**spoiler alert** Really, this should be like 3 1/2 stars. The reason being that, while the beginning was a bit slow, the ending was intense, unforgiv...more**spoiler alert** Really, this should be like 3 1/2 stars. The reason being that, while the beginning was a bit slow, the ending was intense, unforgiving, and carnal. I really didn't dig the way Dan Wells felt it necessary to walk me through the world of serial killers, because it felt very contrived. Then again, it's Pop Fiction, meaning that the major demographic for this book likely aren't as familiar with these disturbed individuals as I am. But still, it does a great job of painting out some powerful imagery, and there are more than just a few scenes in this book that will leave you feeling disturbed. By no means is this novel a limp-wristed affair.
What threw me off was the introduction of a supernatural element to the story. I can't even begin to tell you how surprised I was, and it wasn't unpleasantly so. The monster John Wayne Cleaver has to face is quite terrifying, and his relationship to the creature just intensifies it. Apparently, this isn't the only adventure we get to enjoy with John, and I wouldn't mind checking out its sequel. I'm not sure if it'll have that supernatural element to it as well, but if it was anything like this first novel, it'll probably be a good read.(less)
Hopefully, I'll expand on this later. It really ought to be a 2 1/2 stars, but alas, I cannot choose that. The book had great potential, some interest...moreHopefully, I'll expand on this later. It really ought to be a 2 1/2 stars, but alas, I cannot choose that. The book had great potential, some interesting characters, and was an intriguing re-imagining of the Peter Pan tale. But in Brom's attempts to make the story modern, I'm stuck reading about whiny adolescents and crotch-grabbing thugs with a Peter caricature that oscillates between awesome and unfavorably creepy. Maybe the latter was purposeful, but I didn't quite take to it. Sinister vibes would have worked best. But creepy? It just makes me think of pedophiles and annoying nutbags.
The descriptions overall were solid and very beautiful, but in the end, this book just didn't grab me.(less)
Laura Caxton is an ordinary state trooper. She believes in the work she does, and works hard to earn the approval of her superiors. One night, during...moreLaura Caxton is an ordinary state trooper. She believes in the work she does, and works hard to earn the approval of her superiors. One night, during a routine sobriety check, a driver rolls up, then veers around in an attempt to avoid troopers. Officers chase the driver down, and it becomes a foot chase that leads into the woods. The culprit gets away, leaving three mangled corpses in his trunk. It’s what’s found discarded in the woods, however, that leads the troopers to call in the Feds. Jameson Arkeley, reputed vampire hunter, comes onto the scene. What follows next is an incredible adventure, as Caxton and Arkeley fight to kill off the vampires in Pennsylvania before they succeed in their terrifying goal . . . reviving the blood thirsty Justinia Malvern—the only government protected vampire, once thought to be the last.
13 Bullets hits the ground running. The first three chapters, the only ones told from the point of view of Jameson Arkeley, is filled with action and death. David Wellington’s vampires are not fluffy cute, nor are they devilishly sexy. They are true monsters—horrific, powerful, and completely alien. While the first three chapters cannot speak for the story as a whole, it gives the reader a good idea of the sort of action to expect, and just how repulsive the vampires of 13 Bullets are. You’ll be cheering Arkeley on as he fights for his life against the creature known as Lares.
The best part about 13 Bullets is that it doesn’t end there. If the entire story was like the first three chapters—it would’ve been boring. But David Wellington knows how to make well rounded characters. Characters that envoke sympathy, anger, humor, and sadness. He knows, and loves, Pennsylvania—the nature, the history, the local color. There are quiet moments in 13 Bullets, lulls between the action, where you wonder when it is that Laura will finally snap. When Arkeley, her driven and unsympathetic partner, is finally going to go too far. Amid your disgust, you admire Wellington’s unique take on vampires, something he manages to do without turning his back completely on the legends and old stories. But I confess that as far as vampires go, I do not know much. Perhaps this sort of thing has been done before. Perhaps . . . but I don’t care. This much I know . . . 13 Bullets is a riveting, horrifying adventure tale that I could not put down.
When I started reading this story, it seemed to be on a dare. It boasted unflinching violence and none of the aristocratic sexiness that so many vampire stories are infected with. Being one of the many out there tired of the "Anne Rice’s" and "Stephanie Meyer’s" that flood the market, I approached the story guarded, prepared to pull up something better to do with my time instead.
60 Chapters later, I’m looking at my bank account ready to buy the next adventure by Wellington. He has done what I didn’t think possible . . .
He made me like a vampire story.
Recommended for those who like classic, merciless horror and adventure tales. (less)