NVK
HER SECRET MUST BE KEPT FOR ALL ETERNITY. Set in the otherworldly megalopolis that is today's Shanghai, Temple Drake's suspenseful first novel blends the gothic, the erotic, and the supernatural as it charts an intense and dangerous affair. One night in 2012, executive Zhang Guo Xing takes a group of European clients to a fashionable nightclub in Shanghai. While there, he meets a strikingly beautiful young Western woman called Naemi Vieno Kuusela. The physical attraction between them proves irresistible, and they embark on an intoxicating affair. But Naemi is not what she appears to be...To Zhang's surprise, she veers between passion and wariness, conducting the relationship entirely on her own terms. He feels driven to find out more about her, and is swiftly drawn into a web of intrigue, mystery, and horror. Is she a ghost? A demon? Do the living dead walk the streets of twenty-first century Shanghai?Written in spare, high-octane prose, NVK is the first in a series of dark, hypnotic novels that explore the roots of desire and the cruel costs of immortality.

NVK Details

TitleNVK
Author
ReleaseNov 26th, 2019
PublisherOther Press (NY)
ISBN-139781590519356
Rating
GenreFantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Fiction, Adult, Romance, Cultural, China, Horror, Dark, Supernatural

NVK Review

  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI just finished beta-reading for one of my author friends, and I have a love-hate relationship with beta-reading for this author because nobody else writes stories like her, so whenever I finish one of her books, I always end up in the grand mother of book slumps-- at least until I get my hands on my next fix (WRITE FASTER). I was in a gloomy and creepy mood, and wanted to read a book that was densely atmospheric, rich with erotic horror Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI just finished beta-reading for one of my author friends, and I have a love-hate relationship with beta-reading for this author because nobody else writes stories like her, so whenever I finish one of her books, I always end up in the grand mother of book slumps-- at least until I get my hands on my next fix (WRITE FASTER). I was in a gloomy and creepy mood, and wanted to read a book that was densely atmospheric, rich with erotic horror and morally grey characters. Much to my surprise, I found that in NVK, and it helped get me out of my slump because it was exactly the type of book I wanted.NVK is one of those books that kind of feels timeless. Reading it reminded me of the vampire and supernatural horror movies from the 80s and 90s, like Fright Night and Lost Boys, where they weren't strictly horror, in that they had romantic scenes and storylines, and explored themes that had more depth than their slasher movie cousins that seemed to serve more as morality plays dressed in gore. It was so good, and the suspense was kept up nicely throughout the story.Set in China, NVK is about a Chinese executive named Zhang who becomes enamored with a mysterious Finnish woman named Naemi. Zhang is a man that has everything, so the elusiveness of Naemi and the way she constantly keeps him hanging fascinates him. They end up dating and sleeping together, and becoming quite fond of each other, but there is something that is not quite right about Naemi. An old man recognizes her in a restaurant and thinks she's his friend from his college days, even though she's only in her twenties. One of Zhang's close friends is insistent that Naemi is a ghost with unfinished business. And Naemi herself, with her strange eyes and the mysterious scar on her upper arm, often defies human qualities, to the point that she seems otherworldly.This book was great. I see that it's the debut work of an author and supposed to be the first in a series, which has me very excited. I would gladly read the other books in the series by this author, because this one had such a great vibe. The spare writing managed to conjure up incredibly vivid scenes, and I liked the morose sense of doom that hung over the story, from start to finish. It's definitely not a read for those who want their books to be all sweetness and light, but I really enjoyed it.Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  4 stars
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  • Lillian
    January 1, 1970
    NVK is amazing. I can best describe it as a literary noir thriller steeped in Finnish culture with a supernatural core. It sounds like an ambitious mash-up but Temple Drake not only makes it work but makes it believable as well. Whoa! Reading a book in one sitting these days is challenging with SO many distractions in our fast paced world. (It always was fast paced but technology seems to have accelerated the speed if that is at all possible). With Drake's vivid, complex characters, finely NVK is amazing. I can best describe it as a literary noir thriller steeped in Finnish culture with a supernatural core. It sounds like an ambitious mash-up but Temple Drake not only makes it work but makes it believable as well. Whoa! Reading a book in one sitting these days is challenging with SO many distractions in our fast paced world. (It always was fast paced but technology seems to have accelerated the speed if that is at all possible). With Drake's vivid, complex characters, finely crafted narrative and masterful pacing the author fairly demands this kind of immersive experience, which is exactly what happened with me. It was impossible to stop reading it until I turned the very last page and believe me it was rewarding. I came to know the characters intimately and fear for them.AND, had trouble sleeping the night after.Read NVK for it's uniqueness, the global setting, and superb storytelling.Thank you Other Press for the ARE
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Man this one is good!! Great setting, writing, story line, very hard to hook me but this one has it!!!
  • Caleb Masters
    January 1, 1970
    A moody, atmospheric take on the classic vampire tale. Set in Shanghai of the late 2010s, Drake's debut novel tells the story of Zhang, a wealthy businessman, and his encounters with Naemi Vieno Kuusela, a mysterious foreigner with a magnetic allure. Temple Drake does an excellent job with mood and tone and I loved the way Shanghai felt; bright neon, glistening rain-soaked streets, whiffs of trash from clogged drains. Filled with intrigue, passion, and a simmering unease, NVK is an exciting new A moody, atmospheric take on the classic vampire tale. Set in Shanghai of the late 2010s, Drake's debut novel tells the story of Zhang, a wealthy businessman, and his encounters with Naemi Vieno Kuusela, a mysterious foreigner with a magnetic allure. Temple Drake does an excellent job with mood and tone and I loved the way Shanghai felt; bright neon, glistening rain-soaked streets, whiffs of trash from clogged drains. Filled with intrigue, passion, and a simmering unease, NVK is an exciting new twist on the genre and I'm interested to see where Drake takes their characters next. 3.5 stars.
