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Monday 14 September 2015

✍ Vamp-Hire: Vamp [1] - Gerald Dean Rice

Genre: Young Adult Horror (Vampires, Supernatural).
Published by Permuted Press
Number of pages: 250
My rating: ★ ★  It was OK  
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Review | About the Author |

"Mankind has won the Vampire Conflict. But the cost of victory is that a few humans have been turned into vamps–half human, half vampire. Prejudice against the vamps is high so finding work is near impossible.  Plus, the slightest infraction could send any one of them back to the Pens, a place that’s as awful as any place on Earth.

Nick is a loner who walks a narrow line between legal and illegal to make ends meet.  He begrudgingly shares his home with a woman and her young child and finds work doing odd jobs suited only to vamps.  When a chance encounter seems like it could lead into real work, Nick discovers he’s in more danger than ever.  The military is trying to kidnap him, and something old and hungry has begun to roam the streets preying on his kind.  To fight this ancient evil, he has to reach out to his own kind for help–and decide how human he is after all." 

"Vamp-Hire" is a young adult novel by author Gerald Dean Rice, book one in a new series, and my first experience of his work.  The third person narrative follows Nick's perspective, and all events (bar the epilogue) occur in the space of eight days.

The author explains:
"I'd never written about vampires before or a young adult story and I wanted to go in a different direction than might be expected of a vampire tale for young people.  For starters, the main character is only half vampire.  I’d like to explore what it means to be one of these people in a post-war world where prejudice against their kind runs pretty rampant.  Each installment would reveal something new about the main character and introduce some sort of ancient monster that has come out of hiding now that vampires are extinct."
I think that Mr Rice certainly achieved this in his narrative; the story is undoubtedly original, with its seemingly more-than-usually civilised post-apocalyptic background, and his main protagonist, Nick, who recently woke up after spending ten years in a coma to find out that he is a vamp, that he does not have anyone to call family, and that integrating back into a productive society is not exactly plain sailing.

It is clear that there is huge scope for this to become quite an epic series, as there is an incredible number of different aspects and facets to be explored and revealed that so far have only been hinted at.  This is possibly the reason for the timeline and events being quite disjointed at times, and therefore the downfall of this book.

At 250 pages this should have been a quick read, however it took me six days to get through it.  I simply kept falling asleep - I initially blamed this on my tiredness, although, it is worth noting that, for comparison, my next read was Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter, 546 pages, and I read that in two days on three hours sleep.
I often had to re-read passages as I would get lost and not quite understand what was going on - I found the sections relating to Cain and Leonard particularly troublesome.
I also found the epilogue both fascinating and utterly incomprehensible, no matter how much I tried.
Some characters appear, they are developed to then just suddenly disappear.
Towards the end, someone utters what seems to be a profound request / reference, which also remains completely unreferenced thereafter.

Overall Vamp-Hire has great potential, but I do feel it could benefit from at least another round of good editing.

[ARC received via Xpresso Book Tours]

About the Gerald Dean Rice

Gerald Dean Rice is hard at work on something right now. Whether it's vampires, zombies, or something you've never seen before, he's always dedicated to writing something unique.

He's the author of numerous short stories, including the Halloween eBook "The Best Night of the Year", "30 Minute Plan" which is free on Amazon, the YA book "Vamp-Hire" and the upcoming anthology "Anything but Zombies".

Follow Gerald Dean Rice:

Visit the Gerald Dean Rice's websiteVisit the Gerald Dean Rice on FacebookVisit the Gerald Dean Rice on TwitterVisit the Gerald Dean Rice on Google+Visit the Gerald Dean Rice on their Amazon pageVisit the Gerald Dean Rice on GoodReads

1 comment:

Ben said...

The book does sound interesting and I will give it a go! Thank you for sharing! :-)