Vampire Federation: Uprising by Sean McCabe paranormal thriller
I bought Vampire Federation: Uprising by Sean McCabe (penname for Ben Hope thriller series writer: Scott Mariani) on a whim. When I noticed it at the grocery store, I decided to pick it up and look at the back to see what exactly was meant by “uprising”. The blurb was enough to catch my attention:
“A new war is dawning…”.
For millennia, the vampires walked the earth undetected, feasting on humans in keeping with ancient tradition. In the Information Age, vampires realized they must be more careful to avoid detection. In the late 20th century they created the global Vampire Federation to police vampire activity, with special agents like Alex Bishop authorized to hunt down her own kind who break the laws. The old traditions are history. But not all vampires bow down to Federation rule. When rebel vampire Gabriel Stone declares war against them, Alex and her team are plunged into danger. Police inspector Joel Solomon, haunted by a secret terror of vampires, discovers a series of corpses left behind by Stone’s bloodthirsty gang. As he and Alex are drawn together in an unlikely alliance between human and vampire, the race begins to destroy the evil Stone before his uprising tears their world apart.
$9.99 price tag was a bit hefty for this type of novel, but that is my pet peeve so take it with a grain of salt. I can blame the publisher for that as it is in the paperback format where the book is extremely tall and short width which seems to justify a raise in price for this publisher even though it is not a tradepaperback.
Overall, I would say I was happy with the novel even though it was very predictable for the most part.
It has none of the broody, emo type vampires lurking about. Quite the opposite. Most of the vampires have no love for humans except as a potential food source. Even the supposed “good guys” vampires really don’t look at humans as more than that or try to force them to believe that train of thought. I was a tad worried about the female lead, Alex Bishop, becoming one of the common urban fantasy kick-butt heroine that I have grown bored with. However, the author surprised me by keeping her part of the story reigned in and not devoting to telling everything from her viewpoint. That worked for me. The reader got to see other viewpoints and no first person writing so it did not burn me out with being all about Alex kicking butt and simply solving everything by the end of the story like most urban fantasy stories do lately.
Instead, her story is balanced out against the viewpoint of Joel, a normal human cop, who had the misfortune of encountering the paranormal when he was younger. And even though the story blurb and the beginning hints of a “great romance” building between Alex and Joel, it went in a direction I was not expecting and was happy with it (though the ending was predicted a mile off though the free preview of the next book makes me even happier as it doesn’t seem to solve everything like many would predict).
There is plenty of action and fight scenes. There is a slight bit of gore, but not to the point where I felt like I did with The Strain where I had to avoid eating while reading. Most of the description left you with enough to probably visualize what happens without lovingly going over every detail of gore to where you wanted to strangle the author for putting that image in your head.
The pace of the novel is pretty quick and it is very EASY reading. If I had read it uninterrupted, I probably would’ve finished it in an hour and half or less. Instead, I read it during my breaks at work which was frustrating as I wanted to finish it and not work at times.
The villains are pretty stock villains at the moment, but the mythos behind them and who the main villain, Stone, worships and works for interests me the most. I am hoping to get more on those background characters. And I liked how one of the more common villains changed through the novel. It was an interesting twist and demonstrates how even the least likely person can be important in the grand fight against evil even when it seems there is no way out.
The only big weakness of the novel is that there are plenty of predictable events coming out of the book. Not so much that you can’t enjoy it, but it doesn’t leave for any surprises for the most part. It is like going to see an action flick at the theater and though you enjoy it, you know what is going to happen before it happens on screen.
The other weakness would be that not enough characterization was made of all the characters. Some you get to know better than others, but not enough to say any of the characters are fully fleshed out. Just like an action movie, you know enough about them to sort of care for them, but not enough to truly want to follow everything they do. Honestly, with the pace of the novel, there wasn’t enough time to get to know any of the characters with the way the author wrote it. You get a bit of background on Joel and Alex, but that is it and even they don’t have detailed backgrounds. Just enough to get by on explaining why they make the choices they do.
Overall, the story reads as a mix of Blade and Underworld mixed with a thriller. No real mystery, but plenty of action and fights with vampires. Recommend for readers who enjoy their vampires not sparkly or great fans of the human race. I am hoping that in the upcoming sequel: The Cross (out in Dec 6, 2011) there will be more background on the vampires, the cross and maybe how the vampires differ (besides the obvious bloodlust) from humans. I enjoy it more when vampires are more alien in their thoughts than acting as typical bad guy humans that just happen to be faster, stronger and bigger teeth.
I would give it three stars overall out of 5. NIce to pass the time with, but not something I will keep on my shelf forever.
For a chapter excerpt and more details on this book and the author’s other series please visit http://scottmariani.com/uprisingUS.html