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Blood Riders

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  374 ratings  ·  76 reviews
“The history of the Old West written in blood and laced with dark humor, all set against a backdrop of ancient evil and a struggle for survival….You’re in for the ride of your life.”
—James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Colony

Already a New York Times bestselling author for his satiric, gore-soaked “songbooks” (It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Zomb
Mass Market Paperback, 388 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Harper Voyager
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  374 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Captain Jonas Hollister watched blood-drinkers slaughter his men and wound up with a ten year sentence to Leavenworth. When a senator's son witnesses similar killings, detective Allan Pinkerton springs Hollister and sends him after the creatures that slaughtered his men. But can Hollister trust the men the senator has sent to watch his back? And what about the mysterious woman following him?

Blood Riders was a fun read, no two ways about it. You've got stalwart natural leader Jonas Hollister, hi
Dirk Grobbelaar
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, western
Another Tricksy review

Vampires (or, as they’re called here, Archaics) in the Old West does certainly sound like fun. And in fact, on paper, there is almost nothing wrong with this book (except perhaps the cover).

The premise of Blood Riders is fairly simple. Undead critters from Europe have arrived on American shores and are chowing down on the locals. Enter Franco Nero Jonas Hollister, a “disgraced” Yankee Cavalry officer, to put an end to the problem. Alongside the likes of Abraham Van Helsing
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one, being a mixed genre of Western/Vampire/Horror/Thriller...I could go on, but I'll stop at those! Suffice to say, this book had a bit of everything in it, and in just the right dose. The characterization was exceptional, and I found myself really caring what happened to them at each stage in the novel. This was a fast-paced read with a LOT of action, bringing a new dimension to the vampire legend by creating a sub-species in a sense: the Archaics.

The only complaint I had
Mr. Matt
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I saw this book and knew I just had to pick it up.

In terms of potential measured this book is off of the charts. The US Civil War has just ended. It's the American west - the Wild West. There are the noble Utes and other tribes fighting a hopeless war against the unstoppable tide of European settlers. There are corrupt politicians and other crooks. There are dusty towns, saloons, whores, and trains. And then there are vampires.

For the most part, the book works. The hero, Jonas Hollister, survi
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, skimmed
You will never know how hard it is for me to rate this book so low. I had such high hopes for it. It seems to me that the American west or "Old West" should be a marvelous place to set a monster/vampire/urban type fantasy (if we could call Dodge City, Deadwood or Tombstone an urban environment). So far I've only found one really good book in this "vein" (get it, "vein"?). That's The Dead of Winter. Sadly in the follow up to that book the author trashes his own protagonist and brings in another " ...more
William Bentrim
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Blood Riders by Michael P. Spradlin

I am not sure how to classify this book. It is a meld of Western, Steam Punk, SciFi and horror. There are classic Steam Punk toys, cowboys and vampire like creatures populating this book. It seems like that is too many genres crammed into one story but somehow it worked and was a very entertaining book.

Jonas Hollister was a likeable, engaging character. Spradlin did an excellent job crafting his characters. Hollister displays an open attitude and stubborn cour
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I would have given this book a five star, until the last 20% when a particular element arose that pulled me out of the story somewhat. However, it's a personal preference. I'm sure many readers would love the added element to the story.

Having said that, I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a new series. Hollister, Chee and Dog, not to mention Monkey Pete are phenomenal characters whom I will happily follow for years to come. If you like action, and a western with a side of Steampunk, you'l
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
This book has a weird ending. It's just a warning. It isn't a cliffhanger, just a sort of an opening.

Jonas Hollister witnessed the death of his men and nobody believed him since no body was ever found. He survived thanks to sunrise. He ended up in prison, since he didn't want to change his story that the killers weren't Indians. Four years later, Allan Pinkerton came to get him out since there was another similar attack. Hollister wanted another inmate, Chee, to be pardoned and placed under h
Fangs for the Fantasy
Jonas Hollister was a soldier in the army, having done his duty during the Civil war, he continued on with much less dangerous work – until checking some disappearing settlers leads him to Malachi, vampire, Archaic, blood sucking monster that destroys Hollister’s entire squad.

Hollister survives and makes the terrible mistake of telling the truth – which gets him thrown in military prison for several years. Until Malachi is more open and a secret branch of the government wants to recruit him – to
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

In the year of 1876 Jonas Hollister was a captain of the U.S. Cavalry. He and his men came across a camp where all of the inhabitants had been slaughtered. Jonas had a sick sense that something was wrong, and before they could even begin burial duty, the bodies start to rise and start killing Jonas’s men and drinking their blood. Jonas barely leaves the scene with his life; being saved by the rising sun that sent the creatures running.

When Jonas reports to his
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

1880: “Some other time…for Caroline”, the creature with the fangs and long white hair hissed to Jonas Hollister as he lay amongst the dead soldiers in his command. The sun was rising, and Jonas was sure he was about to die, but those are the words the creature uttered to him just before he left the scene of the massacre. Earlier that evening, Captain Hollister and his soldiers came across a scene of devastation that looked like an Indian attack, but suppli
Sara Walker
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Get all the urban fantasy news and reviews at

When I heard BLOOD RIDERS was a western with vampires, I had to check it out.

