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

Vampire_Uprising

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

goodreads-badge-add-plus

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 ❤

Connect With Me: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

lifel1k3LIFEL1K3
By Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781524713928
Pages: 416
Genre: YA Science Fiction

goodreads-badge-add-plus

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.


My Thoughts

*SPOILER ALERT* I LOVED THIS FREAKING BOOK! Seriously.. I cannot even maintain my maturity while trying to contain the enthusiasm I hold for LIFEL1K3. This was my first encounter with Kristoff’s work *hangs head in shame* but will certainly not be my last. Within mere pages, I knew I was committed and would be dropping everything else in my life like a bad habit. So what happened? A lot!

The skinny..

If I had to sum this up in a few words I might choose something along the lines of “A beautiful collision of Mad Max and YA!”   Eve is a young scavenger with a talent for robotics. Having developed her own robot gladiator Miss Combobulation, she competes in the Wardome for the credits necessary to keep her grandfather supplied with medicine and stay afloat. But when Miss Combobulation is diminished to a heap of junk and deemed OOC (out of commision) during a battle, she loses everything. To add insult to injury, when she finds her life in jeopardy as a result, she discovers she is an abnorm who holds the ability to shut down and interfere with electricity with her mind. Now things have become extremely complicated because she is being hunted by the Brotherhood as a result. It doesn’t seem like things could get much worse for Eve. Toss in the discovery of an android boy named Ezekiel Eve’s world unravels on all ends. Simply put- Read this one because I am not spoiling it for you!

“Rule Number One in the Scrap, remember? Stronger together, together forever.”

What I appreciated loved..

  • Characters – this is quite honestly one of the most ragtag and unlikely but completely compelling ensembles I have ever encountered in a book and they drive this story with incredible force! The real winner here came in the form of Eve’s bestest Lemon Fresh. She stole my heart and ran miles away with it. The relationship established between the two girls is one to be envied and admired on multiple levels. Each individual adds their own layer of depth to LIFEL1K3. Growth and development was on point.
  • Post-apocalyptic plots are nothing new, but this feels incredibly exhilarating and charged! Kristoff takes the familiar and really dresses it up, transforming it into something remarkable. The underlying tropes and themes we expect make their appearances do so but never once feel ordinary. There is a constant element of surprise lingering around each corner, commanding attention.
  • The world building is crisp and ambitious, opening up a new level of possibilities and exploration. We are supplied with a futuristic setting that seems not only possible but tangible. We have been entrusted with the knowledge of what was and what is. It all comes together flawlessly, creating something that is cohesive and immersive while fully supporting the plot. It feels complete.
  • Underneath all of the fun and chaos (because there is a ton!) we still find incredibly valuable messages tucked throughout. Each character holds their own story and secrets. But at the end of the day we are still reminded that life is what we make, we are who we choose to be!

“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”

Challenges some may encounter.. 

  • Some violence and graphic content with themes of loss (please feel free to contact me if you have questions. I happy to share my experience).
  • Having to wait for a sequel? Because I needed more of these characters immediately!

LIFEL1K3 is a high-octane read full of big heart! It delivers an incredibly fast-paced and fun experience with an unexpectedly emotional core that impossible to put down. It left me holding my breath and begging for more. Definitely a top read of 2018!

*I would like to thank Knopf Books & Netgalley for this advanced copy. The quotes included above are from the advanced copy and subject to change. This review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup

 

Pair with multiple cups of your favorite black tea. You will want to keep up with this one!

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 ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

 

A Few Thoughts & Goodreads Ratings on Books I Failed to Review

Unfortunately, time seems to be against me these past few months as I notice that I am accumulating a list of “read” titles on Goodreads that I never managed to review. So I thought I would share a few thoughts and my final Goodreads rating on them today.


the_atrocitiesThe Atrocities
By Jeremy Shipp

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Final GR rating: 3/5

This was a wonderfully creepy novella that hooked me from the start. I was instantly drawn into the mystery of Isabella and the gothic setting. I appreciated the author’s ability to immediately set the stage for a mysterious and fast-paced story that managed to deliver something original. It did feel like it began to unhinge slightly toward the end, however, lowering my final score to an even 3/5. I would still easily recommend this to fans of supernatural and horror novellas.

into_the_drowning_deepInto the Drowning Deep
By Mira Grant

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Final GR rating: 3/5

This is an author I am still trying to find my ground with. While I admit that I enjoyed Into the Drowning Deep much more than her Every Heart a Doorway, it was a slow start. But when I finally gained my footing I found that this was simply entertaining and for that worth my time. I love the idea of mermaids and sirens and will always appreciate any author who attempts to connect them to their darker origins (which is certainly the case here). My chief complaint would be that I found the characters less than engaging at times and the execution felt off. The pacing seemed to fluctuate a lot. I did enjoy the exploration of the creatures’ anatomy and the scientific elements incorporated throughout. Perhaps I was expecting something a little more frightening? Still, if you are into the mysterious deep dark sea and mythological creatures, you might try this on for size.

the_shape_of_waterThe Shape of Water
By Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Final GR rating: 3/5

Okay, so here is the truth; I wanted to love this book and I did not. I loved the film, but somehow I struggled with certain aspects of this story on page. I appreciated the additional insight and backstory that are provided here though. I feel it is a wonderful addition to the film, but also one of the rare cases where I would suggest watching before reading. I think that the alternating PoVs started to weigh on me, as there were certain characters I truly disliked reading about. And at times the pacing was too slow for my taste. It just failed to move me or engage even remotely close to the way the film did. Which is something you will rarely hear me say! But then again, I hold a special affection for del Toro’s films and maybe my expectations were too high. It is still an incredibly beautiful story that as we have come to expect of his work challenges humanity and dares to question who the real monsters are.

brave_new_girlBrave New Girl
By Rachel Vincent

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Final GR rating 4/5

This was an on the whim audible listen that was surprisingly perfect for me. It is a dystopian tale that follows young Dahlia 16 who is part of a series of clones bred to be anything but unique or different. Doing so means being flawed. Being flawed leads to recalls (i.e destroyed). So what happens when she starts breaking all of the rules? Ok so this one was not overly complex and is somewhat brief, but it felt like an honest start to something truly appealing. The author’s writing was fluid and the protagonist viable. All elements here just worked for me and I was hooked. Simply put, it was fun!

the_changelingThe Changeling
By Victor Lavalle

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Final GR rating: 4/5

Gah! I do not even know where to start with this one. I am just going to be upfront and state that this was close to being a 5 star read until things took a detour during the last 25% or so of the story. It is beautifully written and full of the unexpected. Think modern fairy tale for adults with that added moral compass and valuable message we expect from them. It is ambitious, engaging and for the most part, wonderfully executed. Unfortunately, the final events deviated too far for me and it left me with mixed feelings.


Have you read any of the above books? If so, what were your thoughts? Which are you most likely to pick up?

Happy Reading,
Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram