Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book review: Vaempires: Revolution (The Evolutionary War, #1) by Thomas Winship

Genre: YA paranormal/urban fantasy
File Size: ebook, 202 KB
Print Length: 216 pages
Source ISBN: 1466398647
Publisher: Thomas Winship (October 28, 2011)

Blurb: It is the morning of Princess Cassandra’s sixteenth birthday. Everyone’s attention is focused on the heir to the vampire throne. World leaders, the rich and famous, and VIPs from every corner of the globe have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the momentous event.

Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Væmpires—former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood—have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of væmpires as the dominant species on the planet.

The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons—væmpires with special powers.

What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, or walk through walls?

My thoughts: Vampires will always be my favorite supernatural creature. Despite the glut of available books (from which I do tire of), there is always an author who will draw me back into the genre by offering me their world and their spin on these beloved beings. Thomas Winship is the latest writer to grab me with his novel, Vaempires: Revolution, the first book in his series, The Evolutionary War.

First off, I love the spelling. That caught my eye, as did the bleeding earth. And there is blood shed in this book. A lot. The opening scene yanks us into a fight: vampire teen Daniel is on a trip back to the capital's castle where he resides. Mutated vampires called "vaempires," all wearing identical black suits, have begun attacking vampires and humans, decimating anything in their paths. The son of the Captain of the Royal Guard, one could say fighting is in Daniel's DNA. When he realizes this is an actual "war" he tries to contact his girlfriend, Princess Cassie, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and can't. Hoping she, along with her family and his, are alive, he continues on his trek, stopping to defend an innocent human or vampire along the way.

Daniel is tough and so is Cassie. Told in their alternating third person points-of-view, we begin to piece together the history of the past--the Human-Vampire War, WWIII, the "atomics," the Great Devastation and the creation of a supercontinent and its divided provinces--as well as the vampires and their counterparts, the vaempires who undergo The Change, mutating into something more. Vaempires are looked down upon and many keep their Changes secret. Until now. Yet, even with his rigorous training, Daniel has never killed before this day. Practice has made him comfortable in the art of dealing death, but he doesn't have to like it, and this makes him appealing. When he stops to help a five-year-old boy and then a teen mom with her baby, Daniel becomes more than the good guy, he becomes a hero.

Winship drops in some sci-fi props into his story, giving this futuristic tale a tremendous amount of the "cool factor" from holofields (think fairy glamour for buildings and places) to plasma weapons. Vampires can walk in the sun, heal by eating food and drinking synth-blood, and die from bleeding out or decapitation. There is a lot of deaths so be forewarned. Daniel is a major kick ass guy, not bad for a fifteen-year old, who is very mature for his age. Cassie may be a princess but she can also take care of herself. When she returns home and views the devastation for herself, a suitor from her past suddenly shows up. Vielyn is someone the teens grew up but when he fell for Cassie and was not her chosen beau, he decided to exact his revenge army of monsters like himself.

Since this is a violent story, I would recommend Vaempires: Revolution to older teens. There's a bit of YA paranormal romance between the leads which is needed among the various scenes of death, futuristic sci-fi, politics, and social norms. Despite hating the vaempires, when Vielyn explains why he grouped the mutants together, one almost feels a hint of compassion for them.

My only comments have to deal with the blurb and some of the fighting scenes. The blurb mentions "four teens" (Daniel, Cassie, Ray and Linq), but Ray and Linq are only heard speaking through their comlinks. I found that misleading. Since we are introduced to the other two, I can only surmise we will actually see them all in person in the second book. Also, during some fighting scenes I wished for a line of dialogue or some vocal reaction from the vaempires to break up Daniel's bloodlust-induced sprees. The story also ends on a cliffhanger (a huge one!) so I can only hope Mr. Winship writes fast.

Rating: I really liked it.

Favorite excerpt: "You’re the king.

Daniel laughed, a bitter, harsh sound escaping clenched lips, as he surveyed the panorama before him. He was the king and the kingdom under his care was a wasteland. His people were being slaughtered like sheep, by mutated versions of themselves.

The earliest trend of referring to mutants as super-vampires had been accompanied by less respectable monikers such as muties, bloodsuckers, and leeches, none of which had improved the situation. It was the mutations themselves who had decided upon the term væmpire, ostensibly because the e represented the something extra that made them different from vampires.

Then the radical groups came, the ones that insisted the e stood for evolution, nature’s way of showing that væmpires were a step above vampires. They hadn’t argued for equality; they argued for superiority. When their arguments fell on deaf ears, some resorted to violence, and evo-terrorism—short for evolutionary terrorism—was born.

Daniel had never cared what væmpires called themselves and had never uttered derogatory prior to the day’s attack. He had always tried to treat vampires, væmpires, and humans alike, with respect and dignity, and had, in fact, worked very hard to foster peace between all the planet’s inhabitants. Now that the peace had been shattered, he had no use for political niceties. The bloodsuckers had won the day.

He hated to turn tail and flee. Every fiber of his being screamed in protest at the thought of abandoning his home, his beautiful, wonderful city, to the filthy bloodsuckers overrunning it.

It flew in the face of all his parents had taught him about strength and pride and dignity, but he’d also been taught by the best military minds, as well, and they taught that one never continued a losing effort if the option remained to retreat, regroup, and strike back at some future date.

Live to fight another day, his father’s voice whispered."

Cover comment: After reading the book, the cover art depicts what goes on in the story.

Book source: Received from the author for my honest review during my book tour stop.


  1. Thank you so much for this awesome review. I'm glad you liked it and I promise: Linq and Ray will be major characters in Book Two.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! This sounds like such a great story! I will be reading it soon. :)

  3. Thank you, Tina. I hope you enjoy it!