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A People's History of the Vampire Uprising


A People's History of the Vampire Uprising

To say that vampires have a firm grip over our culture would be an extreme understatement. In addition to the world-famous vampire novels by Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer, we now see Disney Junior running a new series called “Vampirina,” while the big screen is preparing for Hotel Transylvania 3. Lately it seems that children have become the target audience for vampire fiction.

Along comes debut author Raymond A. Villareal, who has created vampire fiction unlike any we have ever seen. A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE VAMPIRE UPRISING is as much social satire and admonishment of modern governmental laws as it is an examination of what fictional vampires would look like if they were actually a fast-growing demographic in our modern world.

Newcomer Villareal, a practicing attorney from San Antonio, opens things up with a quote from the legendary Virgil: “The only hope for the doomed, is no hope at all.” This is quite an ominous prediction for what is to come in this unique novel. The foreword is written from an anonymous point of view as the signature predicting the doom of mankind was redacted --- as is the case with many of the “original documents” shown throughout the book.

"A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE VAMPIRE UPRISING is one of the freshest takes on vampire lore I have ever read.... This is a novel you will not easily forget."

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE VAMPIRE UPRISING delivers the story in linear fashion using multiple methods of writing --- narrative, news clips, web blurbs, etc. There are also a handful of narrators used here, each giving their own perspective as to what is transpiring. We are introduced first to Dr. Lauren Scott, a research physician at the Center for Disease Control. She is one of the more reliable narrators as she looks at the onset of the changed people, or “Gloamings,” from a scientific and medical point of view. It all starts out with a dead girl named Liza Sole, whose body disappears from a morgue. A deceased deputy is found in the wake of Liza's disappearance with all of the blood efficiently drained from his body in a way that Dr. Scott has never seen before.

Then we have Father John Reilly, an ordained Catholic priest and Jesuit, who provides the religious perspective. It is interesting to see Father Reilly transformed from non-believer to sympathetic onlooker, and then to something else entirely different from everything he once was. His interview with the Department of Defense is chilling indeed. Watching the rise of the Gloamings is quite effectively shown through the author's use of these various forms of media.

Dr. Scott continues to trace the blood virus she has labeled NOBI in an attempt to find a way to stop it, or at least discover an antidote that can quell the ever-growing number of infected humans. There is even a Gloaming Crimes Unit put together by the FBI and headed by the intense agent Hugo Zumthor. Villareal's legal background comes into play when he creates documents that revises the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act to reflect coverage for the Gloaming population. Once we see a Gloaming figure rise into an elected position and then witness the Gloaming Rights Act, we get a nice correlation to our current worldview of immigration.

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE VAMPIRE UPRISING is one of the freshest takes on vampire lore I have ever read. The style is unlike all other vampire fiction and quite different from the appealing depiction of these undead souls as seen in any Rice or Meyer novel. Towards the end of the story, Father Reilly tries to tie the Gloaming resurgence to ancient history. He specifically refers to the year 1153 when the concept of anoesis --- a state of mind consisting of pure sensation or emotion without cognitive content --- is applied to the now-protected Gloamings. This is a novel you will not easily forget.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on July 6, 2018

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
by Raymond A. Villareal