Sunday, August 4, 2013

V-Wars Book Review


Jonathan Maberry

Open Road Integrated Media

IDW Publishing

2/5 Stars 

          Vampires Suck!  That is pretty much my impression having read V-Wars.  A compilation of connected short stories with one theme.  The authors include: Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore, Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson.  Some of these folks are real stars of horror fiction.  Particularly vampire fiction.  Just in my limited experience(I used to love vampire novels back in the day. You know before Twilight).  Nancy Holder and Yvonne Navarro particularly, are authors I remember enjoying.  But here, perhaps the concept has tied their hands.  The concept is that a viral outbreak has turned select people into vampires and werewolves.  This is, BY FAR, the most pedestrian and boring way of handling vampirism and this book; while it has an interesting structure.  That of a many layered short story collection that shares settings, characters, etc… Is in the end a virtual disaster.  Practically every story is one of being bitten or somehow “contracting” the virus.  Which makes these stories pretty much throw away, even with the best writing.  One story, that involves a vampire hunting biker gang, completely falls apart in the last story of it’s series.  Turning one of the most interesting stories in the book into “just another story” in the book.

          Vampires created via virus are pretty much reserved for fodder in books and movies.  They should stay there.  Vampires are fun because they are mysterious, sexual, eternal, and magical.  These vampires are about as magical as a lion.  And as interesting as one of the, now overdone, zombie infection movies are.  By the end of V-Wars I was completely and uttering bored.  No matter which story the book switched to, it just seemed like more of the same.  The concept of this book might have been interesting for one or two short stories.  But an entire book of them, just beat the concept to death.  And just like in the book, when you’re dead there is no coming back.

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