Sunday, 3 August 2014

V Wars by Jonathan Maberry

Before I begin my review I'd just like to give you all the good news about my latest hospital operation. I had to go to Sunderland Eye Infirmary last Friday to have cataracts removed from my left eye. Both eyes are affected and I have noticed my vision worsening in recent months. If you think the black lines on my miniature figures have gotten thicker, this is the reason why! Anyway, the operation was a complete success. I was in the hospital just under two hours and the operation was both painless and quite short. I noticed a huge improvement in my eyesight as soon as I entered the recovery room. As a result, I now have near perfect vision in my left eye and best of all, I no longer have to wear glasses. For 43 years I have worn glasses, so to no longer need them has taken some getting used to. I thought I'd need at least three or four days to recover but I was feeling great as soon as the operation was over. Also, I did not have to wear an eye patch or have a bandage on my left eye. I left hospital feeling like a new man. Now everything I look at seems so much sharper and brighter. It is a truly remarkable transformation. Now, I can't wait to have my right eye operated on. That should take place next month.

So, onto the review. V Wars by  Jonathan Maberry is an anthology of short stories all set in a world created by Jonathan. A sweeping, threaded narrative of the global phenomenon known as the Vampire Wars! Mankind is silently infected by a millennia-old bacteria unknowingly exhumed by a scientific expedition in Antarctica. Now, in some rare cases, a person's so-called "junk DNA" becomes activated, and depending on their racial and ethnic heritage they begin to manifest one of the many diverse forms of the "others" that are the true basis for the legends of supernatural creatures. These aren't your usual vampires and werewolves - it goes much deeper than that. Conceived by Jonathan Maberry, V Wars features stories from various "frontlines" as reported by such contributors as Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore, Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson (as well as Maberry himself, of course). The result is a compelling series of tales that create a unique chronicle of mankind's response to this sudden, hidden threat to humanity.

You all know I am a sucker (pun intended) for vampire stories and this one certainly pushed all the right buttons for me. I found it a thoroughly fascinating and enjoyable read. Quite often with anthologies, some stories stand out more than others and you often find good tales sitting alongside bad tales. With V Wars, however, I felt that all the stories were worthy of inclusion and that there wasn't a bad one amongst them. It was also refreshing to see that not all of the stories were set in America (although most are). Jonathan, himself, contributes the most to this anthology and I have long been a fan of his work. Suffice to say, I was immensely pleased to read his take on the vampire mythology and this is a series that can run and run.

Indeed, following on from the release of this book, IDW Publishing have recently began publishing a series of comics, also called V Wars, based on this anthology. It probably won't surprise you at all that I am collecting the comics as well. It was nice to be able to put pictures to the faces of some of the characters mentioned in the anthology.

I only have one criticism to make of the novel, and that is it features a truly ghastly front cover. It has been rendered in the style of a battered old paperback, which to me, just looks and feels wrong. It is not attention grabbing and I do not like it one bit.

V Wars by Jonathan Maberry is published by IDW Publishing and has a page count of 481 pages. It costs $9.99. I picked up my copy for £7.50 from Amazon.Co.UK. A Kindle edition costs £4.37 from Amazon.Co.UK. I liked it enough to give it an 8 out of 10 rating. It lost a point for the awful front cover. I hope there will be a second volume or more.

26 comments:

  1. The book sounds very much like a vampire version of World War Z (the book not the god-damned awful film), esepcially as all the story lines seem to have the same background to the 'infection'
    At £4.37 it seems quite expensive, for a kindle book, but I reckon it'll drop in price soon enough and at least youcould have the added bonus of not worrying about the awful cover (I agree it is awful)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is only a very slight connection to the "World War Z" novel, in that it tells stories from around the globe dealing with how humanity reacts to an undead menace. One person on Amazon criticised the novel because it was too dissimilar to "World War Z." There are some similarities but both novels are suitably different and work on their own merits. Also, "World War Z" had a very definite beginning, middle and end. "V Wars" is just the beginning. The middle and end bits have yet to be told.

      Delete
  2. Glad your sight has improved. I have had glasses for 46 years now. They found out I needed glasses when at the age of 4 I was taken to see Bambi at the cinema and did not cry at the end. Funny but true! Hope it gave you a laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Clint. I keep looking for my glasses and have to constantly remind myself that I don't need them.

      Delete
  3. Good news on the surgery, Bryan. As miniature painters I'm sure we all sorry about our eyes and hands. Glad to hear it worked out well. My opthamologist tells us its a pretty routine endeavour, but
    theres always some worry. Glad it was a great success :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Roger. As with any surgical operation there is always a chance that something might go wrong. I was told that only 1 in 1,000 operations result in a complication, so I figured those were good odds in my favour. Plus, if something did go wrong I was in the right place for it to be fixed. I am still amazed at how much better my eyesight is and how rapidly I recovered.

      Delete
    2. Eyecare technology is amazing these days. My mother had glaucoma removed in ten minutes by several laser flashes. Unbelievable stuff!

      Delete
    3. I think most medical technology these days is amazing. The word I keep using is "miraculous!" Yes, it is unbelievable stuff.

      Delete
  4. Ah, I once wore contact lenses and the feeling of being without glasses was just fantastic! I envy you if you don't need spectacles; the contacts didn't work well for me and I gave them up after a year or so; I've worn glasses ever since.

    I think I agree with you about the cover of this book: it's not good. Still, they say you should never judge by that...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never worn contact lenses, Hugh. Living without glasses is such a wonderful feeling.

      It is an awful front cover but it is not indicative of what is on the inside. As you say, never judge a book by its cover.

      Delete
    2. Ugh, contacts are a bane to mankind. I wish I had never gotten into them. Needless to say they are long gone!

      Delete
    3. Roger, that makes me even more pleased that I never had to wear them. I'm just sorry that others, like yourself, had to suffer from them.

      Delete
  5. Great news about the operation that is really good to hear it has improved so much!

    Interesting book I have such a long list now I have had to make a spreadsheet just to keep track lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The operation went far better than I could have possibly imagined.

      Fortunately my list of books I want to buy is rather small. Just as well, seeing how much I've spent on figures recently.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately my compulsions run both ways. I have 400 books to read and 4k at least minis to paint! Progress? Maybe a book or two a week!

      Delete
    3. Ouch, Roger! You have my sympathies!

      Delete
  6. Great news on the operation! This book does sound interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robert. If you like vampires, I'm sure you'll find this book a worthwhile read.

      Delete
  7. Fantastic news on the operation Bryan, glad to hear it went so well. I enjoy Johnathan's writing so could actually see myself reading this one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Adam. Jonathan's style of writing really appeals to me and I was especially pleased with this anthology.

      Delete
  8. I am glad the operation went well! It's quite amazing how they can just patch you up like that these days, isn't it?

    The book doesn't sound like one of my favorites, but I have to say I don't mind the cover. It gives it a "rustic" feel to it. Not sure how much it fits a modern story, however.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my friend. I honestly was not expecting my operation to go so well but I am mighty glad it did.

      The book probably won't appeal to you. Hmm, "rustic" is one way to describe the front cover but it wouldn't be my first choice of adjectives.

      Delete
  9. Glad to hear your op was a success, it must be like having HD vision now.

    The book sounds like a good read, if your into vampires. I quite like the cover, gives it a "it survived" look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great analogy about High Definition, Bob! It's also a fairly accurate description!

      Delete
  10. Great news about the op, mate. Hope you're enjoying life in HD again soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks, Simon. Having HD vision is just so cool!

      Delete