Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “vampire”

ElLCoolJ’s #CBR4 review #6: The Passage: Justin Cronin

Ahhhhh Sequels… best left for 1980′s movies and preteen books. I am not usually a fan of sequels or trilogies (except all 5 of the books in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy) but I’m at ease saying that I’m sucked into this one.

It goes without saying that The Twelve by Justin Cronin is a sequel to The Passage. You have to read the first one, and if you liked it this one will not disappoint. The format is similar to the original, in that there are a few different timelines. The first “story” takes place right after the virals (they don’t use the word vampire, but that’s what they are, not sparkly or cape swishing, but savage monster) start taking over America. There are a couple sets of survivors that pull together to survive. It is the usual mix of a few kids, ex-military, pastor, old school teacher, gangster wannabe all driven around by an autistic school bus driver. Throw in there one of the original guards from the Project NOAH (the vampire making top secret government project) who holds the clue to the virals. He is being tracked by one of the bureaucrats from the DC office of NOAH. Oh yeah, Amy is somewhere too.

Jump to 80ish years later and we are following a farm community in the post-apocalyptic era. A couple of families leave the compound for a picnic. It happens to be the day of an eclipse and well… shit hits the fan.

Jump to 20ish years later , which is 5 years after The Passage ends. Peter and Lish are still in the Expedition tracking down the original 12 virals. Things don’t quite work out and Peter gets demoted back to the protecting the oil route. This is really just an excuse for Cronin to show how humanity has pieced together a life after the cushy life we 21 century couch potatoes are used to.  There are cities, governments, slums complete with an acceptable criminal fringe. They managed to keep the oil rigs on the Gulf Coast of Texas running and use that for fuel for their trucks and energy. There is some environmental damage, but that is glossed over, and the story continues. Oh yeah, Amy is there.

There is another community out there, that is not so good.

Read the rest of the awesome review here… complete with a bonus cover.

Siege’s #CBR4 #8: The Keep by F. Paul Wilson

In which Siege feels a book about Nazis getting eaten by a monster should be a lot more exciting than this one turned out to be.

LurkeyTurkey #CBR4, Review #7: The President’s Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth

*This book is a sequel to “Blood Oath.” *

Nathaniel Cade is a 140 year-old vampire, who is, wait for it, tied to the President of the United States through a blood oath.  As such, Cade is required to serve whoever sits in that seat of power and protect the United States against all enemies.   He is, of course, a secret to the large majority of the American people, and fights all things “Other” that are trying to destroy the American way of life. 

Cade and his “handler,” Zach Barrows, a snarky, politically-minded human assigned to aid the vampire, are tracking down “Snakeheads,” reptilian villains capable of shredding human beings with their raptor-sharp claws and razor teeth.  These creatures were formerly human, turned by a virus or infection, which is spread via saliva in bites or wounds of their human prey.  These creatures are terrifying, soulless killers with a seemingly insatiable hunger.

As Cade has been around for 140 years, there are many reveals as to the source of the virus, and more importantly, who is pulling the strings to spread it, and why.  Really it is the search for the puppet master that makes this book interesting.   It’s no “Tinker Tailor,” but the narration does oscillate enough between political intrigue to Urban Fantasy enough to keep the pace up, and the story compelling.

The characters are also more than just cut-out action heroes.  This is an improvement over “Blood Oath” in the development of Cade’s character as he seems less robotic, and Zach Barrows is snippy and manages to bungle up enough to keep him lovably dependent on Cade.  Also included in this novel are the actors of the CIA’s arch-nemesis, The Shadow Company, who are great fun in their nefarious plots and schemes.

Overall, this is a fun book worthy of a sunny day on the beach, or a crappy snowy day with a cuppa tea (which is sadly how I read it).

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