At first BLOOD RIDERS reminded me of Firefly. The main character Jonas Hollister is a man with morals and similar in ways to Malcolm Reynolds. And like Mal, Jonas is having to fight otherworldly flesh-eating creatures.

In the opening scene, Jonas Hollister leads a team of eleven men to check out a camp that was reportedly attacked by blood devil
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. I gave up about two thirds of the way through. It started off promisingly but soon deteriorated into a 'shooty bang bang' affair. I imagine the writer was thinking it would make a great movie, but sadly what may look good on screen doesn't necessarily translate well onto the printed page.

The idea is attractive enough: a former soldier from the American civil war and his mixed-race sidekick are recruited from prison by Allan Pinkerton (yes, that one) to join a group he's putting together to
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, horror
If I could give the book 3.5 stars I would.

Blood Riders is an Old West/Steampunk/Vampire story. The world is fantastic and rich in detail. We follow the hero Jonas Hollister as he discovers and hunts down vampires as they began to arrive in the American West in the late 1800s. Along the way, Jonas teams up with Chee, a 1/4 Chinese, Creek, Creole, and Caucasian man with a dog named Dog. Together, they work for the US Government directly under Allan Pinkerton's supervision with the aid of several
May 12, 2013 marked it as dnf
When you say Hollister, what do you think of?

Blood Riders was compared to Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter in an advertisement I saw online. This was extremely misleading because Blood Riders is nothing like Seth Grahame Smith's genius novel. Blood Riders is extremely tedious and pretty bland. Considering this book is about vampires, I wasn't too interested in it and I felt the urge to DNF several times while reading this book. It can't help that the character's name was Hollister and it was ha
John Wood
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've read a lot of historical fiction but this is my first venture into hysterical fiction. Or is that hystorical or histerical? Whatever you call it I loved it!! Knowing Mike Spradlin for many years, I was not surprised that he could create a captivating adult novel. I give it five stars not because he is a friend but because I love this book and want more! It somehow sneaks an exploration of human prejudice into a tale of blood eating monsters in the Post Civil War era. Add in a bunch of incre ...more
Jun 07, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: author-유
Civil War veteran Jonas R. Hollister is recruited by the U.S. government to hunt down and destroy an ancient tribe of vampires that is terrorizing the frontier territories of the Wild West in this action-packed new novel from New York Times bestselling author Michael P. Spradlin.

Could be cool. Yeehaw!
Giovanni Gelati
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read this on my Kindle with my feet buried in the sand. Loved every word of it. The characters rock and the action is intense. Great read to have fun with.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Review of ARC for openbooksociety

Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Minus one star for the repeated use of "Huh..."
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: weird-west, vampire
I bought this novel when I was in the middle of a weird western hype. It came recommended in one of those 'top 30 whatever' lists and I thought it sounded interesting. After all, vampires are fairly common in other fiction, but I hadn't seen them handled in weird westerns all that much.

This novel is three stars because of how it swung from good to bad so wildly, rather than just being a consistent read throughout. On one hand, the protagonist and his right hand man (and Dog) were really interest
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I was rather meh about this book but am giving it 3 stars as Spradlin managed to keep me reading to the end. I'm still not sure how he accomplished that. Jam packed with tropes and never quite putting a new spin on any of them, he takes us on a vampire-hunting adventure in the Wild West. Chee and Holllister were an interesting pair but I can't say as much for the rest of the characters. The plot progression was predictable complete with the complication at the end that signaled a potential serie ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved the characters of Chee, Hollister, Dog and Monkey Pete. I would have liked to have seen more of Pinkerton and Winchester. However, I didn't give a tinker's damn about Shaniah or her love affair with Jonas.
Tim Shepard
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good story mixed with the old west, the supernatural, and steampunk. Blood Riders is well thought out and developed, even creating a new supernatural creature through the Archaics. If you are a fan of supernatural thrillers this book needs to be on your list to read.
Paxton Holley
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns
Interesting weird western with elements of horror and steam punk. Felt like it could have been a Wild Wild West story for the TV show that was rewritten as a stand alone book. Overall, I liked it.
This should have been the first in a series. The author crammed too much into one short book then left it hanging. The back story was lacking but I did like the characters.
Barry Edstene
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is great when real and fictional historical charecters are brought into a story. Spradlin does this mix flawlessly, making this a great read.
Carol P
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have read a lot of vampire books. This one ranks right up there. Looking for book two now. Adventure continues.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it liked it
SUMMARY: Creatures that are very similar to, but are not exactly, vampires come from Europe to the old west. The creatures in Europe have retreated to high mountains to avoid humans and no longer drink human blood to avoid conflict. The small group that comes to America want to go back to confronting and using humans and are in revolt against their race.

Now that the background is out of the way, Jonas Hollister is leading an army patrol when they comes across the creatures. Everyone else in his
At first glance I thought this was a romance novel.
That probably says more about me than I want to admit. But then I saw that James Rollins gave it a positive cover blurb and I decided to read the back. I'm glad I did as this is one of the more exciting and enjoyable books I've read this year.
It is very reminiscent of the Deadlands Table Top Role Playing Game, in that it is a Western with Monsters, which is basically the setting for Deadlands.
There are many things different between this and Dea
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Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children.
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