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Down through the deathless centuries, the vampires had drunk human blood for sustenance and for sport. They preyed where they willed, for no mortal humans could resist their unclean powers. But now came the ultimate perversion, the unthinkable: someone was conscripting the vampires into the secret services of a foreign power. No government agency or bureaucrat could contro Down through the deathless centuries, the vampires had drunk human blood for sustenance and for sport. They preyed where they willed, for no mortal humans could resist their unclean powers. But now came the ultimate perversion, the unthinkable: someone was conscripting the vampires into the secret services of a foreign power. No government agency or bureaucrat could control the Undead. The idea was absurd, as Dr. James Asher knew all too well. Years in His Majesty's service had taught Asher the finer points of espionage. And he knew the secrets of the vampires--a familiarity hard-won in unwilling service to Don Simon Ysidro, oldest and most subtle of the hunters of the London night. What Asher didn't know was why one of England's established vampires would risk everything to travel across the European continent at the behest of a ruthless spymaster. But he could see the terrifying potential of such an unholy alliance...


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Down through the deathless centuries, the vampires had drunk human blood for sustenance and for sport. They preyed where they willed, for no mortal humans could resist their unclean powers. But now came the ultimate perversion, the unthinkable: someone was conscripting the vampires into the secret services of a foreign power. No government agency or bureaucrat could contro Down through the deathless centuries, the vampires had drunk human blood for sustenance and for sport. They preyed where they willed, for no mortal humans could resist their unclean powers. But now came the ultimate perversion, the unthinkable: someone was conscripting the vampires into the secret services of a foreign power. No government agency or bureaucrat could control the Undead. The idea was absurd, as Dr. James Asher knew all too well. Years in His Majesty's service had taught Asher the finer points of espionage. And he knew the secrets of the vampires--a familiarity hard-won in unwilling service to Don Simon Ysidro, oldest and most subtle of the hunters of the London night. What Asher didn't know was why one of England's established vampires would risk everything to travel across the European continent at the behest of a ruthless spymaster. But he could see the terrifying potential of such an unholy alliance...

30 review for Traveling with the Dead

  1. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I put this book down with a sense of awe. That Hambly conceived of this story is impressive enough; that she pored huge amounts of knowledge about late 19th century Europe into the tale is incredible. She establishes the look and feel of every locale with the same clarity and texture that Eric Ambler achieves in his early 20th century spy tales. The sense that nations and people are heading, unbeknownst, towards World War I, is heady and creepy--and the way that Hambly inserts her own tale into I put this book down with a sense of awe. That Hambly conceived of this story is impressive enough; that she pored huge amounts of knowledge about late 19th century Europe into the tale is incredible. She establishes the look and feel of every locale with the same clarity and texture that Eric Ambler achieves in his early 20th century spy tales. The sense that nations and people are heading, unbeknownst, towards World War I, is heady and creepy--and the way that Hambly inserts her own tale into the mix is marvelous. The book did slow down for me in the last third after a drastic setting change that left me befuddled for another 30 pages or so. A new mystery is introduced, and its resolution was smaller than I expected. That said, the climax was excellent, pitting spies and vampires against one another in a bloody showdown--all spun into prose that reads without need of breath or break. I have read no other book like this; nor, I am sure, will I. Vampires and spies in pre-World War I Europe--oh my!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    The sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night. James and Lydia Asher, an academic couple in Victorian England, must once more venture into vampire society. Their growing understanding of their (few) vampiric allies puts pressure on their morals and their marriage—it’s hard to maintain a moral high ground when your bodyguard kills to survive. Hambly is one of the only authors to remember that old vampires should not think or react like people from our society. Born into a set of rules and mores that are The sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night. James and Lydia Asher, an academic couple in Victorian England, must once more venture into vampire society. Their growing understanding of their (few) vampiric allies puts pressure on their morals and their marriage—it’s hard to maintain a moral high ground when your bodyguard kills to survive. Hambly is one of the only authors to remember that old vampires should not think or react like people from our society. Born into a set of rules and mores that are often no longer even remembered, they are historical documents in and of themselves, and possibly more dangerous because of it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pam Baddeley

