A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising
By Raymond A. Villareal
Publisher: Mulholland Books
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.
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!
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.
Serves well with a nice Pu’erh or favorite caffeinated blend to settle in for a long, gripping read.
Grab a Copy: Amazon.com
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