Uprising by Scott G Mariani
For centuries, vampires walked the earth undetected, feasting on humans in keeping with their ancient traditions, but now 21st century technology has left them open to detection…
To establish order, the Vampire Federation is born, policed by special agents like vampire Alexandra Bishop, authorised to hunt down those who violate the new code.
But rebel vampire Gabriel Stone doesn’t play by the rules and declares war against the Federation, throwing Alex and her team into turmoil.
Oblivious to the chaos in the vampire world, human Detective Inspector Joel Solomon is drawn into and unlikely alliance with Alex when he investigates a series of gruesome corpses drained of their blood.
Together they are plunged into a war of good versus evil, taking them from the streets of London to the mountains of Transylvania in a battle that threatens to destroy them all…
The blurb on the back cover of Uprising boldly proclaims that this will be “a perfect read for fans of films such as Blade an Nightwatch”. Curious to see if this claim would prove to be true I was looking forward to reading this novel.
The concept of vampires living secretly amongst humans has been done before, and I’m sure it will be done again, so when I am reading this subject matter I’m really looking to see if an author can inject their own unique perspective on the topic. Mariani goes for the all out action approach, and it works well. There are some great scenes where the vampires get to use their enhanced abilities to cause enormous damage. Lots of guns, plus lots of action, equals a great deal of fun
Solomon and Bishop are a good double act. Bishop has been a vampire for a long time and there is a sense of world-weariness about her. She has distanced herself from the human world, as the memories of her old life are still too painful. Meanwhile Solomon is a relative innocent, discovering everything about vampire society for the first time.
Gabriel Stone is a suitably cartoonish villain, all grand gestures and evil posturing. Needless to say, I warmed to him immediately. Stone has a gang of vampires who act as his hench men and women, as well as a manservant who is literally a ghoul. Splendidly creepy chap he is too.
As the story unfolds the reader gets to see glimpses of Stone’s grandiose end game which will pit vampire against vampire. I have to admit there was even a little part of me that was cheering him on. I’m a great fan of truly evil villains, and Stone falls squarely in the category.
Vampires need to be policed in order to ensure their continued secretive existence and it falls to the Vampire Federation to do the policing. I liked the idea that technology plays a key part in this process. This is a great excuse for some great little touches. The age-old problems of moving around in daylight, guaranteeing a victims silence and stopping rogue vampires are all dealt with in an inventive manner.
The plot zips along at break neck speed, so much so, I was worried that if I blinked I was going to miss something. From the Highlands of Scotland, to London and Venice, and from the mountains of Romania to the frozen tundra of Siberia, the story covers a lot of ground and has a globetrotting feel.
Uprising does exactly what it promises on the cover. Its fast paced shlocky fun, in the vein (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist) of Underworld. The sequel, The Cross, is already available and I enjoyed Uprising so much I’ll be reading it next.