    An interesting mix of the spy and vampire genres set in the early pre-WWI 20th century. There is backstory here, and I realised after a while that there must be at least one earlier volume, but the book blurb and list of author's other books gave no clue of that. Anyway, the story is self-contained so it isn't a problem. The basic plot is the attempt by former spy James to foil an alliance between a representative of the Austrian government and a known vampire: seeing them at a train station, Jam An interesting mix of the spy and vampire genres set in the early pre-WWI 20th century. There is backstory here, and I realised after a while that there must be at least one earlier volume, but the book blurb and list of author's other books gave no clue of that. Anyway, the story is self-contained so it isn't a problem. The basic plot is the attempt by former spy James to foil an alliance between a representative of the Austrian government and a known vampire: seeing them at a train station, James buys a ticket to Paris and follows them, and a chase across Europe begins. Meanwhile, his wife Lydia, who unusually for the time is a doctor at a university hospital, is concerned after receiving a telegram from him and goes in search of a vampire, Don Simon Ysidro, a Spaniard from the days of Elizabeth I's court. She forms an uneasy alliance with him that allows her to cross Europe in pursuit of James but always too late to prevent her husband falling into traps and danger enroute. Although there is a large cast of characters the author manages to make each of them distinctive and in several cases, quite horrible. She also makes one or two of the characters, especially the female vampire, Anthea, wife of the vampire whom James saw at the station, sympathetic despite the fact that vampires in this universe have to kill humans at least occasionally: with blood alone, they don't receive the mental energy that allows them to exercise what to us are supernatural powers such as clouding minds so that they are not perceived, and they start to lose vitality. The few niggles that prevented the book from earning a full 5 stars are firstly a few anachronisms that were jarring to a British reader: James and Lydia are both British, their vampire ally is a Spaniard who has spent time in Britain and Europe, and yet terms such as 'sidewalk' instead of pavement, 'wire' instead of telegram, and giving the time as twenty of one instead of twenty past one have crept in. Secondly, it is a bit silly of the heroine, Lydia, to be so vain about her glasses that she is always whisking them off - if there were enemies including vampire ones lurking about, I think most people would rather keep the glasses on. Thirdly, she is rather self-serving in expecting Ysidro to refrain from killing anyone on the trip and yet be able to protect her and the travelling companion he obtains for her, in the interests of respectability - it is obvious that he is increasingly debilitated without. Considering she is eager enough for her husband to shoot someone at one point, that seems rather hypocritical. Despite all this, I found it an absorbing and exciting read with lots of suspense and vividly described settings, and have been interested enough to order books 1 and 3 of the series now that I know there are quite a few more of them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Well, bummer. I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first. Lydia got on my nerves with her stupid glasses hangup, and the plot often dragged. There were still some good action sequences with James, and I like the way Hambly writes her vampires, but I think I’ll take a break from this series for a while. (view spoiler)[I also didn’t like that both Lydia and James ended up crushing on their respective vamps. It felt especially out of the blue with James. Phooey. (hide spoiler)] Well, bummer. I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first. Lydia got on my nerves with her stupid glasses hangup, and the plot often dragged. There were still some good action sequences with James, and I like the way Hambly writes her vampires, but I think I’ll take a break from this series for a while. (view spoiler)[I also didn’t like that both Lydia and James ended up crushing on their respective vamps. It felt especially out of the blue with James. Phooey. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert Defrank

