Disclaimer: David (the author of the novel) and I interact in a friendly manner online. This said, my review is entirely objective.
- It reads like a Louis L’Amour novel crossed with Anne Rice novel (with some X-Files thrown in)
- Initially feels like a series of connected short stories but transforms into a fast-paced action story
- I enjoyed reading it
Blurb on Amazon
Vampires of the Scarlet Order is an action-adventure novel about an elite cadre of vampire mercenaries who have worked throughout history as pinpoint assassins. Under the command of Desmond, Lord Draco, the Scarlet Order was involved in wars with the Ottoman Empire, The French Revolution and even the conquest of the Americas. Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, vampires are too expensive, too untrustworthy, and frankly, too passé for governments to employ any longer. Nanotechnology can be employed to engineer more reliable super soldiers. What’s a vampire got to do for job security?
The blurb had my expectations mystified. So I decided to just dive into the book. The first chapter was set in Spain about 500 years ago – a young man becomes a vampire and joins a vampire mercenary company in order to exact revenge. I really, really enjoyed this chapter. It was atmospheric and textured.
But suddenly we move onto new characters and different settings and times. America! 1700s. 1800s. 1900s. My head spun a bit. I felt that I could not quite settle into the flow. Not that the writing was bad – I love David’s writing for its succinct beauty (much like Louis L’Amour) – his ability to tell you everything that you need to know about a character with no extraneous words. It’s just that the story seemed to jump a bit. And then, about a quarter of the way through the streams started crossing (sorry – pausing to have a Ghostbusters moment) and whammo! The book transforms into a clever, fast paced thriller where vampires are the victims of some sort of technological conspiracy. This definitely had an X-Files resonance. Once this transformation happened, I was so hooked. The previous chapters had basically been origin stories setting everything up.
I’ve mentioned how well I think David does his characters. I must admit that I wonder whether one particular character is him inserting himself into the story. Maybe he can enlighten us. :)
I enjoy the sense of place too. David delivers lovely imagery.
So overall I loved it!
Really, my only issue with the book is that the e-book version has some formatting problems in a couple of places and I have raised this with David. Other than that, just excellent. :)
So, as they say, do yourself a favor…
Here is the link.