Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder by Derek Gunn
Genre: Post Apocalyptic Horror
While The Guilded Earlobe is an audiobook blog, and the majority of my book "experiences" are audiobooks, I do read print. Last year, most of my print readings were older science fiction and horror paperbacks that I purchased at used book stores. I am a used book store addict, and can spend hours roaming the science fiction section looking for out of print Post Apocalyptic novels, classic science fiction, and books with really cool covers. Yet, this Christmas my family surprised me with a Nook Color. I had wanted an E-Book Reader for a while and was excited when I received the gift. I really wasn’t sure how I would do reading EBooks. I love reading paperbacks, love the sensory feeling, the feel, the smell. So, I wanted to choose something relatively easy to read for my first book. I scanned Barnes and Noble’s free E-Books, and saw a bunch of free and inexpensive EBooks from one of my favorite small publishing houses, Permuted Press, which specializes in Post Apocalyptic and Zombie fiction. I ended up choosing a novel by Author Derek Gunn, called Vampire Apocalypse: World Torn Asunder, the first novel in the Vampire apocalypse series.
First off, I had no problem translating from paper reading to EBook. For many of you EBook pro’s, that’s probably not a big shock, but for people who are hesitant, EBooks are not the spawn of Satan, and while the sensory experience is different, it was closer to reading a book than I expected. It helped me choosing a cover that allowed me to hold the Nook like a book.
Since I am voracious consumer of audiobooks, I have decided to target books that are not available as audiobooks, and probably never will be. So, when writing a review for an EBook, one aspect I plan to discuss is how I feel the audiobooks version would be best handled. Also, since this will be my first EBook review, and it is an Apocalyptic novel, I thought it would be a fitting edition to my Welcome to the Apocalypse series.
Vampire Apocalypse: World Torn Asunder is a fast paced, post apocalyptic adventure tale. I found the set up pretty interesting. The Vampires are not really the cause of the Apocalypse, but use the breakdown of civilization, and the growing isolationism of the world to take over. The Vampires and their human cohorts keep the people suppressed by the use of a drug that makes the docile. Yet, a small group has found a way to resist the drug, and together they will mount a fight against their evil Vampire Overlords. I found Vampire Apocalypse to be a fast easy read. It reminded me of the old men’s adventure series like Deathlands or Omega Sub. This is definitely not high literature, nor does it want to be. I think Gunn has created an interesting scenario and the series has some potential. I did have a few problems with the novel overall. First off, I found that the mythology of the Vampires was uneven and not well developed. I loved that these Vampires were not sparkly emo-vampires, but deadly vicious killers. Yet, their mythology was all over the place. They could change shapes and take on forms of animals and mythological creatures, but this power sort of just appeared. It’s not that Gunn’s vampires were inconsistent, I just would have like a bit more background, but instead, it seemed powers and weaknesses of the Vampires appeared just as the author needed them. I would love the author to delve more into their history. He did do some interesting things with the scientific research into the weaknesses of Vampires, and hopefully we’ll see more of that in later editions.
Another issue I had was with the action sequences. There were a lot of them, and while some we a bit clunky, most of them were well done. Yet, there was a bit of weirdness to them that had me confused. Gunn would introduce characters whose basic job was cannon fodder. You basically knew that thee character that you were meeting for the first time, were Red Shirts, meant to be killed during the missions. Now, I was OK with this, but you would be introduced to these characters, by their full names, then later the author would only refer to them using their last names. Why this was confusing for me was that many of these characters last names were also female first names, so I was trying to figure out who this Kelly chick was, when it was actually some guy whose last name was Kelly, and so on. I think part of this issue was that I am so used to audiobook narrators giving the female characters feminine voices, that I was having trouble keeping the gender roles in order.
Yet, these little issues are pretty quibbling. I am interested in seeing what Gunn does later in the series. Maybe some of the mythological issues I had will be cleared up as the series progresses. Some of my other issues, like some clunky sentences and stilted dialogue I am sure will improve as the author grows into his craft. Overall, I had fun with this novel. I will definitely be checking out the other novels in this series.
I would really have trouble seeing this novel made into a traditional audiobook. That being said, I could see a company like Graphic Audio doing good things with this novel. A lot of my issues with it could be cleaned up with a good full cast graphic audio production. Some gifted voice actors some special sound effects and a tightened up script could make this novel a lot of fun to listen to as an audio drama,