    For untold millennia, vampires have drained the blood of the living, but have remained apart from mortal conflicts as they stalked their prey, but there has never been such a time as this. The First World War looms on the horizon. All Europe teeters on the edge and while the inciting incident is beyond anyone’s ability to predict, a war that would tear the West apart is inevitable, and not even the undead will be permitted to stand aside. In Traveling with the Dead, readers revisit the husband and For untold millennia, vampires have drained the blood of the living, but have remained apart from mortal conflicts as they stalked their prey, but there has never been such a time as this. The First World War looms on the horizon. All Europe teeters on the edge and while the inciting incident is beyond anyone’s ability to predict, a war that would tear the West apart is inevitable, and not even the undead will be permitted to stand aside. In Traveling with the Dead, readers revisit the husband and wife team of James and Lydia Asher, reluctant investigators of the uncanny and supernatural. A year has passed since they made their deal with the devil and were permitted to walk away reasonably unscathed, having unraveled the mystery related in Those who Hunt the Night, but now the deeper threat merely glimpsed in the prior novel comes to the forefront: the crowned heads of Europe are beginning a supernatural arms race in preparation for the Great War, and Austro-Hungary is ahead of the game, their agents having secured the alliance of an English vampire. James Asher unwillingly takes up his duties as spy for the Crown to prevent the Austro-Hungarians making common cause with the undead, but he is walking into more danger than he realizes. Lydia must set out to warn him, but she will need the help of one vampire she’d hoped never to see again: the Sixteenth Century Spanish hidalgo, Don Simon Ysidro. Ysidro, who had retained James’ and Lydia’s services in Those who Hunt the Night and who could have eliminated them afterward to be rid of loose ends. A subtle and deadly hunter, terrifying, ruthless and seductive, yet bound by a code of honor to which he holds fast as his last tether to his lost humanity, as well as possessing a growing affection for the Ashers. Ysidro is a character who easily deserves to be recognized above and beyond Lestat, and leagues past a certain sparkly specimen who shall remain nameless. The reader almost begins to like him, then realizes this too is part of his deadly charm and a weapon in his predator’s arsenal, as seen when he entrances and enslaves a naïve girl with romantic fantasies implanted in her vulnerable mind. Readers who have rolled their eyes at the plotline of the Twilight books will notice some similarities between this character and Bella Swan, who likewise has her mind filled up with fantasies of eternal romance, but in this case, the character serves only as Ysidro's companion and sustenance while traveling. Historical fantasy, thriller and espionage novel, the adventure will take the pragmatic Lydia and reserved but resourceful James across eastern Europe, to the tangled streets of pre-World War Vienna, and to the decadent and deadly intrigues of a vampire’s court in Constantinople. Highly recommended and a hidden gem of fiction and exceeding Anne Rice’s intriguing but long-winded tomes. Hambly brings the past to life in lush detail while keeping readers on their toes with danger, intrigue and a breakneck pace. Her love of history shines through again and the reader can gain some reluctant sympathy for the undead, in many ways exiles from their own time as the centuries have passed, by recreating a time set in a world that is about to change and give birth to the modern age. Particularly good is the vulnerability and limitations of the two mortal protagonists, who ground the narrative as they play their role in a fantastic and macabre world, and who recognize some remnant of humanity even in the horrifying blood-drinking inhabitants. I eagerly anticipate following their further adventures. Here’s hoping someone thinks to put these books to film and gives them the treatment they deserve.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Collins

    This is a sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night, set one year later (in 1908) and featuring Lydia and James Asher along with the vampire Don Simon Ysidro, who first arrived in England in the retinue of King Philip of Spain when he came to court Mary Tudor. When Asher disappears chasing vampires and spies halfway across Europe, Lydia and Ysidro strike up an uneasy alliance and head out in pursuit. I didn't find the plot especially interesting, and overall the book isn't as good as the first one, but e This is a sequel to Those Who Hunt the Night, set one year later (in 1908) and featuring Lydia and James Asher along with the vampire Don Simon Ysidro, who first arrived in England in the retinue of King Philip of Spain when he came to court Mary Tudor. When Asher disappears chasing vampires and spies halfway across Europe, Lydia and Ysidro strike up an uneasy alliance and head out in pursuit. I didn't find the plot especially interesting, and overall the book isn't as good as the first one, but every scene with Ysidro was fascinating. I like Hambly's writing very much and I look forward to reading more of her work.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelli

