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Uprising by Scott G. Mariani, book reviewUprising by Scott G. Mariani is the first novel in what promises to be a series called Vampire Federation. I came across it on Amazon whilst browsing for free titles for my new Kindle – Uprising was free at the time although it is not any longer. As a fan of vampire fiction I thought this would be worth a go – after all, if it turned out to be rubbish it wouldn’t really matter given that it was free.

The vampires of Uprising are not “out” to humans, but they are reasonably organised. They have a Federation which sets rules and monitors the vampire population. It produces drugs which enable vampires to go out in sunlight, memory blocker for the victims, and a poison which kills vampires if they have the slightest contact with it. They do not, however, have any care for humans – vampires live among humans, but humans are merely a food source to them.

Alex Bishop is a Special Agent in the intelligence section of the Federation. She travels the world dealing with rogue vampires who break the Federation’s rules – traditionalists who believe vampires should not have laws and should dominate humans. Joel Solomon is a DI with Thames Valley Police who saw his family murdered by a vampire as a young boy – all his old nightmares resurface when he meets Dec Madden, a young man who claims he saw his girlfriend attacked by vampires. Alex and Joel’s paths are brought together as they realise they can help each other against the sinister Gabriel Stone, but Joel has no idea what Alex is…

Uprising is vampire novel unlike any others I have read. It is a thriller – and not in the normal slightly-scary style you might expect from vampire fiction. This is more of a crime thriller where some of the characters happen to be vampires. This is a really refreshing take on the genre, and one which I expect would appeal to a wider audience than those who normally read supernatural or fantasy fiction. In the Q&A with the author which appears at the end of the Kindle edition, Mariani explains that he was trying to mix thriller with Dracula, by bringing in Gothic elements from the Bram Stoker classic. After reading that I could see that these elements were present, but I didn’t pick up on this mix while I was reading – these were simply traditional touches to a modern thriller.

The story of Uprising is gripping, although it takes a few chapters to grab your attention. The first few chapters are each about different characters, setting the scene, and so it is difficult to engage with each character in the opening short time we meet them until the story gets going. The characters are good, and could have walked right out of any standard thriller, but I found I could not fully engage with Alex. Perhaps that is because she’s a vampire and I’m not, but I don’t think that is it; much of the time it’s easy to forget what she is. It was much easier to engage with the male characters of Joel and Dec, and this is most likely because they were as much in the dark and learning as they went along as the reader is; Alex at least has some idea of what is going on.

Mariani’s style is fast-paced, and very well suited to the story; there are few passages of downtime in the novel, and he keeps the action going relentlessly. I will say however that I found there were parts of the story which seemed too easy for the characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but a certain quest went far too well – I was expecting a race around Europe, when suddenly it was over.

I was really pleasantly surprised by Uprising – it was the first free non-classic book I read on Kindle, and I half expected it to be rubbish. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and was hooked on the story and what might happen next. Having checked the author’s website, it looks like book two, The Cross, will be published in autumn 2011 – I can’t wait. I was lucky enough to get Uprising for free, but I’ll be happy to pay for the next one, and will happily recommend Uprising even with a price tag.


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by Scott G. Mariani

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Written by eilidhcatriona

A Scottish lass in her late twenties living in London. A prolific reader always interested in something new.

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