Title: The Drayton Chronicles
Author: Tony Bertauski
Published: March 10, 2013
Blurb from Goodreads:
The evolution of a vampire.
The Drayton Chronicles is a collection of novellas.
DRAYTON, THE TAKER
Blake Barnes commits suicide by freezing on Mt. Hood. As his life fades, he assumes Death has come to him in the form of a young man. In his last moments, he asks Death to find his family, to tell them he’s sorry. Drayton honors this last request as he absorbs Blake Barnes’ waning essence. He travels to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to find his family. But saying sorry is not always as easy as the words imply. Drayton seeks to unravel the mess Blake Barnes has left behind and the predator he’s unleashed on his family.
BEARING THE CROSS
Drayton finds Andrew Drummond dying on the roadside. He absorbs the last of his life, but not before Andrew demands vengeance. In those last moments, Drayton understands what Andrew desires. He sees all of his hardships, the crosses he has been forced bear. Drayton will find the source of his suffering. He will show his transgressor Andrew’s pain. He will show him the depth and taste of true suffering.
SWIFT IS THE CURRENT
Drayton spares the life of elderly Ms. Ruth Current. She was supposed to die, but her life is unresolved. Drayton intends to put to rest the blight she and her grandchildren have set loose upon the world.
Father Gordon suffers a life-ending heart attack during mass, but not before he looks into Drayton’s eyes. In them, he sees his own sins and asks for forgiveness. Drayton grants him the opportunity for redemption. But asking for forgiveness is the first step in a very difficult journey.
Dr. James Gallagher has a good life until a new patient hands him a card scrawled with the number 5. His new patient tells him that he will die of a stroke in five days. Dr. Gallagher doesn’t take him seriously since this new patient claims to be thousands of years old. He considers committing him to a psychiatric ward until he begins to have visions.
He sees how Drayton has become what he is today.
This was a awesome collection of stories. I enjoyed every single one of them. I for one don’t think Drayton is a vampire. He might be the origin story, but no vampire.
Drayton is a centuries old man? Kid? Person? Thing? That’s not clear, because he himself does not know what he really is. He’s so old he just remembers snippets of his life in the beginning. The rest he just pieces together. And although Drayton (or his story) makes you wonder what he is and he’s totally honest with his “bad” beginnings, he’s totally likeable. Did he evolve? Or did he just get tired of it all? Get to know him, believe me, it’s worth it. And even though it’s a collection of stories, it does not take away from the whole.