Friday, June 17, 2011

13 Bullets by David Wellington

If you are looking for sympathetic, tormented, romanticized vampires, you should not read this book. It is a fast-paced, intense vampire book in which vampires are truly horrifying monsters. I've really missed this kind of vampire stories among all the Anne Rice style vampire romances of the past couple of decades. I decided to read this book because I enjoyed Wellington's zombie series so much, Monster Island and Plague Zone, and knew that he wouldn't be following in Rice's footsteps.

I didn't get to complete the book as quickly as I would have liked, the preparations for the move, and then the move itself, kept getting in the way. Life can be very inconvenient at times. I'm sure that the interruptions interfered with the pace of the story for me, otherwise it would have been a very quick read as the pace wraps you up and makes it hard to stop reading.

Set in Pennsylvania, 2003, we are introduced to Special Deputy Jameson Arkeley, he has been given his position because he killed a vampire. Though much of the world believes that vampires are extinct, a few people know better, by the end of the book many more are aware of this. The last known vampire, Justinia Malvern, is being held for study. Special Deputy Arkeley is understandably upset about this, but can't end her life as she's been declared a person and is protected by civil rights law. The problem comes when the vampiric curse escapes her hospital wing and is again unleashed upon the world. In his bid to stop the vampires, Special Deputy Arkeley enlists the help of Laura Caxton, a State Trooper.

Trooper Caxton is an unlikely partner for Arkeley, and it's through her eyes that we see the story unfold. She is small of frame, and her only law enforcement experience is traffic control. He requests her as his partners, because she bothered to read the files on his previous cases. The hunt for vampires consumes Arkeley, and brings Caxton's life into total upheaval. The interplay between the main characters is interesting, it vacillates between antagonistic to admiring. The vampires begin to target Caxton and her girlfriend, spying on them at night and stalking them using half-deads, vampire slaves brought back from death but that do not feed on blood.

The dialogue is good, but the strength of this book lies in its descriptive passages and action sequences. The inhumanity of the vampires is made clear, not only in their actions, but in their hideous appearance and invulnerability. Even high powered bullets bounce off the vampires skin as if they are gnats, only sunlight and fire can harm them when they are at full strength. To harm a vampire in this universe, you must catch them when they are blood-starved or during the day when they lay liquified in their coffin.

So if you are in the mood for an action-packed, vampire-filled police drama, give this books a shot.

No comments: