99 Coffins, David Wellington:
I am completely obsessed with any book with vampires in it. I am constantly searching for my next series, it’s a bit of an addiction for me. So when I say David Wellington is one of my favorites, understand what that means. I’ve read everything from Twilight to Dracula with Anne Rice in between, if it’s in pop culture I’ve read it or seen it, I’m taking an entire CLASS to do with vampire literature. And he’s one of my favorites.
13 Bullets is the first in the series, which sets up the lore nicely. And by that I mean these are monsters, not romanticized or sexual objects. They have pointed ears, rows of teeth, red eyes, completely pale skin, they are inhuman in every way imaginable. Their smart, but only use that sense in order to play with victims before (literally) tearing them limb from limb. There’s no love story here. It’s violent, and terrifying.
In this sequel there’s a lot of historical elements. It’s set in Gettysburg in a slightly alternate timeline when vampires have been confirmed to have existed, but are all but extinct. Laura Caxton is hunting any remaining ones down herself, after already being almost killed.
There’s a lot of things about Laura I like. She’s brave, but is constantly admitting to herself how scared she is. She’s smart, but she makes mistakes because she’s human. She doesn’t take shit from anyone, but it still compassionate. She’s also a lesbian, which isn’t so much important as it is to have a strong female character in a book where their sexuality isn’t even close to being the most important or interesting thing about them.
I love the descriptions in this book, everything is laid out for your clearly without ever taking you out of the scene. Nothing is superfluous, everything contributes to making you feel terrified even if you’re sitting in a well lit room in the middle of the day. There’s something about focusing on the horror and not the romance which makes me really respect Wellington’s novels.
They’re fast reads, which makes it more fun. There’s also two sort of plot lines going on at once in each of his books I’ve read, which keeps the action based on Laura suspenseful while still giving you more insight into the story than Laura has. It’s a really interesting way of telling two stories that connect more than anyone in the story is aware of. I love it.