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Slave Ring
Tim Dedopulos
White Wolf, 285 pages

Slave Ring
Tim Dedopulos
Tim Dedopulos is an honours graduate in Anthropology from the University of London. Formerly employed as an Executive Editor by Carlton Books Limited and as a Commissioning Editor for Wizards of the Coast, he now works as a full-time writer, and also holds a stake in Nightfall Games Limited, one of the leading role-playing game production companies in Britain.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steve Lazarowitz

I've only just finished reading Slave Ring and some of the ideas are still bouncing around in my head. In my opinion, that's what a good book should do. This book surprised me in several ways.

Theo, the protagonist of the story is a vampire. This is not particularly unusual, as any Anne Rice fan can tell you. However, this particular vampire is a black man, who was once a slave in America's deep south. Moreover, Theo is an Archon, a vampire that enforces Vampire laws. Think of him as a one man SWAT team. I rather like the way the author set up the vampire hierarchy, which has Princes in charge of each territory, guided by a council. This feudal setting is precisely the sort of thing I believe powerful, immortal undead humans would set up.

That said, the book takes place in present day (with the exception of a couple of flashbacks to 1888), giving our protagonist years of experience to draw upon. In spite of this, he doesn't seem very wise. If I had to pick something in the book that got on my nerves it was the repetitive characterization of the protagonist. For his age, and position, he seemed just a bit too naive to me. Also his anger is only barely under control throughout. Perhaps because vampires are dead, they don't grow spiritually.

Certainly many of the vampires in the book still had the same prejudices they had while alive, almost as if they are spiritually frozen at the moment of death. I don't know if this was intentional on the part of the author, but I'd like to think it was.

The best way I could describe this book is a Robert Ludlum novel with vampires. It has the same sort of conspiracy feel and the same nearly blind protagonist who must figure out what's going on, against a powerful underground. A vampire underground that funds its activity by the sale of human slaves. Each small clue leads to the next dangerous situation, which provides yet another clue.

The high point of the book was the interactions between the vampires, made more interesting because there were so many different personalities among them. In many vampire stories, all the vampires act pretty much the same. Elegant, pompous, well spoken... or however that author views vampires. In Slave Ring, Tim Dedopulos gives us living, breathing vampires, if you'll pardon the pun.

I was drawn into this book from the beginning and I allowed it to drag me by the nose till the very end. This is probably the best compliment I can give a book. Whatever tiny flaws I did find on the way, didn't detract from my enjoyment.

Keep in mind Slave Ring is only the first book of a trilogy. Even though there is a satisfying conclusion to the book, the mystery of the conspiracy is far from solved.

The level of gore is fairly explicit. I don't prefer quite so much gore in my reading. I tend to read late at night and prefer my gore earlier in the afternoon. On a more serious note, this is more of a personal preference than any kind of complaint and certainly, for a book of this genre, it's apropos.

If you like vampire books, you'll certainly have a good time with Slave Ring, but even if you don't, you'll likely enjoy this book... particularly if you like the action/adventure genre.

Copyright © 2003 Steve Lazarowitz

Steve Lazarowitz is a speculative fiction writer, an editor, a father, a husband, an animal lover and a heck of a nice guy (not necessarily in that order). Steve lives in Moonah, Tasmania with his family and four giant spiny leaf insects. You can check out his work at

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