    I didn't love this one as much as the first one, but still a really good story. I love the historical detail and the way vampirism works. I love the characters of James Asher and Don Simon (vampire). Lydia Asher, wife of James, gets on my nerves a little. I like her better when she's in scenes with James and they spent the majority of this book separated. I always find the vampire characters interesting. The first book moved faster for me. This one bogged down in places. I felt like it took a re I didn't love this one as much as the first one, but still a really good story. I love the historical detail and the way vampirism works. I love the characters of James Asher and Don Simon (vampire). Lydia Asher, wife of James, gets on my nerves a little. I like her better when she's in scenes with James and they spent the majority of this book separated. I always find the vampire characters interesting. The first book moved faster for me. This one bogged down in places. I felt like it took a really long time to get to the point of what was happening and why. The big climatic scene was very near the end. I also noticed that there was a lot of unneeded wordiness in this one. Someone would say something or ask a question and then there would be a paragraph of thought before the other spoke. If this happened in the first book, it didn't bother me as much. I found it distracting. I still enjoyed it though and will read the next in the series. 3.5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This is the second book of Barbara Hambly featuring the former spy, James Asher and his wife, Lydia. As the title tells, there is some travelling involved and I quite liked to visit some European cities at the brink of the first world war. Still, I did not enjoy this one as much as I remember to enjoy the first one, but my memory might be blurred. Also, I think the novelty of “spy meeting vampire” was wearing off and the plot just not thrilling enough.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    This book was a major disappointment. 1.5 stars rounded up. Uninteresting, antiquated fashion reports abound in this soporific, rambling book. On the one hand, I liked the little wifey-poo getting involved and having an intelligent, systematic approach to investigating the whereabouts of the vampire clans. On the other hand, the narrative jumped around so much and skipped major blocks of time, then tried to fill-in a few of the blanks in retrospect. Too much retrospect, not enough action. Why ha This book was a major disappointment. 1.5 stars rounded up. Uninteresting, antiquated fashion reports abound in this soporific, rambling book. On the one hand, I liked the little wifey-poo getting involved and having an intelligent, systematic approach to investigating the whereabouts of the vampire clans. On the other hand, the narrative jumped around so much and skipped major blocks of time, then tried to fill-in a few of the blanks in retrospect. Too much retrospect, not enough action. Why hasn’t Asher gone out and had a silver mesh vest or dickey made to protect from easy vampire access, or at least placed locks on the bracelets and necklaces to make them impossible to coerce off via vampiric mind control. With as much as they fear the night-stalkers, it would have been so simple to do – even I can and have knit silver wire into a decorative and protective collar. The title of this book was apt, really the majority of the book was spent traveling around pre-WWI Europe with vampires and falling for their insidious plots and plans. I would also like to see some objective investigation of why the vampires have to feed to the death – couldn’t they feed and scare people to catatonia, draw out the process but not kill? Or feed off of the toxic atmosphere within a violent riot or prison or desperate hospital wards? Or even be behind the rush to war in order to feed on the mass chaos and despair on the battlefield. This book took three times as long as it should have for me to finish because I simply couldn’t keep my interest in the plot. Everyone in the book kept doing stupid things, it was hard to keep track of where anyone was at any given moment, and I really started not to care. Fortunately, Don Simon was vaguely interesting in a wimpy way, Lydia in a bumbling myopic way, James not so much in a let me reminisce about all kinds of unrelated stuff kind of way. I could in reality buy Lydia’s initial insecurity about herself but by this point in her marriage, she really shouldn’t be so stupid as to put her life in danger because of her fear of being seen with glasses, especially since she does not seem to think she is a raving beauty without them. She is either extremely shallow or her eyesight cannot be as bad as painted because I have bad eyesight and I would not trade anything for the ability to see my surroundings. I have so many problems with this book and it annoyed me so much, only the prospect of already having the third book in my hands kept me reading the series. Even with some of these same issues, the next book is much simpler and better.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emmett

