Having written a book featuring vampires, I tend to gravitate toward books like Uprising. Even though vampires are the main antagonists, this is far from a horror book. Make no mistake about it, this is a thriller through and through. It just so happens you’ll find vampires in it too. And I think that’s where Mr. Mariani succeeds. He never tries to make this book something it wasn’t meant to be.
From the publisher: A new war is dawning. For millennia, vampires walked the earth undetected, feasting on humans in keeping with ancient tradition. In the Information Age, vampires realized they must be more careful to avoid detection. In the late 20th century they created the global Vampire Federation to police vampire activity, with special agents like Alex Bishop authorized to hunt down her own kind who break the laws. The old traditions are history. But not all vampires bow down to Federation rule. When rebel vampire Gabriel Stone declares war against them, Alex and her team are plunged into danger. Police inspector Joel Solomon, haunted by a secret terror of vampires, discovers a series of corpses left behind by Stone’s bloodthirsty gang. As he and Alex are drawn together in an unlikely alliance between human and vampire, the race begins to destroy the evil Stone before his uprising tears their world apart.
Don’t forget to take your Solazal…
Uprising is the first book in Scott G. Mariani’s Vampire Federation series. Readers are introduced to a world where vampires co-mingle with humanity utilizing stealth and technology to remain secret. These modern vampires have developed drugs that allow them to walk in sunlight unharmed, instantly kill other vampires, and brainwash their victims so they won’t know they’ve been preyed upon. Mr. Mariani brings some nice touches to the vampire table with these technologies and the establishment of global vampire governing body.
Naturally, not all vampires want to be put on a leash. Some cling to the old ways of treating humans like the food source they are. They want to rule the world and live freely as they do. Needless to say, these two sides don’t see eye to eye and are willing to fight to get their respective ways.
This is where humanity comes into play. With two vampire factions slugging it out, it’s easy to believe somebody would notice. That somebody is Inspector Joel Solomon, who had prior dealings with vampires as a child. He eventually gets mixed up in the vampire war and works with Agent Alex Bishop. Together they search for the ultimate weapon that will end the war forever.
What I enjoyed about this book was the pacing. For the most part, Mr. Mariani utilized a lightning quick pace that keeps readers turning pages. His chapters are often short and succinct, giving readers what they need and nothing more. His characters too are brought to life by what they do, how they react to the situations they find themselves in. They felt three dimensional, believable.
As I mentioned before, this is a thriller. Even though Mr. Mariani incorporates vampires into his plot, readers are never exposed to too much gore or horror elements. While Uprising’s vampires are painted as predators, the book sticks with a more traditional thriller plotline. As a result, there aren’t many scares. This book is intelligently crafted and supplements the thriller feel with a side-dish of horror. With that being said, there is plenty here for both thriller and horror lovers to like.
I really enjoyed how the author approached the villains with a serial killer vibe. They stalk their prey and lure them back to their lair where they have their way with them. There is no remorse, only food.
Alex Bishop isn’t your typical “strong female character” either. She’s tough but still remains a woman. I think too many female characters nowadays are foul mouthed, ass kicking divas who want to do everything their male counterparts do. Alex has many layers. She’s damaged, cold at times because of past life experiences. As a result, she’s driven in her work. Yet deep down she’s searching for love, and possible a piece of her heart she lost many years ago. In my opinion, her storyline and character arc were masterfully crafted. I hope to one day be able to craft a character half as well as Mr. Mariani has here.
Three quarters of the way through this book the plot left me scratching my head a little. There were numerous small things like Joel finding a lost relic in a matter of hours when others failed after years of searching. It felt too convenient. Other times the plot was predictable. Readers knew that when characters we just met were introduced they weren’t going to last long. Even though there’s a fair amount of killing in this book, too often it held little meaning, leaving readers feeling indifferent. Should I care if a room full of nameless vampires is slaughtered? I didn’t.
All-in-all, I’m giving Uprising four out of five stars. If you’re looking for a grand feeling thrill ride filled with vampires, action, intrigue, suspense, and some horror thrown in for good measure, and all on a global scale, then give this book a try. There’s something for both thriller and horror fans to love. While you may not be scared, you will be on the edge of your seat turning pages long after bedtime. Grab a copy today.