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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: A People's History Of The Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

I'm not sure I've ever read a book anything like this one before. The style is something like the script for a fictional documentary, with events laid out in (mostly) sequential order. There is no principal main character but rather input from the perspectives of several characters who played significant roles in the described events, from a virologist with the CDC to FBI agents, priests with a secretive Catholic order, and even some of the vampires themselves.

In essence, this is a cautionary tale of just what people can get away with if they have enough money, power and the right spin doctors at their disposal. And the answer is… literally anything, including being actual vampires who need to drink human blood to survive.

Though I found this a fascinating, if terrifying, read, there were too many unanswered questions and logical gaps in the narrative for me to really ‘buy in’. For example, a mass grave on the Mexican side of the border was mentioned several times of being of interest at the start of the outbreak, but we were never told why, what or who had been buried there or why the virologist considered a return many months later. There were logical inconsistencies such as the Chinese banning all vampires, then a few chapters later, a vampire with bodyguards walking down the street in a Chinese city.

Logically, the 50% death rate should have produced a very large number of distressed relatives fervent and vocal in their anti-vampire sentiments, much as Lauren became after her sister's death. Where were all those people? For me, it was a glaring omission. There should have been grieving relatives clamouring for answers and bringing lawsuits all over the place.

I actually think this would make much better television than it did a book, because of the nature of the story, without a single protagonist to follow. While I enjoyed the read, I was left with a lingering feeling of frustration because of the unanswered questions and illogicalities I mentioned above. I'm giving it four stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.

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