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Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder / Derek Gunn

thshocklines_1993_128380594.jpgBlack Death Books / September 2006
Reviewed by: Derek Clendening

If you can imagine a world where our most precious resources have dried up and communities are left to fend for themselves against a ferocious inhuman race, then Derek Gunn’s Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder will leave you praying that the future doesn’t come too soon. Gunn takes a very real futuristic scenario and adds a healthy dose of imagination to create a world where humans have given way to vampires as the dominant species. These creatures won’t charm or seduce you, but they will gladly tear your throat out and toss away the remains. As the story unfolds, a group of brave human survivors have stepped up to the plate, willing to do whatever is necessary to survive - but they do so at their own risk.

Clearly understanding the importance of thematic consistency, Gunn stays true to his vision throughout by creating an authentic and thoroughly convincing apocalyptic setting. Subtle touches set it apart from typical apocalyptic tales - zombie novels come to mind- thanks to the real-life situations Gunn considers. For example, infections become difficult to treat because of limited access to antibiotics. Gunn never strays from his intentions as he places his characters in binds that seem impossible to escape. Further, he offers a much-needed break from those oh-so-frequent Anne Rice pastiches, in favor of more vicious and sadistic vampires.

When Stephen King wrote The Stand, he had 1,300 pages to introduce a host of major and minor characters while simultaneously advancing his plot. Gunn seems to have tried to do the same thing here in only 216 pages. Consequently, his characters receive no real introduction and have no firm back story. Instead, they come across more like stock characters than real people who a reader should care about. This weakness in characterization fails to ground the story from the beginning, affording precious little time to learn whose story this really was, their history and their motivations. Epic intentions aside, paring down the action enough to leave room for character development might have enhanced Gunn’s believable plot.

Readers often check a book’s cover or skim the first few pages to determine if the tale is right for them. Those looking for a particular kind of read might keep this practice in mind here to avoid disappointment. But if savage vampires roaming an authentic apocalyptic landscape are your thing, then Vampire Apocalypse will cater to even the most discriminating reader.

Purchase Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder by Derek Gunn.

Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 07:11AM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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