    The breadth (of scope) and depth (of detail) in this story is astounding, going beyond '19th century but with vampires', as Hambly re-creates for the reader the immensity and variety of 19th century Europe, while managing to insert an original intricate plotline. The taut and well-plotted narrative aside, I was also delighted by the various 'asides' that explore the world within the novel, which is especially satisfying given its richness. James and Lydia Asher make very intelligent and plausibl The breadth (of scope) and depth (of detail) in this story is astounding, going beyond '19th century but with vampires', as Hambly re-creates for the reader the immensity and variety of 19th century Europe, while managing to insert an original intricate plotline. The taut and well-plotted narrative aside, I was also delighted by the various 'asides' that explore the world within the novel, which is especially satisfying given its richness. James and Lydia Asher make very intelligent and plausible protagonists (unfortunately for me, consequently, Margaret their tag-along evoked less appeal and sympathy), and the vampires are well-crafted with the individual personality quirks and believable motivations. The Ashers' professions are a very clever move, for it is through their scientific and academic interests that they prod their contemporary marvel that is the vampire, not without humour. Lydia's inveterate habits of wondering at the particular shininess of Ysidro's fingernails, or contemplating the various biological and chemical changes that may have occurred during the turning of a mortal, are entertaining and very believable. The other musings on the nature of good and evil, the vampire's definition of love, and the variety of organisation across vampire societies, add to a sparkling, grounded, intellectually- and sensuously-thrilling tale.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maggie K

    This was ok, but I liked the first novel in the series a WHOLE lot better. I expected to like this a lot more. But the story-telling was pretty disjointed. There were some pretty gaping holes in the plot, and some characters that weren't really being used to their potential in the plotline. Also, the human characters tendency to use the vampires at one moment and be disgusted with them the next grew very old as it kept happening. "get me out of here, please. How dare you eat that beggar, I forbid This was ok, but I liked the first novel in the series a WHOLE lot better. I expected to like this a lot more. But the story-telling was pretty disjointed. There were some pretty gaping holes in the plot, and some characters that weren't really being used to their potential in the plotline. Also, the human characters tendency to use the vampires at one moment and be disgusted with them the next grew very old as it kept happening. "get me out of here, please. How dare you eat that beggar, I forbid you from eating anyone else, but help me find my husband, why are you too weak to move?" Just really comes off, well, stupid. The story here is that James spots one of the vampires he is 'friendly' with going off with a known double agent, and decides he needs to follow them on to a train to Paris in order to stop whatever kind of plot they must be developing against England. huh. A plot against England? hmmm Anyway, Lydia of course jumps in, but knowing it will be dangerous, she gets ANOTHER local vampire to come help her. huh. A vampire will keep you safe? and so starts the story....and each development is sort of the same. and it never really comes to a good resolution. Even when they realize WHY someone is taking a vampire out of London, it really makes no sense.

  12. 4 out of 5

    S.A. Bolich

    I enjoyed this one, but not as much as I did the first one, Those Who Hunt the Night. For one, we don't get to see quite as much of Asher, and more of Lydia, his wife. She is far more concerned with how she looks at every moment than I find delightful, and her fixation on keeping Ysidro righteous is just stupid, considering how much she has weakened her only ally. Once again, though, Hambly has done a fantastic job of recreating the Victorian era, and not just in London, but in Paris and Constan I enjoyed this one, but not as much as I did the first one, Those Who Hunt the Night. For one, we don't get to see quite as much of Asher, and more of Lydia, his wife. She is far more concerned with how she looks at every moment than I find delightful, and her fixation on keeping Ysidro righteous is just stupid, considering how much she has weakened her only ally. Once again, though, Hambly has done a fantastic job of recreating the Victorian era, and not just in London, but in Paris and Constantinople. In that regard dear Lydia is quite a product of her age, which just convinces me that I doubt I would enjoy meeting many women from that era! Nonetheless, this is a good companion piece to the first book, and I'm happy to see there's another one out in the series. So off I go to read that one...

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Joyce

    James Asher, Victorian, ex-secret service, and aware of the vampires in our midst, sees a known enemy spy in the company of a vampire and realizes that the enemy may be planning to use vampires, to further their political goals. This leads to a chase across Europe, starting in London and ending in Constantinople. Meanwhile, Asher's wife, Lydia, has determined to come and save her husband. To do so, she has enlisted the one vampire they have worked with, in the past, Ysidro. Understanding the thr James Asher, Victorian, ex-secret service, and aware of the vampires in our midst, sees a known enemy spy in the company of a vampire and realizes that the enemy may be planning to use vampires, to further their political goals. This leads to a chase across Europe, starting in London and ending in Constantinople. Meanwhile, Asher's wife, Lydia, has determined to come and save her husband. To do so, she has enlisted the one vampire they have worked with, in the past, Ysidro. Understanding the threat involved in the exposure of vampire kind, Ysidro comes. Adventure, action, spies, vampires, more vampires, and then more vampires still. Including the Master of Constantinople, a giant who wields a pure silver (capable of harming vampires) halberd. Fun entertainment. Sylvia is definitely more interesting than Asher or Ysidro.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Arrowsmith

    I always enjoy Barbara Hambly's work (the first books of hers that I read were the Star Trek novels) and this is a wonderful vampire tale. It's the second in the series, I realised as I got into it, so now I will have to go looking for the first one. The vampires are properly not-human, and the reason for the long and dangerous journey from London to Constantinople, via Vienna, is kept mysterious right to the end. I also liked the heroine, who is short-sighted but too vain to wear her glasses in I always enjoy Barbara Hambly's work (the first books of hers that I read were the Star Trek novels) and this is a wonderful vampire tale. It's the second in the series, I realised as I got into it, so now I will have to go looking for the first one. The vampires are properly not-human, and the reason for the long and dangerous journey from London to Constantinople, via Vienna, is kept mysterious right to the end. I also liked the heroine, who is short-sighted but too vain to wear her glasses in public, but with sufficient strength of character to hold her own against the old and powerful vampire she is travelling with.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Really enjoyed Hambly's interpretation of how vampirism works. She never lets you lose sight that they may appear human but they are definitely not like us.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ms.beau

    I was disappointed by this second in the series. It felt frantic and disjointed, I couldn't focus on any character long enough to establish a connection.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Whoever

    The first one was much better

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard Haines

    I had not realised that there was more than one book in this series for at least 20 years I think. I had loved the first book, a brilliant story of Victorian vampires and spies in time before a world would go to war. So when I did learn there was more to read about James Asher and Ysidro, I was all in. I was not disappointed by this book, but neither was I excited. The writing is excellent, as is the character development. The concept was strong, but the plot was a little thin, and way too drawn I had not realised that there was more than one book in this series for at least 20 years I think. I had loved the first book, a brilliant story of Victorian vampires and spies in time before a world would go to war. So when I did learn there was more to read about James Asher and Ysidro, I was all in. I was not disappointed by this book, but neither was I excited. The writing is excellent, as is the character development. The concept was strong, but the plot was a little thin, and way too drawn out in the second half of the book. Sometimes you can draw out a plot like that and get away with it, but becasue the characters are pursuing villains whose motives are secret, it's just too much time reading a book as the characters fail to know what's going on, and therefore as a reader you have to "not know what's going on" also. It has not turned me off continuing the series, by no means. Lydia Asher is compelling, strong, independant woman at a time when it is not easy to be one. James Asher is a remarkably interest character, who is everything you want a spy to be, but nothing you expect a spy to be. And Don Simon Ysidro is simultaneously every good vampire cliche, with a fascinating dash of chivalry hidden beneath.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzyq

    I read the first James Asher novel some time ago, and never went back to the series until now, when I thought a nice gothic would be a good palate cleanser from the fantasy novels I've read this summer. I loved Barbara Hambly's fantasy novels of the 80s, and they were huge influences on my taste during high school and college. (I must have read The Time of the Dark six times by now.) And yet this second book of her vampire series was so disappointing I almost didn't finish it. Plot holes, a flas I read the first James Asher novel some time ago, and never went back to the series until now, when I thought a nice gothic would be a good palate cleanser from the fantasy novels I've read this summer. I loved Barbara Hambly's fantasy novels of the 80s, and they were huge influences on my taste during high school and college. (I must have read The Time of the Dark six times by now.) And yet this second book of her vampire series was so disappointing I almost didn't finish it. Plot holes, a flash-back heavy storyline that is very difficult to follow, inexplicable gaps in the narrative and irritating main characters meant I just didn't enjoy this much.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Austin