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  • Paige Mcgreevy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is brilliant. Reminds me of Murikami. Couldn’t put it down.
  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    Naemi Vieno Kuusela is not the person she appears to be. Much older than her young appearance betrays, she is, above all else, lonely and craving companionship. The companionship is easy enough to come by when the need arises. It’s her other cravings that are another matter, and it’s those cravings that make the loneliness she lives with her forever companion.Naemi’s current life began after the decimation of her family. She was the lone survivor of the massacre, and remembers little of that day Naemi Vieno Kuusela is not the person she appears to be. Much older than her young appearance betrays, she is, above all else, lonely and craving companionship. The companionship is easy enough to come by when the need arises. It’s her other cravings that are another matter, and it’s those cravings that make the loneliness she lives with her forever companion.Naemi’s current life began after the decimation of her family. She was the lone survivor of the massacre, and remembers little of that day or her previous life --- except for the blood, her blood, that forever transformed her life. In the years to come, her lack of aging becomes noticeable to others around her, which means that the life she hoped to have is now out of her grasp. The reality of her life pressed down on her --- she doesn’t age, and she needs to drink blood, her own blood, to survive.When she becomes attracted to a businessman while living in Shanghai, Naemi thinks that the one-night stand will be enough to ease her loneliness. In the past, her short-lived affairs have always been enough for her. But this time, it’s the intensity of the attraction that gets to her, and she lets her guard down. When Naemi finds herself becoming more attracted to Zhang Guo Xing, it worries her. She wonders if she will be able to walk away from this affair cleanly. She knows that she has to move on before he becomes curious about her and her past, but she can’t bring herself to leave him.From the moment that Zhang sees Naemi, he is obsessed. He wants to know who she is, where she lives, what she does for a living, how a woman with pale skin, pale hair and pale eyes has come to be in Shanghai. He wants, more than anything, to be with her. Their mutual attraction brings them together initially, but neither seems willing or able to walk away from what should have been a one-night stand, even when every warning sign tells them that they must end the affair.Naemi spends her life re-inventing herself and then moving on, knowing that she can’t remain in any place for long or questions will be asked --- questions she doesn’t want to answer. The one constant in the ever-changing life she leads are her initials, NVK, the only tie to her past that she allows herself during each re-invention.I love when a genre I think I know surprises me. Temple Drake does just that in NVK. She gave me a world that’s so much more entrancing, dark and fascinating than that of a typical vampire story. Here, the vampires are trapped between the folds of the living world, hoping that no one will ask where they came from. It’s intriguing, dangerous and oh so wonderful, and it makes you think of this world as a place where only vampires exist, weaving in and out of human lives as though they were smoke and not real at all. I fell hard for this story and want more of this gritty, dark world.Supernatural tales that shock are ones that I want to read again and again, which is why I’m happy to see that Drake will be exploring more of NVK’s world. I want more of the people and more of this world. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this new series.Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski
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  • Sarmat Chowdhury
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting read, and not what I expected the book to be based on the summary on the back and reviews from other readers. The characters, while fleshed our, at times seemed animatronic, the erotic scenes at best a fraction of the passion that was shown by characters, and the horror/mythology barley there. The prose however, was fantastic - Temple Drake has a unique writing style and I look forward to reading more works by them; but the lack of clarity of the narrative and the disjointed An interesting read, and not what I expected the book to be based on the summary on the back and reviews from other readers. The characters, while fleshed our, at times seemed animatronic, the erotic scenes at best a fraction of the passion that was shown by characters, and the horror/mythology barley there. The prose however, was fantastic - Temple Drake has a unique writing style and I look forward to reading more works by them; but the lack of clarity of the narrative and the disjointed correlation between the story telling and certain characters didn’t make sense and hurt the overall narrative of what should have been an interesting read.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    An exploration of the physical and psychological demands of auto-vampirism set in a noir Shanghai with references to historical Finnish culture and landscapes. Reads more like a mystery novel than a horror novel, which is probably why I liked it.
  • donna
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Random House for the free copy via edelweiss. This book was just strange. At times it made me think of Fifty Shades of Grey. It was not for me.
  • Sarah Holliday (Page & Cup)
    January 1, 1970
    This innovative, feminist take on vampirism delivers all of the mystery, suspense, and humanity without any of the sensational dramatics or cringe-worthy tropes. Drake has created an iteration of the 'vampire' that is as timeless as her heroine. Most of the characters are intriguing and complex, and the plot is paced quite well. I wouldn't have minded a bit more world-building, though I appreciate that this story seems to be more of a meditation of ideas than a plot-driven adventure tale. This innovative, feminist take on vampirism delivers all of the mystery, suspense, and humanity without any of the sensational dramatics or cringe-worthy tropes. Drake has created an iteration of the 'vampire' that is as timeless as her heroine. Most of the characters are intriguing and complex, and the plot is paced quite well. I wouldn't have minded a bit more world-building, though I appreciate that this story seems to be more of a meditation of ideas than a plot-driven adventure tale. Overall, I think this would be an excellent choice for more daring book clubs, and it's a story that I'm eager to read again.
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