The Moonlight Brigade: A Millenial Novel
Nazi-hunting vampires, led by an undead Roman general bent on rescuing Italy from Fascism? Why not? You can’t fault Stratford for her fresh take on the World War II resistance novel. Mors, a 2,000-year-old vampire with a penchant for war, is in Europe, searching for other vampires hemmed in by the Nazis’ power. But when he meets Giulia, a beautiful resistance fighter in Rome, he can’t help but be drawn into her cause, despite her being a human. Using his military skills, he organizes Giulia and her band of young girls into a highly-trained guerilla unit, hoping, in the process, to win her as more than an ally.
The prose is solid, the characters well-drawn and distinct, but the transition into Stratford’s world is a bit jarring. This is the second book in a series, and it felt like it. She brings her readers into the middle of the vampires’ campaign against the Axis powers and ends without them reaching their goal. I understand that not every series book is meant to be read as a stand-alone, but it was hard to sympathize with the characters. Stratford is a historian, and her careful research shows, but in a story that leaps beyond the history into something more, a more careful coaching into that world would have been appreciated.