Parajunkee's View Vampire Reading Challenge Review #16 - 13 Bullets by David Wellington
I'm continuing with the Vampire Challenge despite the fact I can no longer find it on Parajunkee's site since it moved...
13 Bullets: A Vampire Tale was a chilling read, although if I am entirely honest I didn't find any of the characters especially likeable or easy to empathise with. Wellington's vampires are brutal and bloodthirsty, but his protagonists are little better.
Arkeley himself is a bit of an anti-hero - he might know what he's doing with regards to the enemy, but his unpleasant demeanour and willingness to use everyone around him in his power play against the head vamp make him a practically unlikeable character despite the few admirable attributes he does possess.
However. Wimps and wack-jobs aside, Wellington's thoroughly modern take on classic vampires is overall a hit, with some genuinely blood-curdling moments, a realistic amount of gore, and enough fast-paced action and thrilling plot twists to keep the reader hooked. The story reads as though it was written for the screen, in the finest tradition of gory vampire horrors like 30 Days of Night.
There is some humour, often very dry or a little grim, but humour nonetheless. The ending is unexpected and leaves room for a sequel without being an overly-obvious cliffhanger.
This is a gritty, no-holds-barred approach to modern vampires, and whether or not you find Caxton a likeable character it's hard not to emphasise with her as she is dragged unwillingly into a nightmare orchestrated by an ancient vampire, alive yet rotting in an old insanitorium. Caxton's flaws, probably deliberately, make her more 'real' than many urban fantasy and horror heroines of today.