Night Walker: Aaron Speer’s Take on the Unwritten Side of Vampires
“Although I rarely read vampire stories, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. An erotic and exciting tale about vampires in Australia.” Amazon review
Vampire fiction is a genre sure to have been covered by most avid readers, however Aaron Speer’s new novel is certainly not your typical vampire story. Set in Sydney, Australia, Night Walker strays from the cliche Gothic castles you may find in the novels surrounding this one on your local library bookshelf.
The story is about a young woman named Alex Hensley; her life is not glamorous but she is content with her boyfriend Matt and best friend Lauren. What Alex will discover might put a strain on her relationship with the two people she trusts the most. Soon to be revealed is Sydney’s dark secret. Something extraordinary has been hiding in the dark since the First Fleet, and Alex is introduced to this mystery by Dante, a cool and handsome club owner who first caught the eye of Lauren. Alex finds herself drawn into Dante’s world at the loss of her friends. Speer says “it is a revelation that will challenge everything she knows about herself, yet put her in the sights of sinister forces hell bent on ensuring the secrets remain intact”. The rule of sinister forces that has kept this secret for over two hundred years? They join us or die. Will Alex have to make the ultimate sacrifice for those she loves?
Aaron Speer, the author of Night Walker saw potential to create his own vampire lore; he suspects “no one has written a vampire book about Australia, ever”. At twenty eight years old, Aaron has toyed with the idea of writing a novel for some time; the process of writing Night Walker began in 2011. Years were spent structuring the story, writing the key details, editing and scrutinizing his work to conclude the process with a finely polished novel. It is no secret that Aaron struggled to gain the support of agents and publishers; vampires were ‘too hard to sell in the current market’ from an unknown author. However, Aaron was determined to bring his work to its deserving audience so chose to self-publish, despite the stigma attached. Successful in his decision, copies of Night Walker are now available digitally through Amazon, as well as hard copies from Create Space. There is more to come from Aaron Speer; Night Walker is the first of a trilogy. The sequel, Day Dreamer, is due in 2016.
Bookshops today are littered with novels about vampires and the forbidden romance that often comes hand-in-hand. Aaron was inspired by a disheartening find in a city bookstore, wall to wall was a section for vampire fiction, dominated by Twilight! The typical angst, love and horror found in these novels was not what Aaron wanted to create. He says “I didn’t set out to write something because I felt it could be better, but I sure felt it could be different”. This inspired realization is where Aaron began. Ironically, Aaron found to be influenced most by television shows and movies, including the classics of Dracula and Buffy as well as newer successes like True Blood. Even so, Night Walker’s fresh take on vampire fiction is what makes this novel stand out. The fascinating setting for novel of its kind, colonial Australia, lead Aaron to develop his own rules for the workings of a vampire. Australia’s reputation as ‘the sunburnt country’ encouraged Aaron to create many disadvantages for his vampires; they become corpses by day. “No movement, no hearing, no senses” is how Aaron describes this creation. The vulnerability suggested for these gothic creatures will keep your pages turning. Another atypical aspect of the vampires is their way of creating more of their kind. Aaron decided to avoid the cliche of drinking blood, as he cleverly points out that it would simply go through the digestive system. Instead, Aaron makes it via the bloodstream directly through the heart, a chilling interpretation to evade the norm. Aaron has remained true to some elements of vampire fiction through history, and tweaked others. This is what makes Night Walker his own masterpiece.
Feedback on Speer’s work says “this book is more involved than the typical urban fantasy/paranormal”. This review is accurate in its description, for the novel includes lots of action, though it is not senseless. The true selling point for Aaron Speer is that he intertwines present day events with the historic colonization of Australia. Alex and Dante’s worlds have collided, but when Alex’s world is flipped upside-down, there are sacrifices to be made.