Monday, December 22, 2014

Booknote: V-Wars, Volume 1

Jonathan Maberry, V-Wars, Volume 1. San Diego, CA: IDW, 2014. ISBN: 9781631400636.

This is about a vampire virus outbreak (a virus that turns humans into vampires), and the war that ensues between humans and vampires. At the beginning, some moderate humans offer peace, but vampire terrorists start the war again as they assassinate the moderate Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. But, is it a straight out war, or is there a conspiracy under all this? As the story settles in, we begin to see some depth and suspense. Dr. Swann, the vampire expert, gets caught in the middle. There is a lot of intrigue, and what will happen when the Crimson Queen calls Dr. Swann?  You will have to read to find out.

These are not the evil scary vampires of usual stories. If anything, as often the case, humans are the monsters hunting and oppressing anything different. In this case, the vampires are the different ones. The book has some very interesting vampire characters. For instance, we find a Quaker vampire; this person does not believe in violence like other vampires might, and that has some interesting implications. Another example: we may find a gay, interracial vampire couple. The comic does well in exploring character and society with vampires as a new ethnic or different minority. It looks at how their beliefs can vary based on background, so on. Add to this that there is not just on vampire type; there are various species of vampire. The vampire virus reacts on people based on their race and ethnicity.

This is certainly a very good book. It has good action and suspense. It is a story that could be right out of today's headlines, and it is a serious commentary on the paranoid homeland state in the U.S. This is also definitely a new vampire story for this time, revealing layer upon layer on the narrative as you read. How much deeper can it go? That will certainly have me coming back. I will certainly be looking for the next volume. The work has good character development so far, and it brings a vampire story to life going away from the usual cliches. It was pretty engrossing to read, but I want to see if the series gets better or loses steam. So far it looks promising.

On a side note, I recently made a comment on Facebook that I pretty much gave up on reading The Walking Dead (I gave up on the series way before this). Part of it is what I mentioned here on humans being the monsters, but also the constant depressing no hope grinding gruesome nature of that comic. If the topic of humans as monsters interests you, this comic may be a good alternative. If it keeps up the good work, this may become a favorite for me.

Overall, it was really good, so I am giving it 4 out 5 stars and hoping it continues getting better.

Disclosure: Where I tell you I got this book from the publisher via NetGalley in order to appease The Man. I got it in exchange for an honest review. What? You did not think I made money on this, did you?

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