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As many of you may be aware I have a real penchant for vampire books, in whatever shape of form they may take, though have quite recently seemed to have found myself reading more of the romantic/erotic sort!
My brother in law knowing this fact (and also due to him making a mistake with my sisters xmas present and getting the second book in this series!), purchased the book I will now review for you (but only as my sister needs this one first!).
The book in question is "Uprising" by Scott G Mariani.
For centuries vampires have stalked the earth, feeding at will from humans, but remaining reasonably undetectable, that is until the 21st century and the technology that has come with it!
To monitor order within the vampire ranks an new organisation is established to ensure vampires remain in the shadows of the humans sight, called simply the "vampire federation".
This is policed by special agents such as Alexandra Bishop, who will hunt down and destroy any vampire jeopardising and going against the new vampire rules, but there is a growing stronghold of ancient vampires who don't take kindly to the rules, and when a leader is found to take back their blood sucking rights against the humans/dinner, a war between the factions soon ensues.
Police officer Joel Soloman is drawn into the world of vampires after he investigates a series of gruesome murders, that seemingly leaves the victims drained of their blood, though he is no stranger to the secret world, after an incident in his childhood that left his family dead he finds that the last words his Grandfather spoke to him may well be the one's that could save his life.......
This book is completely different to the type of vampire books I have read before, feeling more like the old school vampires of my youth it is much more grotesque, and in now way romantically soft and gentle like the newer incarnations (ie Twilight!).
I loved how even with this fact the vampires have been completely modernised, with technology advancing at the rate it is, the tools that the vampires have available to them made the story feel much more sinister and at times believable, why shouldn't they now be able to walk around in the daylight due to a simply tablet protecting the from the harmful UV rays, and synthetic blood (as is the case with a couple of other books in recent times) no sustains the vampires sufficiently enough to function (though when needs must they can still "dazzle" a human into becoming a dinner date!).
The old school vampires are much more archaic feeling, with this being a deliberate act on the characters parts, they believe that they shouldn't be able to walk around in daylight, so the don't, and the synthetic blood again is a big no-no, so do expect some pretty horrific scenes, there are a couple that did turn my stomach a little, especially when trying to groom and feed the master vampires ghoul (a human servant hat becomes a dead waking creature to serve the masters needs in daytime, but becomes a flesh eater in the process), that scene involving him eating flesh of a very young type (no more is needed to be said on that point!), though this was very brief, the story soon went back onto an even keel from that point.
That said though, this is a vampire book, albeit a modern take, and in my childhood they were creatures of horror that were to be feared, not fancied, so the fact that the author made these creatures distasteful and scary was no mean feat, and probably needed something horrific to get their point across!
This was not a bad book at all, more than readable, and probably would appeal to lovers of all horror genre's, and with this being the first book within the series I expect a thrill packed read to come!
Price wise this has a RRP of £6.99.
Thanks for reading x
Uprising by Scott G. Mariani is the first novel in what promises to be a series called Vampire Federation. I came across it on Amazon whilst browsing for free titles for my new Kindle - Uprising was free at the time although it is not any longer. As a fan of vampire fiction I thought this would be worth a go - after all, if it turned out to be rubbish it wouldn't really matter given that it was free.
The vampires of Uprising are not "out" to humans, but they are reasonably organised. They have a Federation which sets rules and monitors the vampire population. It produces drugs which enable vampires to go out in sunlight, memory blocker for the victims, and a poison which kills vampires if they have the slightest contact with it. They do not, however, have any care for humans - vampires live among humans, but humans are merely a food source to them.
Alex Bishop is a Special Agent in the intelligence section of the Federation. She travels the world dealing with rogue vampires who break the Federation's rules - traditionalists who believe vampires should not have laws and should dominate humans. Joel Solomon is a DI with Thames Valley Police who saw his family murdered by a vampire as a young boy - all his old nightmares resurface when he meets Dec Madden, a young man who claims he saw his girlfriend attacked by vampires. Alex and Joel's paths are brought together as they realise they can help each other against the sinister Gabriel Stone, but Joel has no idea what Alex is...
Uprising is vampire novel unlike any others I have read. It is a thriller - and not in the normal slightly-scary style you might expect from vampire fiction. This is more of a crime thriller where some of the characters happen to be vampires. This is a really refreshing take on the genre, and one which I expect would appeal to a wider audience than those who normally read supernatural or fantasy fiction. In the Q&A with the author which appears at the end of the Kindle edition, Mariani explains that he was trying to mix thriller with Dracula, by bringing in Gothic elements from the Bram Stoker classic. After reading that I could see that these elements were present, but I didn't pick up on this mix while I was reading - these were simply traditional touches to a modern thriller.
The story of Uprising is gripping, although it takes a few chapters to grab your attention. The first few chapters are each about different characters, setting the scene, and so it is difficult to engage with each character in the opening short time we meet them until the story gets going. The characters are good, and could have walked right out of any standard thriller, but I found I could not fully engage with Alex. Perhaps that is because she's a vampire and I'm not, but I don't think that is it; much of the time it's easy to forget what she is. It was much easier to engage with the male characters of Joel and Dec, and this is most likely because they were as much in the dark and learning as they went along as the reader is; Alex at least has some idea of what is going on.
Mariani's style is fast-paced, and very well suited to the story; there are few passages of downtime in the novel, and he keeps the action going relentlessly. I will say however that I found there were parts of the story which seemed too easy for the characters. I don't want to give too much away, but a certain quest went far too well - I was expecting a race around Europe, when suddenly it was over.
I was really pleasantly surprised by Uprising - it was the first free non-classic book I read on Kindle, and I half expected it to be rubbish. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and was hooked on the story and what might happen next. Having checked the author's website, it looks like book two, The Cross, will be published in autumn 2011 - I can't wait. I was lucky enough to get Uprising for free, but I'll be happy to pay for the next one, and will happily recommend Uprising even with a price tag.