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Burden Kansas (Vampires of the Plains #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  186 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Vampires are not sexy or sensitive.

Hungry, bloody and stinking of the grave, they hunt the dry Kansas plains, taking what they want until they cross rancher Keith Harris. Keith is a damaged man who's always made the hard decisions others couldn't. As the two forces battle for survival, the lines between man and monster begin to blur. How much of a community's burden of si
Kindle Edition, 142 pages
Published (first published March 27th 2011)
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40th out of 129 books — 143 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 812)
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Oct 17, 2015 karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, grit-lit
there comes a time in every young girl's life when she has to make that big life decision: vampire or werewolf? this book should make that decision pretty simple.

these vampires are not cuddly or sparkly or beautiful. they suck the cattle dry and then go after the humans. teenfangirls be warned. most vampires aren't the nurturing type.

in other pop culture news, cowboys and aliens is a good premise because it is a humorous juxtaposition, a ballsy "why not?" "imagine if" situation where technology
Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 30, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The climate in Kansas is not for the meek. The wind blows a gazillion miles an hour most of the time. The sun bleaches the color out of everything turning the landscape a light shade of gray or dusty brown. The high temperatures in the summer evaporates water leaving ponds a muddy muck. High pressure systems and low pressure systems collide dropping golf ball size hail, pelting us with wind driven rain, and spawning monstrous, howling, black twisters. In the winter time that same wind burns our ...more
This is a very different kind of vampire book. These are by no means your father's vampires. The vamps are fast, insane and for the most part, stupid.
Keith is a relatively new widower who is still grieving. He is also a very angry guy; he is alienating everyone else in his life. Keith's brother and niece are trying to keep an eye on him, but his drinking and his temper are getting out of control.
Keith is trying to keep his cattle ranch going during all this, but now something is attacking the c
Ken McKinley
Sep 13, 2015 Ken McKinley rated it it was amazing
Some kind of unknown and unseen animal is killing the area ranchers cattle. The sheriff is stumped. Experts from the university have never encountered anything like it. The ranchers are tired of finding their livelihood dead in the pastures the next morning and are losing patience waiting for someone to provide them answers. Keith is one of them. He's had his run-ins with the sheriff and the local band of punks. He was considered a loose cannon before he lost his wife. Now, without her calming i ...more
I had the amazing luck of Alan Ryker contacting me on Twitter. He offered to send me one of his stories and I was thrilled. I love horror and I haven't read much lately. Mr. Ryker graciously sent me a copy of his novella Burden Kansas. I'm not one for novellas because I like a long and detailed story but this book packs a punch. What Alan Ryker can do in 132 pages puts to shame most of the 400 plus horror books I have read. I am forever a fan.
Here is the book summary: Vampires are not sexy o
Dec 19, 2013 Melissa rated it did not like it
I've read a couple of vampire westerns in my day and this is sadly the weakest of the lot. There's some really clever writing in places - I'm a particular fan of "'But you strode in here jingle-jangling like you were going to settle some foolishness'" because that's pretty killer; also the exchange:

"'Sure, but you have to come up with a name. I've never been good at that.'
'How about "the vampire?"'
'Well, I guess I could've come up with that.'"

Unfortunately, by the end of the book, the many g
Wayne Barrett
Jan 13, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, vampires, 2015

So, what could be scarier than a vampire on the Kansas plain draining blood from surrounding livestock and an occasional crack addict? How bout a rancher who has had to help his suffering wife out of her misery, sitting on his porch with an empty whiskey bottle at his feet, a shotgun in his lap, a pistol, a hatchet and a knife strapped to his body and a hard-ass, don't give a shit attitude as the cherry on top.

Yep, he's the one you better steer clear of.

Short novel...gritty, down and dirty...ta
Aug 08, 2014 Hudson rated it really liked it
Great novella and I think a "must read" for any vampire fan (real vampires, not the shy sensitive vampires)
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
No, no of course not.
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
It is thanks to the ever amazing Karen that I attained access to this novella, and I can not thank her enough!!!

