Abaddon Books, out now
Meet Coburn: he’s a vampire. Caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
Chuck Wendig’s first novel is a no holds barred gorefest, which caters to the current interest in zombies and the walking dead but gives it a new spin by dropping a vampire into the centre of the problem. How does someone who needs human blood to survive cope when there are very few living people around? The answers may surprise you, but are entirely logical.
Wendig has a very distinct style, and it’s not for the faint-hearted (as readers of his novel Blackbirds for Angry Robot will know). He has a way of manipulating language that doesn’t always obey the “rules” of writing but makes its point very effectively. He’s also a born storyteller – you are pulled into the prose, and you simply have to know what happens to the characters next.
Robert McCammon is cited as a formative influence on Wendig’s writing, and Wendig has the veteran author’s knack for looking at situations from a fresh perspective – there are resonances of McCammon’s early vampire novel They Thirst and his apocalyptic Swan Song in Double Dead, but not so much that either books are ripped off by this.
Verdict: If you want an out and out horror novel that matches the gore of the Living Dead movies with proper (i.e. not Twilight-type) vampires, then you’ll love this. 7/10