Not a Winner Wednesday: The Vines

Posted 24 June, 2015 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Not a Winner Wednesday: The VinesThe Vines by Christopher Rice
Published by Little, Brown Book Group on October 21st 2014
Genres: Fiction, Horror
Pages: 224

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Spring House, New Orleans: a plantation manor of money and influence. But something sinister lurks beneath the glamour of the old estate, awoken by blood and looking for revenge . . . After Caitlin Chaisson tries to take her own life in her mansion's cherished gazebo, it becomes apparent that Spring House's malevolent history won't stay hidden for long. By morning her husband has vanished without a trace and his mistress has gone mad. Nova, daughter to the groundskeeper, is determined to get to the bottom of the horrors. But she soon realises that the vengeance enacted by this sinister and otherworldly force comes at a terrible price. Some secrets are better left sleeping soundly . . .

Soooo… Anne Rice’s son. Perhaps it was reading this book right in the wake of the Charleston massacre that made it so distasteful to me, but I found the appropriation of slavery to use as a plot point (a big one, no doubt) to be a bit offensive.

The writing in The Vines is mediocre, at best. None of the characters are fully fleshed out and the supernatural elements are less than fully explored. Perhaps I could have overlooked the angry black slave woman being cast in the role of the voodoo queen had the writing been a little better. As it was, this is strictly a genre book with no themes or anything deeper mooring it to the world of serious literature… which would be fine, except that pesky little use of racial stereotypes out of Louisiana and the use of slavery. Skip it.

What about you, Reader? Can the use of an offensive theme ruin an otherwise perfectly average genre novel for you? 


April @ The Steadfast Reader


  • Lindsey Stefan

    I’m sorry this one was a total dud, but I love the idea of Not A Winner Wednesday! I think that’s why a lot of people steer clear of genre fiction – there are some great ones, but so many are terrible or just ok.

  • Oh, boo. I feel like you’ve been striking out a lot lately, and this one sounds particularly egregious. Hope your next read is better!

  • That does sound offensive. It would bother me.

    I’m sorry you’ve been on a streak of mediocre books. I hope you’ll have “magnetic/marvelous” Monday or “fascinating” Friday soon!