I am a big fan of fan-dys-sci and the current craze of YA novels. Their brooding and sensitive vampiristic characters have brought a lot of enjoyment for me. There comes a time, though, in every woman's life where they have to face up to reality. And the reality of the matter is that if the vampire element exists it is highly unlikely that they sparkle and/or brood.

Vampires are not se
Feb 26, 2015 Alondra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
3.5 bites out of 5.

I love my vampires animalistic, vile, and non-shiny (or is it glittery). These are dirty, and mindless creatures; except for one. I don't like who turned into one, and felt the story could have taken a better turn; but I dig it.

This was an entertaining read, that got a little B-movieish at time, but I love a good B-movie.

Željko Obrenović
Apr 15, 2016 Željko Obrenović rated it liked it
Shelves: books
Fino razrađeni likovi za kaubojac s vampirima, ali trebalo je ovo još razraditi.
11811 (Eleven)
Aug 29, 2014 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it
Blood sucking creatures of the night
Nocturnal spectre hiding from the light
Cries screaming out every fright
Eagerly awaiting plight
Apparitions from the pits of Hell
Death plagues the streets in which they dwell
Demented lust, the secrets they must keep
Addicted to your blood
At dawn they sleep

-Slayer, Hell Awaits
Burden Kansas is a really peculiar Western/nihilistic look at Vampirism out in the plains of (would you believe) Kansas.

The book opens with a study of how a small cattle-ranching community would respond to new predators as they kill their livelihood off and quickly turns into a pretty great monster story. The main characters are a mean old Rancher and a sadistic young drug-dealer turned vampire, and we never get a proper handle on which one of them is more horrible than the other. Having just re
Jun 20, 2013 Jack rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Ryker has an enjoyable conversational prose style. It often feels like you are being told a story on a Saturday night outside the store in the same small Kansas town where this book takes place. During a panel on Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies that I attended Ryker said this was his reaction to the glittery, romantic vampires of Twilight. There is nothing Romantic here. The vampire is savage and dangerous, mostly an instinctual animalistic predator.

I'm not a big vampire fan, but when I do re
Sep 10, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
One of the best vampire stories that I have read in a while. Economical prose, yet detailed enough to provide good characterization. Upon reviewing Ryker's bio I discovered that he writes both literary fiction as well as dark fiction. No surprise once I had read this very well written short novel. Ryker clearly not only knows how to fashion a well-paced, exciting horror novel with good characters, settings, and imagery, but he has the chops to tackle other genres as well.

And the best part is th
Johnny Strife
Aug 25, 2015 Johnny Strife rated it it was amazing
Burden Kansas breaks free from every convention of traditional vampire fiction and tells a tale that is exciting, touching, sometimes funny and always original. The dialogue is sparse and realistic, and the pacing is perfect: no unnecessary lulls in the action, but with enough character development to keep the reader emotionally invested in the story. I especially enjoyed the story's protagonist, who is such a hard-ass that I actually found myself sympathizing with the villain's plight. A very s ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading the first book in the Vampires of the Plains series. Not your typical vampire story. Like it so much I started book two (Blood Tells True) this morning. I highly recommend this book.
Apr 18, 2013 Kellie rated it it was amazing
This is a very good vampire book. It wasn't your "Twilight" vampires which was great. It was an overall good book and I'll definitely read the next book.
Aug 05, 2014 Ray rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Nice and fast pace vampire story. No love story or fluff. Just all red blooded meat. Thanks Karen I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
May 14, 2013 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, fiction
Pretty good story... I can see the survivor becoming a one-man vigilante if the author decides to make this a series.
Wayne Klick
Jun 26, 2013 Wayne Klick rated it really liked it
I thought I would surely never read another vampire story. I've grown so disgusted with how the legend has gotten twisted between Bram Stoker's origins and that......that trendy teeny bopper love story thing that takes place in Washington. I'm all for poetic license and anybody will add their own interpretation to anything. But, I'm sorry folks. Vampires are not nice, they don't care, they don't fall in love with humans, and for crissake's they don't sparkle. And Alan Ryker's vampires definitely ...more
K.Z. Snow
I vastly prefer spookiness to slice-'n'-dice in dark fiction, but once in a while I crave me some vicious, 30 Days of Night vampires. This book's got 'em. (Just look at the freakin' cover!) Likable characters, though, not so much. I can take that, too . . . although I almost gave up when the protagonist started mistreating one of his dogs. I absolutely cannot tolerate that in fiction any more than I can tolerate it in real life -- my one hardline when it comes to subject matter. Fortunately, the ...more
May 08, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nook-book
In the wake of pretty-boy Vampires & sweet Southern faerie vamp lovers, comes Alan Ryker, trailing behind him the real thing. Vampires...ugly, animal-like, smelly, and mean...and one (one town dealer) who has a semblance of intelligence left....just enough to spawn cruel vengeance. Add in a "hero" who isn't, whom you love to hate (or at least I did), and you have a real, modern-day Vampire thriller.

