Tuesday, April 05, 2016

V-Wars: Night Terrors – review

Editor: Jonathan Maberry

First published: 2016

Contains spoilers

The Blurb:

  • The war is tearing our world apart. Instead of big armies with tanks in the field, the Vampire War is fought in the streets, neighbor against neighbor, family against family. Anyone can turn at any time. The blood hunger can suddenly appear in the middle of a kiss. The person who sleeps next to you every night could wake up in the dead of night...hungry. So hungry...

  • V-Wars: Night Terrors collects all-new stories from the reporters embedded with the beats (humans) and the bloods (vampires). Each tale explores the nature of terror and peels back another layer of our comfort. Each tale bares our throat to the bite.

  • New York Times Bestseller Jonathan Maberry and his team of front-line storytellers bring you all-new tales of horror and heroism, of pain and delight, of deadly despair and soaring courage. The war between beats and bloods is blazing. Pick a side.

The review: Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of V-Wars as a concept and a series and you can find my reviews of the first two volumes here and here. Whilst arguably the first V-War never really ended, this volume is set during the second V-War and one of the great things about the volumes is how the various authors pull your loyalties one way and another. One moment you may root for a human and the next a vampire. There are multiple shades of grey drawn and, even with a hint that there is a corruption within human Government encouraging the ethnic cleansing of the V-War, we are given the warning that even the most benign seeming V organisations – the court of the Crimson Queen – may not be the ideal it makes itself out to be.

This is underlined when, through the eyes of a truly innocent hybrid, we see the grassroots organisation Unity, which espouses mutual living and yet thinks nothing of holding humans prisoner as food for their interpretation of greater good.

Again it is a joy playing spot the vampire type. We are told there are 300 vampire species and 5800 known hybrids (plus hydra, a never before classified species and a one off. Hydra being a teenage girl whose regenerative powers are so strong she may be truly immortal). Lycanthropes generally are vampire types but there is a known (through DNA) true lycanthrope who has human and dire wolf DNA – this may be the person known only as Rancid and certainly Rancid is something else.

One interesting idea was allowing us to meet a male White Lady of Fau. Normally female this ethnically French type of vampire is a seducer and the male one we meet is gay. We meet a vampire (wurdulak) turned vampire hunter as she tries to stop the monsters she perceives herself and her kind to be. There are characters we have met before and new characters too.

V-Wars is begging for a TV series. It’s clever and sassy and there is a wild variety of vampire types that could be played with in that format. In the meantime we have the books and this one holds its own against the others in the series, the use of multiple writers with Maberry’s overall control allowing the series to remain fresh and yet follow its path without irrelevant meandering. 9 out of 10.

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