The Mellification

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Pub Date 01 Dec 2020 | Archive Date 24 Feb 2021
Nat Buchbinder, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles

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Description

Holly is a young transgender vampire in an underground society that values patience as their principle virtue. But as Holly watches his community become more isolated and reluctant to act in the face of danger, he begins to question if it might be better to leave. THE MELLIFICATION begins with Holly’s request for a new name, a sacred rite of passage in his colony. Holly’s request is denied, and he is told by both his spiritual leader Hierophant Marlowe, and his lover Cain, that he must be more patient. But just outside the tranquil gates of Green Hill Cemetery— where these vampires make their home in elaborate hidden catacombs—hostile forces seek to wipe all vampires off the face of the Earth. Holly’s new goal is to escape this claustrophobic colony before it is too late.

Holly is a young transgender vampire in an underground society that values patience as their principle virtue. But as Holly watches his community become more isolated and reluctant to act in the face...


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ISBN 9798556392526
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Average rating from 38 members


Featured Reviews

The Mellification is the pinnacle of what I want the vampire revival to be. With a transgender main character whose colony refuses to let him change his name, in-depth vampire culture, a creepy graveyard setting, honey-soaked mysteries, and betrayal; I need more from this writer immediately. Do you ever get that feeling when you start a book and know it's going to be a good one? That's how I felt with The Mellification. It's like the author took everything I want from vampires and shoved them into this book. The writing was excellent, the graveyard atmosphere was both spooky and compelling, and Holly, the main character, was easy to connect with. Transphobia is a major theme here, and I enjoyed how Nat Buchbinder considered how vampire societies function. The transphobia that Holly faces isn't much to do with their gender identity; it's more focused upon their need for change. Vampires are static, slowly changing creatures that live for hundreds of years. Patience is something they value incredibly highly. I think every trans person can relate to the need for change, if something is making you dysphoric whether that be your body, or your name, you want to change as quickly as possible, you long for it. Holly's longing for change is what puts him so at odds with vampire society, they can't understand him and cause him increasing harm. As much as I appreciate books where transphobia isn't present, it was incredible to see the cultural impacts in a society very different from our own. This links to the major reason I loved this book. The vampire colony's culture was incredibly well thought out. It had it's own rules and traditions ranging from gothic fun to unchallengeable rigidity. One of these rules is the major conflict of the book, vampires will get new names when ready. There are others that I adored. One of my favourites is when vampires are in love, one is buried in an unmarked grave, and the other has to locate them. There's such a strong focus on patience, waiting, processes that take time, which I've never considered before but makes complete sense in this context. A lot of vampire books touch on bat imagery, and that's present here, but what was a pleasant surprise was the linkage to bees. The vampires live in colonies, in hexagonal rooms, with a queen bee in the form of their leader. Honey is mentioned multiple times, it's a powerful substance. I was astounded by this new connection to vampires; the fresh relation to bees was so exciting for me. The ending left a lot of threads unresolved. It ended in an excellent place for a novella, making you want to scream 'no, you can't leave me here!'. At the same time, I can see people being frustrated with just how much was left up to interpretation. There are so many interesting threads in this book that are never fully explored: the honey, the colony, the neo-Nazi organisation, and many character's fates. I'm torn with finding the ending perfect for the story told, and grumpily, desperately wishing for more. I'm not ready to leave this world behind; I want to know more. I'm secretly hoping the author will return to vampires in their future work, but either way, this is someone to keep an eye on!

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