It takes place in the farmlands of Kansas, where something has been slaughtering cattle. The
Nov 14, 2015 Kirstine rated it liked it
This was not the book I expected it to be.

I thought it was gonna be about a lonely farmer hunting vampires like a badass.
And well, while that does happen (a little), it's not at all what actually happens. The plot does go a little deeper. And I suppose that's a good thing (actually, I suppose nothing - it is). But for it to have really worked this book should have been a bit longer. You can't carry a plot like this in only 133 pages. Alan Ryker tries, though, and he does it very well.

Had it had
Alice Yeh
Jun 24, 2012 Alice Yeh rated it really liked it
In a small town in Kansas, cattle are getting attacked. Some are torn apart, while others get away with a little blood loss and some strange sort of virus. The target of the contagion isn't bovine, after all: it's human. Keith Harris, an angry man with a weak sense of self control, is the first to come across the vampires, and his actions set off a twisted chain of events that delves into the darkness lurking within us all.

For a novella of its limited length, Burden Kansas does a superb job sett
Jan 04, 2016 Kimmyh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vampires-and-Revenge tale featuring a bad-ass rancher with not much left to lose and a meth dealer/addict turned Vampire, (and thanks to snorting a ridiculous amount of the stuff after being bitten to try and keep himself from dying ends up being the smartest vampire around), with a score to settle.

Good story, different take on Vampires as most of them act simply on animal instinct and can't stand to be around one another. Short novel, but, certainly worth the read if you are a fan of this genr
Ann Tamimi
Jun 09, 2014 Ann Tamimi rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This a very short book and it didn't have to be. The premise of the not cuddly vampire is a good one and I prefer it so that was good. However the story felt rushed if the author had taken a bit more time with thr story and development I would have been a much happier reader. The characters were eh take them or leave them no strong connections at all. They lacked feeling and depth just all very superficial. maybe the writing gets better in the next book I'm not sure I'm going to try and find out ...more
Jay Krow
May 21, 2011 Jay Krow rated it it was amazing
Burden Kansas, written by Alan Ryker, is a breath of bloody, evil, stinking, fresh air for anyone who enjoys the vampire genre. There aren’t any touching love scenes to be had in this fast-paced, brutal, in-your-face story. What you will get is a story about a man who is forced to fight his inner demons as well as the monsters roaming the Kansas plains.

As we follow the main character, Keith, and his brother, Roy, we learn that Keith is a tortured soul. You can’t help but feel sadness for him as
If you like your vampires sexy or glittering, this book is not for you. This is how vampires should be - fast, vicious and deadly.

Keith Harris, the main character, might be hard for some to like seeing how he's made some difficult decisions in the past, drinks a lot and generally doesn't care what the public thinks about him. He gets involved with helping some of the townsfolk when something is feeding on his cattle by draining blood from them and sometimes killing them. No one had an inkling o
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paced reading hor...: burden Kansas 100% spoilers 15 14 Jul 24, 2013 06:43AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Vampires of the Plains (2 books)
  • Blood Tells True

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