Review: Motherless Child by Glen Hirshberg

June 29, 2014 3.5 stars, Book Review 8 ★★★½

Review: Motherless Child by Glen HirshbergMotherless Child by Glen Hirshberg
Published by Tor Books on May 13, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Horror
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

In his powerful novel, Motherless Child, Bram Stoker Award–nominee Glen Hirshberg, author of the International Horror Guild Award–winning American Morons, exposes the fallacy of the Twilight-style romantic vampire while capturing the heart of every reader.

It’s the thrill of a lifetime when Sophie and Natalie, single mothers living in a trailer park in North Carolina, meet their idol, the mysterious musician known only as “the Whistler.” Morning finds them covered with dried blood, their clothing shredded and their memories hazy. Things soon become horrifyingly clear: the Whistler is a vampire and Natalie and Sophie are his latest victims. The young women leave their babies with Natalie’s mother and hit the road, determined not to give in to their unnatural desires.

Hunger and desire make a powerful couple. So do the Whistler and his Mother, who are searching for Sophie and Natalie with the help of Twitter and the musician’s many fans. The violent, emotionally moving showdown between two who should be victims and two who should be monsters will leave readers gasping in fear and delight.

Originally published in a sold-out, limited edition, Motherless Child is an extraordinary Southern horror novel that Tor Books is proud to bring to a wider audience.


If being a single mother isn’t a difficult enough thing to be-imagine being turned into a vampire and then being hunted by the one who turned you-AND his Mother.

Natalie and Sophie are young single mothers who are best friends, but their lives both go spiraling into a new world of difficulties after being turned by the Whistler, a vampire who is also their favorite rock star. Their friendship is taken to a whole new level of discovery and survival-for themselves and their young children whom they must protect, as they navigate their new identities. Traveling through the Southern US, developing their skills of catching prey, slowly learning bit by bit what exactly happened when and how they turned, and coping with what drastic and gory lengths they have go to in order to survive is told with a stark, gritty sense of realism that pulls you into their world and makes you feel as though you are sitting right next to them in their GTO on their journey. I really enjoyed how Hirshberg expressed the differences between Natalie and Sophie, and the awkward dynamics of discovering a completely new world to survive in. He doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties that both women face as they leave their children behind and struggle to come to terms with their new world, without their children or any sort of guiding support except from each other.

The Whistler was a bit of an enigma to me, and I didn’t really understand the relationship between him and Natalie, whom he calls his Destiny. After he turns both Natalie and Sophie, he abandons them to return to his “Mother”, the vampire woman who turned him. Both the Mother and the Whistler are absolute terrors, both in how they lure in their prey and stalk Natalie and Sophie, even after they part company to find the women-AND their children, for different dark reasons. They are ruthless and manipulative, and I was thoroughly creeped out by how they tracked their victims. My one wish was that we could have seen more of these two characters, as they appeared to be missing from most of the book.

I really enjoyed Motherless Child, although the ending was much less climactic than I expected or liked. I don’t feel as though there was enough resolution between Natalie and her mother, who was another character that I felt was fleshed out well at first but then disappeared for most of the story. Hirshberg’s writing is gritty yet lyrical, and really pulls you in, allowing you to almost hear the characters and see their mannerisms. Again, one of my only complaints would have been to allow a few of the characters to have bigger roles and more page time-they really deserved that and I feel like the story cut them off by not including them more.  It’s been a while since I enjoyed a vampire book, and this was perfectly creepy and dark. The horrific things that Natalie and Sophie endure, and the cold murderous way that the Whistler and Mother tracked them had me turning the pages late into the night. If you are sick of sparkly vampires and want a story that will make you want to leave the lights on at night-this is the book for you.


Reviewed by Angie


I’m a foodie! Obsessed with creating new delicious concoctions and feeding them to my friends and family. When I’m not geeking out on social media I can be found gardening, cooking, reading and being a social butterfly (yah Tabs wrote this bio)

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8 Responses to “Review: Motherless Child by Glen Hirshberg”

  1. Kirsty-Marie

    If being a single mother isn’t a difficult enough thing to be-imagine being turned into a vampire and then being hunted by the one who turned you-AND his Mother. Yikes, I kind of really want to read it now just because of that, haha.
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