Tuesday, July 12, 2011
13 Bullets by David Wellington
I honestly wasn't sure, when I started 13 Bullets, whether I would like the book or not. I saw it months ago when I started checking ebooks out from my library, and it interested me then, but I checked it out once without having a chance to read it. Since then, someone gave it a fairly mediocre review on my library's website — only 3 stars — so I was a little worried I wouldn't like it.
It was a bit different than most vampire novels out right now — more of a cop thriller-type, rather than the kind that glorifies vampires — but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would, based on the review at my library. I have a feeling someone saw the subtitle — "A Vampire Tale" — and picked it up, expecting something like Twilight. Of course, they'd be disappointed, but I think as a reviewer it's important to appreciate the genre within the context of the genre it belongs to.
David Wellington's vampires differ dramatically from what you usually see. Instead of sexy, compelling figures that just barely border on being monsters, his truly are monsters. They are ugly — bald heads, pointed bat-like ears, and lots of teeth — and they need more and more blood over time, making them bigger monsters the older they get.
So there's no question in the reader's mind that Laura Caxton and her new partner, Arkeley, are doing the right thing in killing every vampire they can track down. Arkeley has been obsessed with eliminating the rest of the vampires in the area since his sting operation in the 80s failed to kill one of the elderly vampires he found, and he wants nothing more than to finish the job he set out to do. And as much as he seems to resent having to work with Caxton, it becomes apparent that she is involved in this too, and that he needs her help.
13 Bullets is definitely a different take on vampires, but I actually ended up enjoying it. It's not as memorable as many of the vampire novels I've read — Anne Rice comes to mind — but it was good fun in its own rights, and like I said before, so different as to almost be a different genre than your average vampire novel.