enough… let’s leave it at that.

  9. For anyone interested in PATIENT ZERO…I’ll be at NY Comic Con this saturday (noon to 1) signing 250 free copies. It’s a special pre-release giveaway.

  10. This post and your ruin-your-manicure rating was very fun to read. Since I’ve already broken my mission to keep 2009 vampire-free, I should just resign myself to vampires all year long.

  11. Finally, evil vampires that don’t have a heart of gold. I’m vampired out.

  12. Oh nice! I love the evil vampires, I’ll have to give these a read.

    And to add to your reasons for why so many women swoon over the romanticized vamps, I think the idea that only a live woman can save the ‘soul’ of the vampire appeals to a need some women feel to mother their men. There are hundreds of books out there featuring tortured, emo-like vampboys who can only escape their misery by finding their soul-mate, which could also draw in a lot of readers who believe that a persons ‘one true love’ exists.

    Anyway, I think about this too much as I watch middle to late-aged women drool over these books at work 😛

  13. I have been a fan of Anne Rice ever since I actually picked up a copy of Interview with the Vampire and read it. To be honest, I was attracted to it because of the movie, but what I discovered with her books was something beyond vampires and Brad Pitt. Her vampires are so real you would think they really existed, and the way she explained where their “abilities” came from, I always found myself thinking “huh, that makes sense.” There is one book where she recounts the life of Marius, a two thousand year old vampire, and you’re taken from the Roman empire, through Constantinople, Venice, France, and finally the modern times. If you don’t mind history lessons, and a really convincing origin of vampires, Queen of the Damned is really good. Almost all of the Vampire Chronicles left me begging for more… sorry, just wanted to share that. I think that the movie Interview with the vampire failed to give any true justice to the novel, even though Anne Rice approved of it. Anyway… I’ll stop now…

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