Tuesday, June 21, 2011

99 Coffins

This book is the sequel to 13 Bullets; however, it is not a typical sequel. This book alternates between the present and flashbacks to the Civil War.

99 Coffins begins on an archeological site related to the Battle of Gettysburg. A group of college students are excavating a weapons cache that they and the university believe to be completely unimportant. What they discover under the cache is another room containing 99 coffins from the Civil War era.

The narration jumps between journals, correspondence, and battle reports from three Civil War soldiers and the events surrounding Laura Caxton. Wellington does a fairly good job of capturing the patterns of Civil War era speech, helping the reader become immersed in the story. In the present day events, Arkeley once again pulls Trooper Caxton (mostly unwillingly) into another fight against the vampires. Caxton must adorn Arkeley's mantle as the lead officer in this case, as the last encounter left Arkeley crippled.

Once again the odds for our heroes seem impossible to overcome, for me this adds to the appeal of a story when done well. Rooting for the underdog feels good. Seeing the human spirit persevering through trials no matter how awful is uplifting, even when the events themselves are horrible and disturbing.

Wellington jumps between the two narratives effectively, using the Civil War accounts to inform the reader about, and accentuate, present day events. We learn more about vampires in this world, yet are aware that we are still missing some necessary details (as Caxton herself realizes). Yet again, Wellington gives us a cliffhanger ending. I have already begun the third book, Vampire Zero.

Happy summer reading everyone.

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