    I've lost count of how many times I've read this book and every time I fins something new. A tale of vampires, history, espionage and of course love. Barbara Hambly's writing is amazing (much more so than mine obviously). It's a slow burn to.vook, the action really takes place in the last chapter or 2 but the wait is worth it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Guice

    I am enjoying this not so typical vampire series...the characters are smart and the writing is crisp, unpredictable with vocabulary that is complex (forcing me to look up the words!!). I had read some of the later books decided to go back to the beginning. I also LOVE Hambly's Benjamin January series set in 19th century New Orleans...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Roberta Biallas

    Almost as good as the first one. I like how Hambly portrays the vampires so sympathetically. While they are indeed killers, their acts are ones of necessity. Lydia and James Asher are an extremely interesting couple. But I must say I do find myself liking Ysidro more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    angelique Kobylinski

    Delightful What I love about this book is Lydia's journey to save her husband. Lydia is a wonderful character who is both strong and vulnerable.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cal

    Excellent vampire series set in turn of the century Europe.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alla

    This book is even better then the first book in this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    BRT

    Lots of vampires, lots of travel, lots of intrigue.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This one has a slow start. A lot of the middle East better but still hard to get through. The end though, very good! And as always Barbara's prose is often breathtaking.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erin (PT)

    I haven't read Traveling with the Dead as many times as some of Hambly's other books, though I remember liking it a lot. I don't know if my reasons are the same now as they were then, but on this re-read--and though it's still a good book--I'd definitely say it's not one of my favorite Hambly books or my favorite of this series. Part of it is the narrative itself; sprawling (somewhat by necessity, as the book goes from London to Constantinople) and not as tight, as cohesive, as I would've liked. I haven't read Traveling with the Dead as many times as some of Hambly's other books, though I remember liking it a lot. I don't know if my reasons are the same now as they were then, but on this re-read--and though it's still a good book--I'd definitely say it's not one of my favorite Hambly books or my favorite of this series. Part of it is the narrative itself; sprawling (somewhat by necessity, as the book goes from London to Constantinople) and not as tight, as cohesive, as I would've liked. The section of the book in Austria feels almost like a different novel than the part in Constantinople, and I didn't feel like Hambly did herself any favors when she started telling James' side of the story non-linearly; it made it more confused and confusing than it needed to be. The other part of my dissatisfaction was definitely new. In previous readings of the story, I definitely came down firmly on Lydia's side when it came to the character of Margaret Potton. But this time around, I definitely felt a great deal more sympathy for Margaret, both in text and in the way Hambly chose to portray her, both of which colored my ability to empathize with Lydia. Though Lydia is somewhat aware of her collection of privileges, her awareness doesn't mitigate the way those privileges affect her view of Margaret or the fact that Margaret is just as helplessly ensnared in the situation as Lydia herself. Probably even more so, as Lydia is embarked on this entire journey by choice, whereas Margaret only has the illusion of choice. As the only two women who spend any amount of time together in the narrative, it bugged me that there wasn't room in the narrative for more than them to be at odds the entire time. I feel like Hambly generally does a great job with women and so it was a tough pill to swallow that Margaret was both treated and portrayed so badly throughout the narrative. One thing that I don't think I paid much attention to before and that I enjoyed a lot was the parallel stories of (view spoiler)[James and Lydia falling for their respective vampire companions, and how it did NOT affect in the least their feelings for each other. (hide spoiler)] Since reading the later stories (and getting more involved in fandom) I'm also more aware of the emotional tether between James and Ysidro in a way I wasn't when I first read Traveling With the Dead. As I think I noted in my review of Magistrates of Hell, there's a definitely polyamorous vibe to the triangle, if completely non-sexual, that I find really interesting.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Spjut

    Traveling With the Dead; 1995 Barbara Hambly; Del Ray, NY This is number two of Hambly's vampire/murder/suspense novels involving Dr. James Asher, his wife Lydia Asher and their unwilling, older than dirt, vamperic associate Don Simon Ysidro. As always my reviews are not as much about the content of the book as it is about the over all flow and structure. But let me state here that I think of the three books in this particular series to date - "Those Who Hunt the Night"; "The Magistrates of Hel Traveling With the Dead; 1995 Barbara Hambly; Del Ray, NY This is number two of Hambly's vampire/murder/suspense novels involving Dr. James Asher, his wife Lydia Asher and their unwilling, older than dirt, vamperic associate Don Simon Ysidro. As always my reviews are not as much about the content of the book as it is about the over all flow and structure. But let me state here that I think of the three books in this particular series to date - "Those Who Hunt the Night"; "The Magistrates of Hell"; and "Traveling With the Dead" - book number two is by far my favorite, at least in terms of story and plot. What I like most about the author's stories is their ease of read and that almost all of her characters are even easier to connect to; something I can't say about every author's work I read. It's not that the plot is simple or that the characters have no depth or emotional texture to grab hold of - just the opposite. But if Hemingway wrote to stimulate the soul, then Hambly writes to entertain it with intelligence and ingenuity. And though I wouldn't use terms like 'brilliant' in connection with her prose, I wouldn't hesitate to use 'astute', 'clever', 'cunning', 'intriguing' or 'vulnerable'. “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye Mechanically speaking I think it would be hard to fault Hambly's efforts (but then I'm the one who loves a truly convoluted tale whose main characters have been known to switch plot lanes without turn signals) but correctly structured stories still don't guarantee the story is worth the read. In this case she's managed to do both: write a well structured story while telling a good tale. If I were looking for something to stimulate my cerebral cortex I'd probably have gone with Hemingway. But on the other hand if I were looking to unplug from a long day of writing, SM and life in general, and I wanted something to entertain without boring me to tears I'd go with "Traveling With the Dead." On my reader scale of one to five stars I'm giving Traveling With the Dead 3.5 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Kirk

    I've read Those Who Hunt the Night several times, and I often thought that I'd like to read a sequel (so that I could see more of the characters) but I didn't think it would be possible based on the way that the previous book ended. When I belatedly found out that there was a sequel, I immediately bought a copy, but I was disappointed; I think my concerns were well-founded. Admittedly, it may be significant that I read this over the space of a week (on train journeys); maybe I would have enjoyed I've read Those Who Hunt the Night several times, and I often thought that I'd like to read a sequel (so that I could see more of the characters) but I didn't think it would be possible based on the way that the previous book ended. When I belatedly found out that there was a sequel, I immediately bought a copy, but I was disappointed; I think my concerns were well-founded. Admittedly, it may be significant that I read this over the space of a week (on train journeys); maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I'd sat down and read it all in one go. (view spoiler)[By the end of the previous book, Asher and Ysidro had both risked their lives to save each other, and they agreed that they'd leave each other alone. At the start of this book, Lydia goes looking for Ysidro, and the book suggests that she's in danger from him. However, I never really believed that; it was a significant risk for Asher in the first book, but not here. To the author's credit, she clearly makes an effort to avoid rehashing the first story. In particular, she mixes up the character pairs, rather than putting Asher and Ysidro together again. Similarly, there's a definite "road trip" theme to this book, rather than staying in the same location(s) as the first novel. In this book, a recurring theme is that Lydia spends a lot of time on her appearance. That may well be historically accurate, and it may also be an interesting character trait in its own right. However, it didn't really seem to fit in with the previous book, where she came across as someone who could get ready and rush out of the door within 5 minutes. Similarly, the first book made a comment about her string of male suitors; something like "They assumed that she'd like them just because they found her attractive." So, it seems odd that she'd consider herself ugly here, and be so vain regarding her glasses. (hide spoiler)]

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