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on Sep. 09, 2012 :
Wow, just wow! This book started out with a bang and that bang never seemed to stop.
What I especially liked is that Winship cut most of the set up for the story into a few paragraphs. The description you see for this book is a brief intro before Chapter One. This gave me, as a reader, enough to set up what was going on when the first chapter jumped into Daniel's story. I think without cutting the back story down like that, the book would have dragged on a bit, been longer, and may have had a different overall effect on me. This book is about forward momentum, and when that's stopped the enjoyment does too. But it didn't occur.
By the middle of this book I knew what I wanted for Christmas this year. I wanted the powers of these Vampires. Essentially, when I read the battle scenes I pictured Daniel, the main character, as is her were Wolverine from X-men. Most of the abilities are the same, and when you add the ability Vampires have of being in the sun (due to consuming synth-blood instead of real blood) they are even more similar. This is in no way saying Daniel, and these vampires in general, are rip-offs of this ultimate fighting machine Wolverine. But it helps put into perspective just how much action and devastation occurs during the many fights Daniel gets in to. He has to race through the city of Orion a few times in order to achieve his goal of saving the Princess Cassandra.
Aside from all the action that is included within these pages there are some underlying issues that are brought up. This story takes place in a future, much altered world. It's still the Earth, but a human-vampire war has taken place, nuclear winter, continental shifting, and the dominate race has become Vampires. On top of that a new race is present. Vaempires. Having three races walking the Earth, or Tarados as it's now referred to, will bring conflict. Race conflict is a huge theme in the book. At times when different characters' viewpoints were being brought into play, I began to sympathize with all sides. Even the Vaempires who started the current war. It brings to mind that if we don't all treat the races of our current world equally and humanly...something like this (without the super-human powers) could happen in our life time. Just because a group of people are different doesn't mean they are less of a person. In the defense of the Vampires, the Vaempires are said to be inherently less stable minded and were impatient in the government's actions to adapt to the new race's presence.
Off of that topic and on to a very bad a** character. Daniel was my favorite butt-kicker for most of the book until later one. Cassie can really hold her own in a fight. Some of the stuff she does would make more action heroes hang their heads in shame. And it's not only her fighting. Her will-power and ability to keep a clear mind in a difficult situation is enviable.
What else is there to say about this book other than I loved? I think the mix of genres are worth mentioning. This is part sci-fi, post(-post)-apocalyptic, vampire, action-adventure, (minor) romance, urban fantasy. It's a bit mixture of different elements that fit very well together. I think it'd appeal to lowers of many genres as well as many different reading levels. While most of the gory battles and other violence will probably consider this a more adult book, I also think it could be read by a younger reader (with a parent's permission of course). I think the younger readers will really enjoy the action and almost comic book feel to it. Along with that....can we make this thing into a video game? I don't normally feel that way about a book, but I think it'd be great.
One thing I "disliked" about the book, to finish off the review. The cliff-hanger ending. It's a cliff-hanger!!!! I'm a so happy I read this book when I did because it's only about a month until Vaempires: Zombie Rising is released. At least the wait isn't very long and I still have the novella Vaempires: A White Christmas to read until then.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Aug. 15, 2012 :
If you are looking for an action packed book full of fights and Vampires, this is it! Fighting from the very start of story which continues all the way through the book to the very end, because as the title states, it's a Revolution. After I read Vaempires: White Christmas, I hoped that this book was more action packed, and I wasn't disappointed!
Thomas Winship has written a very fast paced book, which takes place in about 24 hours. The Vaempires are trying to take over the city and the world, and are causing devastation everywhere, praying on the other two species the Vampires and Humans. He has given us a great twist to the Vampire world having the normal Vampires and the super-powered Vaempires.
The story drew me in more and more the longer I read it. However when I got to the last page it was left on a cliff hanger! But I want to know what happens now! Bring on the next book!!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 29, 2012 :
THE SHORT VERSION
Vaempires: Revolution is the first in an intensely original series by Thomas Winship. Elements from multiple genres are blended together: fantasy, vampire fiction, scifi. It's a cool read with a lot of violence, but it's also a coming of age about two rather bad-ass vampires. You get two perspectives for a broad view of the overall story, but because of the cliffhanger ending, it reads more like an introduction than a full novel. Still, I very much enjoyed it and will be tagging along for the rest of the series.
You're introduced to a lot very quickly in this novel, and you have to keep up. It's action-driven and fast-paced, and I recommend re-reading the synopsis first before diving in if it's been a while. The book's blurb gives you an inkling of what's going on that the first chapter throws you into without warning.
We have two main characters: Daniel and Cassandra. Daniel is the son of the Head Royal Guard, and Cassie is the princess. They live in an era thousands of years in the future, after atomic bombs cause a great Devastation and the world is handed over to be ruled by vampires. What's incredibly neat—besides the fact that this is a scifi vampire novel with freaking vampire zombies—is that we see a constant state of evolution. We're shown how vampires evolved beyond humans, and then we see another vampire race called vaempires (note the extra "e"), which have evolved to hunt vampires. It's all very fun and complex.
There are actually very few central characters, and it helps focus the novel onto its central purpose of showing us this advanced war and the subsequent destruction as the vaempires (again, note the extra "e") attack the vampire cities around the world. The characters we do experience—namely Daniel and Cassie—are further explored because of this isolation. It's amazing to see them come into their own and respond to the chaos and death, but it's even more endearing to see their love for each other. It's the driving force of the novel, and I believe the driving force of life. Their love was very well done and their motivations very well supported.
This is a violent book. Just throwing that out there for anyone who's squeamish. I am a little, won't lie, but I managed to skim the gory bits without losing too much of the story. Some images are still kind of sticking to my brain and I wish they wouldn't, but it's nothing that will keep me up tonight. I often read this before bed and it didn't give me any sort of bad dreams. More exciting, really, because of all the action. I love me some good action scenes.
Winship's style is very detailed, and the action scenes specific. We get play-by-plays of what's going on, which isn't my personal preference for writing action scenes. Still, you see each motion and are given the full scope of the fight scenes, which makes Daniel seem even more bad ass. He was trained to be a killer, even if he'd never had to kill before the attack, and he's been trained to protect Cassie because she's a royal. Only, that's not the only reason he wants her safe.
Cassie is just awesome. I wanted more of her voice because of her strength and unyielding will to survive and protect her people, and sometimes sped through Daniel's perspectives just to get back to her. That could also be because I'm a chick and just better related to women. Not sure.
The ending wasn't my thing, just because I wanted more resolution. I felt like Daniel's character went backwards, instead of maturing, and I kind of bit my lip when I realized I only had a page left and it wasn't enough space to resolve anything. There was also a moment when the conflict climaxed and it seemed that resolution was imminent, but then the rug was yanked from under us. I kinda sat back and thought, damn, that's no fun. It still isn't going to stop me from reading the rest of the series, nor does it ruin the overall story.
Bottom line: this is a cool book. If you like vampires, fantasy, or hell, even scifi, I think you'll like this. It's an interesting blend of something new and refreshing, and I think it would make the coolest video game in a long time. Seriously, read it and tell me that wouldn't kick ass as a multiplayer -or- an individual campaign game! It rocks.
(reviewed the day of purchase)