A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal


A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising
By Raymond A. Villareal
Publisher: Mulholland Books
ISBN: 9780316561686
Pages: 432
Genre: Science Fiction/Paranormal


A virus that turns people into something somehow more than human quickly sweeps the world, upending society as we know it.

This panoramic thriller begins with one small mystery. The body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, walks out of the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult the local police, it’s a bizarre medical mystery.

More bodies, dead of a mysterious disease that solidifies their blood, are brought to the morgue, and disappear. In a futile game of catch-up, the CDC, the FBI, and the US government must come to terms with what they’re too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.

Impossibly strong, smart, poised, beautiful, and commanding, these vampires reject the term as derogatory, preferring the euphemistic “gloamings.” They quickly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society: sports, entertainment, and business. Soon people are begging to be ‘re-created,’ willing to accept the risk of death if their bodies can’t handle the transformation. The stakes change yet again when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, decides to do what none of his kind has done before: run for political office.

This sweeping yet deeply intimate fictional oral history–told from the perspectives of several players on all sides of the titular vampire uprising–is a genre-bending, shocking, immersive and subversive debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.

My Thoughts

A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising appealed to me with the promise of science fiction encapsulating a tale of the paranormal. I have and probably will always hold an affection for vampires and their mythical abilities and immortality. So when a book promises exactly that merged with one of my favorites genres, it is sure to be my cup of tea. And I have to admit, it went down pretty smooth!

The skinny..

Hard to fully summarize, this is an interesting timeline that follows the evolution of a disease and the impact it has on society. When a young woman’s body is discovered and then disappears from a local town morgue, a CDC investigator soon realizes there is something mysterious happening. As more bodies begin to surface and then also disappear, the CDC, FBI, and Government find they have a new virus and epidemic on their hands that can only be described as vampirism. As infected individuals that are now known as Gloamings emerge, they soon begin a campaign to stake their claim within a society that is equally terrified and mesmerized by them. A battle for power and control is brewing.

What I appreciate..

  • As a debut novel, this is one of the most ambitious I have encountered. Villareal has left no stone unturned, brilliantly covering all potential facets of an uprising.
  • The writing is knowledgeable and thorough, providing evidence of the author’s dedication and labor to the craft that sets a significantly high standard.
  • World building is solid and very reminiscent of the present, crafting something frighteningly familiar and viable.
  • Alternating perspectives, cleverly inserted footnotes and mixed media carve a concise and clear timeline of events that offer the reader a complete and fully engaging experience.
  • The author successfully combines elements of the paranormal and science providing something innovative and new, daring to examine humanity from every imaginable angle. This is an all-encompassing story ranging from religious and political viewpoints to the effects of a virus on the lives of everyday people and society.

Challenges some may encounter..

  • Multiple points of view can detract from establishing a solid connection with specific characters.
  • The pacing fluctuated greatly between specific perspectives.
  • The Gloamings were a fascinating new race that warranted more spotlight than they are given within the story. I craved more development than what we are shown.
  • During the last 25% or so the timeline takes an odd shift and the waters finally become muddled.
  • An abrupt ending felt incomplete.

Ultimately, A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is a highly motivated read that offers something incredibly thorough and complex. The author leaves no avenue unexplored, covering every thinkable aspect (I know I have said this, but I cannot stress it enough). Fans of science fiction and the paranormal will easily devour its pages, but perhaps find themselves needing just a little more. If you do not mind alternating PoVs and the shifting pace, I highly recommend this one!

*I would like to thank Mulholland Books for this advanced copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup

Serves well with a nice Pu’erh or favorite caffeinated blend to settle in for a long, gripping read.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com

Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,
Danielle ❀

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46 thoughts on “A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

          1. Oh I don’t need paranormal. I don’t read urban fantasy all that often.
            This is one to keep on the back burner when I need something to read.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It might be a bit heavy for a starter though, particularly if vampires are not your thing. But if you like concepts like World War Z then this is a must! It is incredibly ambitious and I was ultimately impressed with how all encompassing the author’s approach was 😁


  1. Fascinating! Danielle, I think you might have just found a paranormal book I’m interested in reading!! I do love me some science fiction. I am intrigued by the mixed media concept. Is this like an epistolary novel? Something totally different?

    With your desire for more development and a strangely incomplete ending… Do you think Villareal is hoping to make a series out of this debut? It sounds like the potential is there at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is more in the form of news clippings and articles really, witch cleverly placed footnotes along the way. It is well done honestly. I cannot say at this point whether his intention was to leave the reader to their own devices or possible create a segue. I think that is why I am struggling haha. I would love to read your thoughts on this!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Danielle! Do you know if this is a standalone, or part of a continuing series? I love the premise (and also love vampires) but the abrupt ending has me very cautious. If it’s part of a series then putting it down to a first-time effort is totally fair, but I’d hate for that to be the final sentiment of an otherwise good book :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was wondering the same JJ. And honestly, I think it was the lack of knowing that made the ending most difficult. I honestly have no idea whether this will be expanded on. Although I did hear film rights we acquired. And I am stoked about that as this should transfer to screen brilliantly!


  3. Awesome review, Danielle! The ending sounds like a bummer, but it’s nice to hear that your happy with the book as a whole. Would’ve been pretty disappointing that a vampire-centric sci-fi story flopped in your hands! 🀣

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This title really intrigues me (and not just because I don’t care what the teenagers say, vampires will never go out of style). πŸ™‚ It’s just a really interesting title. I like scifi and don’t mind shifting perspectives.. perhaps I’ll check it out. Thanks for the review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The title and the cover alone make this book look like a mystery that begs to be discovered! The potential challenges you listed are around important, in some case, deal-breaking areas- the POV issue, the ending… but everything else you’ve said about the book seems to make it still worth a read!
    I do love a vampire story, although a virus trope isn’t something I feel drawn to, but who knows, maybe in the future I will challenge myself and try this out πŸ˜‰ Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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