“It is the morning of Princess Cassandra’s sixteenth birthday. Everyone’s attention is focused on the heir to the vampire throne. World leaders, the rich and famous, and VIPs from every corner of the globe have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the momentous event.
Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Væmpires—former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood—have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of væmpires as the dominant species on the planet.
The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons—væmpires with special powers.
What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, or walk through walls?” (description from Goodreads)
Wow, just wow! This book started out with a bang and that bang never seemed to stop.
What I especially liked is that Winship cut most of the set up for the story into a few paragraphs. The description you see for this book is a brief intro before Chapter One. This gave me, as a reader, enough to set up what was going on when the first chapter jumped into Daniel’s story. I think without cutting the back story down like that, the book would have dragged on a bit, been longer, and may have had a different overall effect on me. This book is about forward momentum, and when that’s stopped the enjoyment does too. But it didn’t occur.
By the middle of this book I knew what I wanted for Christmas this year. I wanted the powers of these Vampires. Essentially, when I read the battle scenes I pictured Daniel, the main character, as is her were Wolverine from X-men. Most of the abilities are the same, and when you add the ability Vampires have of being in the sun (due to consuming synth-blood instead of real blood) they are even more similar. This is in no way saying Daniel, and these vampires in general, are rip-offs of this ultimate fighting machine Wolverine. But it helps put into perspective just how much action and devastation occurs during the many fights Daniel gets in to. He has to race through the city of Orion a few times in order to achieve his goal of saving the Princess Cassandra.
Aside from all the action that is included within these pages there are some underlying issues that are brought up. This story takes place in a future, much altered world. It’s still the Earth, but a human-vampire war has taken place, nuclear winter, continental shifting, and the dominate race has become Vampires. On top of that a new race is present. Vaempires. Having three races walking the Earth, or Tarados as it’s now referred to, will bring conflict. Race conflict is a huge theme in the book. At times when different characters’ viewpoints were being brought into play, I began to sympathize with all sides. Even the Vaempires who started the current war. It brings to mind that if we don’t all treat the races of our current world equally and humanly…something like this (without the super-human powers) could happen in our life time. Just because a group of people are different doesn’t mean they are less of a person. In the defense of the Vampires, the Vaempires are said to be inherently less stable minded and were impatient in the government’s actions to adapt to the new race’s presence.
Off of that topic and on to a very bad a** character. Daniel was my favorite butt-kicker for most of the book until later one. Cassie can really hold her own in a fight. Some of the stuff she does would make more action heroes hang their heads in shame. And it’s not only her fighting. Her will-power and ability to keep a clear mind in a difficult situation is enviable.
What else is there to say about this book other than I loved? I think the mix of genres are worth mentioning. This is part sci-fi, post(-post)-apocalyptic, vampire, action-adventure, (minor) romance, urban fantasy. It’s a bit mixture of different elements that fit very well together. I think it’d appeal to lowers of many genres as well as many different reading levels. While most of the gory battles and other violence will probably consider this a more adult book, I also think it could be read by a younger reader (with a parent’s permission of course). I think the younger readers will really enjoy the action and almost comic book feel to it. Along with that….can we make this thing into a video game? I don’t normally feel that way about a book, but I think it’d be great.
One thing I “disliked” about the book, to finish off the review. The cliff-hanger ending. It’s a cliff-hanger!!!! I’m a so happy I read this book when I did because it’s only about a month until Vaempires: Zombie Rising is released. At least the wait isn’t very long and I still have the novella Vaempires: A White Christmas to read until then.
This book can be found on Amazon
About Thomas Winship
Thomas Winship lives in New York. He holds an MBA in Management from St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he serves as MBA Director and adjunct professor of courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. He also spent fifteen years working for a global pharmaceutical company, specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training.
Tom writes in his spare time. His first novel, a mystery/legal thriller entitled Temporary Insanity (a.k.a. Case Closed), was a 2008 finalist in a national contest but failed to garner industry attention. He published Vaempires: Revolution last October and a follow-up novella, Vaempires: White Christmas, in December. He is currently working on the next installment of the Vaempires series.
Tom is an avid collector of books, comic books, music, and movies. His interests are diverse—on any given day, Tom is likely to be found watching a horror movie, attending a hard rock concert, or enjoying a Broadway show.