On this pitiless world, the indomitable spirit of mankind still breathes in Lieutenant David Valentine. Brought into the Wolves - an elite guerilla force sworn to win back Earth - Valentine leads his first command in the Kurian Zone. Driven by the losses of his past and the hope of a future, Valentine is in it to win. No matter how long it takes. No matter what doom awaits him beyond his wildest nightmares.
Bonus Audio: Includes an exclusive introduction by author E.E. Knight.
©2003 Eric E. Frisch; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
I personally own this audiobook in both Audible and the first eight in the series in Graphic Audio format, so I feel I can safely say I know this author's work. This initial novel has a slower than preferred beginning, and I wish the pacing was better.
However, a vampire-ravaged earth losing the war, and it's a science fiction story? Now, that may have promise. This DOES have promise, and the concept is well-designed for the listener.
An inter-galactic space-faring race of vampires have finally made their way to earth, and the story opens on a rag-tag group of survivors being led across the swamplands of Louisiana by an organized and well-trained cadre of warriors. The premise builds with flashbacks of the hero's beginnings within the country's warrior caste, or what's left of it.
We get a slower than desired entry into the hero's upward move in the ranks, and his experiences in the process.
Its the writing good? Its good for the type of story being told. This isn't Heinlein. This isn't Martin. This is pure escapism, so don't expect eloquent prose.
That being said, I've already listened to a number of books in the series, and I can recommend the series as a whole, again, as pure escapism. The author grows in the writing of these books, so treat the escapism for what it is: A fun listen.
The book has a nifty sci-fi/vampire premise, and the author is good enough at describing action sequences to keep you wanting more. The characters are about as cardboard cut-out as you can get and character development approaches zero, but the inventive descriptions of the post-apocalyptic Earth are enough to keep it going. I liked it enough to give the second one a try; I'm hoping the author is capable of more character-building as the series continues.
Quite a wonderful series, I'm just finishing up the 7th (newest available, but book 8 should be coming soon) book now. I'm Anxiously looking for something new to replace this series, but I just know that I'll have trouble. The story line is great, the characters feel like friends, or perhaps comrades in arms, & the narration is simply wonderful. One of those voice actors that make you forget what gender they are when they are reading the part of a character who is another gender.
If I had one complaint about these books it's that they are too short. I actually bought the last book because I finished book 6 about 1/2 way through my billing cycle. I've never done that before in the 4 years I've been an audible member. I've also never reviewed a book on audible before, that should tell you something.
The introduction of each book by the Author is a nice touch too. I just wish he came back at the end of the book to talk about it some more, since there is no longer anything to spoil.
Before I go looking for a longer series, let me just indulge myself & make a comment for those who have listened to these books:
Blink, blink, bliiiink- that made me giggle :)
Edit: that'd be right the next book is out & it's only 10 hours. What to do? what to do?
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Because this genre tends to be stereotyped and cheesy, I hadn't expected much - turns out I was pleasantly surprised.
I really like how this future was woven into our "real" existence - the story is linked to events that occurred milennia ago and is acceptably believable that events could occur this way.
Near the middle it got a tad bit "lecturey" on political subjects (war, racial politics, international politics, etc) but not nearly as bad as most apocalyptic stories which usually blame the apocalypse on [insert rival political party/government here]
For the most part, the story is told from the point of view of the main character (Valentine) but from time to time it seems to switch to an independent "narrator" who presents some history/explanation of the geography/politics/new world order... which is quite interesting, but it does change the tone of the story and eliminates some of the tension/suspense as to whether or not Valentine will make out okay.
There isn't a cliffhanger, but it's clear that this book is intended to be part of a longer series - one which I'll be reading because I want to find out how humans make out against the bad aliens!
The narration is very good.
I am writing this for ALL the books (9 of them) I have very much liked these books. Some of the last ones are a little bit slower than the first ones but still a good listen. It is a very interesting story that has a way of being a possibility in our future and how ruthless, evil and greedy man kind can be. He has a very good way of showing both the good sides of the human race and the bad when faced with utter destruction. Along with the way we might behave when introduced to alien races that have been more or less planted here to fight us. I have been very happy with the way his characters evolve and build companionship. I however would not recommend these books to young listeners due to the sexual scenes are a little graffic for young readers. But other than that a very good story.
Well I was really hoping not to like this book, But no it was great and I will be getting the next one, and the next one ect... If you like SM Stirling, OS Card and alternate earth futures this is for you. Excellent narration that compliments the story. This book is worth your time, Credit or Cash. Enjoy
I absolutely love this series! I flew threw every book in this series and hated running dry. Book 9 "March in Country" comes out Dec 7th 2010 and I have marked my calender!
What if the New World Order were really an ancient Vampiric race of inter-dimensional beings that once again tried to shackle mankind in bondage forever? Well, they should have picked a more timid species to try to dominate and feed off of.
The Author is brilliant and must be a serious history and geography aficionado. I am hopelessly addicted and long for the next book in the series.
Thanks Mr. Knight for the excellent story!
This book had a good premise but I had two problems with it. First, it did not have a plot. I listened to 8 hours and the guy was still just roaming around having random adventures with no overarching plot. Second, every charecter had either a redneck white trash southern accent or a 1800's western accent, even if they lived in 2065 Wisconsin. I could only listen to so many people say "howdy stranger" and "ain't that a fat chicken ya'll". My husband and I listened to this book on a long trip and I was never so glad to get home, we never did finish it.
E. E. Knight is my my new favorite author and David Valentine is my new favorite hero!! The story sucks you in and doesn't let you go!
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
I DON'T KNOW WHY, BUT
Lots of different elements in this book make for an interesting concept. A western with vampires and aliens. Knight says this is the second book he wrote and the first to get published. I wanted to like it as the competing subjects matters, seem interesting when you think about it. I also like that the story takes place in the Ozarks, where I live. My town is even mentioned as a border town. Unfortunately, it does read like a first attempt. The above phrase happens often, a character knows something is going to happen, but he can not explain why he knows. This is a novice way of getting around difficult situations. The world building, which should have been the best part of the book, was done through lecture. It was like sitting in a college class listening to a professor describe Vampire Earth 101. I don't want to be told, I want to be shown.
THEIR BRAINS ARE AT THE TAIL END, KIND OF LIKE THINNER HERE.
In different places we see glimpses of Knight's imagination. He has the ideas to put together a top notch novel or series, it is just a shame a publisher or editor did not force him to work harder and longer to come up with it. Hopefully, like many other writers have done, he will get better and better through experience. Sometimes getting published or popular early in your career can be the worst thing to happen in the long run. It could stifle his growth as a writer.
As far as the narrator, I don't know if it was him or just the way it was written, but at the end of each sentence where these long pauses. The result was to make the book sound like a child's letter. Hi, how are you. I am good.
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