I decided to buy this deck as a novelty. I was collecting "gothic" type tarot decks like the Vampire Tarot and Wendell's Gothic Tarot when I stumbled upon this one. I am not a fan of comic books or Vampire The Masquerade, so I didn't know what my impression of the deck would be. I tried to find as many of the cards online as possible, but it being a new deck, I only happened upon 10 of them. I took a chance...and it paid off.
The deck follows the skeletal frame of your average tarot deck (Rider Waite for example) yet it is different. The author, in a delicious way, turned the system on its ear and put in a structure that follows the life of a vampire. In other decks, The Sun is a card of great fortune. In this deck, it is more a harbinger of doom connecting with the next card, Judgement. The Sun has a vampire on a hill when the sun is just starting to rise, the Judgement card has the Sun full on the vampire, causing him to burn. Each card has two meanings. For instance, The Tower is called that and the Grave; the Hermit is also called Daytime (great idea with a vampire hiding from the sun alone;) Justice is called Consecrated Ground (which connects vaguely with responsibility, but it such a cool new idea, I will let it slide.)
A few of the Major Arcana bothered me, like Strength/Power and Temperance/Blood because they didn't seem to follow the rules of the tarot. I thought Strength was supposed to be grace under pressure, not a man pulling someone out of their car to attack them. The Blood card doesn't make a lot of sense as a Temperance card. I don't understand why it is supposed to be inspirational. But those aside, the rest is pretty dead on. Heh. The Major Arcana cards that I don't like so much still fit within the structure of the vampire mythos, which goes from innocence to the embrace to death and then innocence reborn. It is amazing how it does this! Very circular!
In the Minor Arcana, they are some beautiful cards. The Ten of Wands, has a young woman with a Bonsai tree who has chained herself to her coffin bed. She is in modern clothing. Most of the cards are modern and urban, except for a few which are almost mid 1900's style. The Three of Cups has a woman in a gown toasting with a man hanging upside down, like a bat. It reminds me of Interview with a Vampire and Lestat. It seems timeless and removed from the other cards.
Another aspect I thought would be confusing is the lack of titles on the minor arcana and on the court cards of the suits, because they have dicelike numbers 1-4 instead of Queen, King, etc on them. But the book makes it clear who is who since all the cards are fully illustrated and explained.
Reading with this deck was wonderful. Each card truly tells its own story in its picture and connects with the others in a tarot book story. It is easy to relate this to your own life when reading. I felt very friendly with it within an hour of opening it and laying the cards out. It is my favorite deck!
I only have a few gripes about the deck. First, that the backs are not reversible, they show the Death card image in a dark red with a border I don't like at all. Plus, I don't like the way the blood was drawn at times, almost with haste. I suppose that is more comic book style, but it comes off as unprofessional to me. Most of the cards are better than the one illustrated on the box that you see above. A word of caution too, some of the cards are very dark and intense. I wouldn't recommend it to children and young teens. I find the Knight of Coins to be very frightening. Some of the cards seem to have that kind of piercing soul to them, showing inner torment with an outer picture.
I am excited to have this deck. There is a magical feeling to them, very spiritual and supernatural that makes you get in their world. I can't recommend it enough!