Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vaempires: Zombie Rising, a review

So, with a little time on my hands I can go back to reading books for enjoyment. I decided to read this one first (though I probably shouldn't have since my library books have due dates!). I went ahead anyway since this one is very short.


Vaempires: Zombie Rising
Author: Thomas Winship
Genre: Science Fantasy w/a touch of Dystopian
Series: Evolutionary War


Linq and Ray, mid-teen vampire friends, must fight their way to their other friends, Cassandra and Daniel (the stars of Vaempires: Revolution) as a horde of zombies attacks.

What didn't work for me:

The plot is supposed to follow the first novel, Vaempires: Revolution, but there is a very noticeable time-frame hiccup. 

At the end of Vaempires: Revolution, we get Daniel on the ground, Linq and Ray on their way, Vielyn making off with Cassandra. Chapter 4 of Zombie Rising has Linq and Ray charging into the place where Daniel is defeated. Chapter 5 takes place after that, when Cassandra comes to on Vielyn's shoulder wondering if Daniel is still alive. So far so good. 

Between Cassandra's first chapter (Chapter 5) in Zombie Rising and the next chapter we see her (Chapter 10) there is a ton of time elapsed where Linq and Ray kick ass and take no names. The amount of time that has passed for Cassandra since Chapter 5? Literally, a few seconds. Chapter 5 and Chapter 10 could easily have gone next to each other. And then in Chapter 11, I'm not sure if the action takes place after the events in Chapter 10 or before. This is not made clear.

There is a blur here and I am not sure where I am.  

Another thing was that while Cassandra is an enjoyable character to read, her chapters in this book distracted more than they added. I think it was because the focus of this story is Linq and Ray. Or maybe it was because her chapters add little to the overall plot of this novella, especially her second chapter. 

What worked for me:

There are some noticeable improvements in this installment. The characterization of Linq and Ray is excellent beyond the other two installments of this series. It is interesting that Mr. Winship develops both into very dynamic individuals with so few pages. 

The result is that I wish Linq and Ray had been the stars of the Evolutionary War series. This is sacrilege, I know. But these two young men seem eternally more human because they are so vulnerable. 

Why does Ray keep going after finding his family massacred? It is revenge that morphs into more. Why does Linq ignore his comlink, which might give him news about the fate of his family? Because he can't deal with knowing for sure that they are dead and denial is his best defense against that. And there is a beautiful place when Linq is before his dying friend and just doesn't know what to do because there is nothing he can do. 

Those two do seem like kids running around with big guns and muscles, trying to hold onto their principles during a day meant to test principles. The turmoil these two feel is realistic; they don't just tear apart their vaempire opponents, but actually question the carnage. 

Another improvement is the tone. This novella felt like a dystopian story in several places. One place was the way in which vampire culture, while full of beautiful people, is portrayed as dominated by their vanities. 

The vampire guards at the royal castle don't carry guns because they are seen as too formidable for them; assuming that humans are their only potential enemy. And while vampires are supposed to be the typical beautiful creatures, they have a disturbing need to indulge in human culture (like their old movies). Why would they have to do that if they are near perfect in appearance? Vanity. To humans, the vampires are the beautiful creatures of myth. To each other, vampires are just... normal. 

So, while we have this society of superhumans with complex technologies, they are just as unhappy as we are in our society. Linq and Ray are the perfect vessels of this unhappiness. 

Well done. 


All criticism aside, this is the challenge of writing a long story in installments. It is not a negative thing. If you pick up the latest Jim Butcher / Dresden Files novel, I doubt you'll know what's going on (so much has happened). An author has to make choices and do the best that they can with what they have in front of them. There are some failures in this novella, but there are also many victories.

And I'm walking away from Vaempires: Zombie Rising with more good memories than not-so-good ones. Linq and Ray's adventures are worth more time than what they get here and I look forward to reading more of them in the future (hopefully in a book that's novel length!).

And now, as much as I want to read the books I bought so many months ago, I have to start reading library books before their due dates so others can enjoy them.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quantum v2 Cover

Volume 1 Error: Overly complex cover art.

Fix: Simple cover art.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reading List Summer 2013

Pt. 1:

Vaempires: Zombie Rising

Sade On The Wall

Goblin Secrets

Gone Girl

Life of Pi

The Davinci Code

The Fractal Prince

The Lost Symbol

The Night Circus



Wednesday, May 15, 2013



the belief in some religions that there are certain rare individuals that can enter into Heaven directly without dying first.