Review: Vaempires: Revolution by Thomas Winship @vaempires

Review

I’m going to take a deep, hopefully calming breath here and try to come down off this agitated high I’m on that makes me absolutely incapable of sitting, typing, or editing.  I can’t seem to decide on a book to read and though I got my book back from my first beta reader, I can’t seem to focus long enough to take a look at what she had to tell me.  I keep pacing my house, wearing holes in my carpet as I alternately praise and foam at the mouth over this book.  It is a book where you can’t decide whether you love it or hate it.  But either way, it’s phenomenal.  I can’t remember the last time I read something so good.  It doesn’t just affect your mind or your emotions, it affects you on a visceral level.  Now, if I could only calm down…

Oh my god, the beginning of this story is friggin awesome, man!  Action packed, gruesome, and somewhat disturbing with a dark sense of humor that just makes me smile.  Page five and I have a hard time pulling away to take down my thoughts so I won’t forget them.  Intense, gripping, addicting.  I feel like my eyes want to be sucked into the page.  Just finished the first chapter and the last line gave me chills.  This book is tense.  You can actually feel the tension in your own muscles as he races through the city. I felt like the tension let up a bit over time (maybe simply because you can’t spend so much time with your heart in your throat).

I like how he ends some of these chapters, breath held, trapped in your lungs as you wait for the blow to fall, racing through the next chapter to see what fate awaits.  Enough to give a girl shivers.  Damn, why did I wait so long to pick up this book?

As I read the story, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the vampire race, though.  Really, really sorry.  I just can’t help feeling they’re doomed.  With the king and queen dead, their fates are in the hands of a couple of fifteen year olds who can’t seem to follow their lifetime’s worth of training for more than a few seconds at a time.

Daniel was apparently trained to follow in his father’s footsteps, with advanced hand to hand and tactical training.  You’d think his first instincts would be to ensure the safety of the royal family and the stability of government.  But more often than not, he runs around like a chicken with his head chopped off, only thinking about what’s right in front of him rather than the greater good.

Cassie is no better.  After the city is attacked (or really during the attack), she hears messages from Daniel, warnings, telling her to get to safety.  Does she do that?  No.  Of course not.  She spends a short eternity tending the dead.  You would think her first priority would be getting out of potentially hostile territory (territory anyone with a brain would be concerned might still have hostiles) and making contact with military and heads of state, coordinating evacuations and safe havens, but no, she spends an hour looking for body parts.  Then later, does she call in enforcements to help out Daniel?  No, she goes in all alone, even though two of their best friends are armed and less than a half an hour away.

That being said, though their actions and their illogical thinking chaffed me raw, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was unrealistic.  Sometimes people do act stupidly in a crisis, going against their training and anything else they might do in a calm, controlled situation.  It drove me nuts.  I wanted to strangle them then drag them out of the situation kicking and screaming, but unrealistic?  Who knows?  Nobody knows how they’ll respond in a crisis.

Onto a few other comments.  Water levels rise as polar ice melts, not when it grows (as was mentioned in the book)…  Also, pet peeve of mine.  Fresh bodies don’t smell of “death.”  They’ve had no chance to decay.  The most you would smell is blood and excrement.  You wouldn’t even smell urine as it takes hours for urine to break down to ammonia.  Just sayin’.  I also find it odd that a 15 year old kid, no matter how well trained by comparison to his foes, is plowing through his enemies (enemies that are by definition even stronger than adult vampires) as if they were tissue paper.  He rarely gets injured, he frequently takes on two or three at a time.  Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me…  One of the first things I learned about fighting is you can’t fight if you’re afraid of getting hit.  You have to be close enough to take a blow in order to land a blow.  Learned that from someone ex-military, I believe.  Simply put, no matter how good you are, you’re going to take blows on a regular basis and with claws involved, you’re going to get cut… a lot.

 

WARNING: To avoid sudden cardiac arrest, I have included a spoiler (of sorts) in the next paragraph.  It isn’t really a spoiler of this book, but of a single detail of the second.  It is to give those who need it a certain level of peace of mind which only really applies if you actually read this book.  I was so stressed at the end, I had to know and I scoured the entirety of the second book trying to find that little tidbit so I could breathe again and not feel like my heart was in my chest.  It kind of gave me a fit that the detail I was looking for was within a couple of sentences of the ending of book two.  I don’t think I would have survived that long.  I think I would have had a coronary, swear to God.

 

I both loved and hated the ending.  Winship makes you so thoroughly invested in the characters (even if I kept thinking they were acting with unparalleled stupidity) that I was so glad I had book 2 on kindle so I could search for a specific character’s name to see what fate befell the person because I was stressed and pulling my hair out wondering if the person would live or die.  This is the one time I feel it is my civic duty to give a bit of a spoiler.  The person, who you will bite your tongue worrying about, who you will likely read all of book two assuming is dead while praying to any gods available that the person isn’t, will twitch at the end of book two so don’t have a coronary.  Now that I found that little bit of coveted information, I think a panic attack is no longer imminent.  Thank God.

 

6 Comments so far:

  1. Pat Harris says:

    Well, this review certainly got my attention. lol I’m intrigued. I’ll definitely be checkin’ it out. Tx for an interesting review.

    • Yeah, I’d heard a lot about this book even before I read it. I’d been meaning to read it for soooo long. I found myself highly invested in the story and characters long after I finished reading.

  2. Thank you for the awesome review, Danielle! I really appreciate you taking the time to read Vaempires: Revolution.

    • You’re quite welcome. I have the second book but God only knows when I’ll manage to read it. The book got me so amped up, it’ll probably take me a while to calm down enough to read the second book…

  3. Pat Harris says:

    Okay — admitting I haven’t managed to read the book yet (been too busy writing), but I did revisit your review and this statement really jumped out at me:

    “You have to be close enough to take a blow in order to land a blow. Learned that from someone ex-military, I believe. Simply put, no matter how good you are, you’re going to take blows on a regular basis and with claws involved, you’re going to get cut… a lot.”

    This just really resonates with me. It’s great to remember when writing scenes, and wow, does it ever speak to taking risks – which applies to whatever we want to accomplish. Pretty deep, the more I think about it.

    Well said, Danielle. Thanks.

    • Oh, you totally need to read it.

      Every form of combat has certain rules to how a battle is implemented and won. For example, knife fighting is all about controlling the knife hand, fighting with katanas is all about causing the other person to bleed to death (not gut them or cut off limbs or anything weird like that), and hand-to-hand martial arts is all about endurance. Understanding the dynamics of a fighting style is instrumental to writing about it.

Oh, you so know you want to...