47. 13 Bullets – David Wellington
The vampires in David Wellington’s vampire tales are gritty. They have the shark teeth, terrible attitudes, and they are not going to talk anyone’s ear off. I respect that. It’s nice reading about vampires that aren’t looking for beautiful teenagers. And making the main vampire hunters a state trooper who is kinda grumpy and a US Marshall who is…also pretty grumpy puts the narrative in a place to be action forward, which is awesome.
I read Wellington’s zombie trilogy before I knew these existed and technically I like that better, but, Laura Caxton is truly fun to follow around and formidable but not infallible against the vampire threat in Pennsylvania. She’s a solid heroine and very believable as she ruins her relationship so she can learn to deal with the vampires everybody said were gone by the 1980s. Liars. Some of them went to Santa Carla and the others were wrong when they thought Pennsylvania would be an okay place to seduce a scientist.
Murderface always has her skeptical face on when starting a new vampire series. Will it be gruesome? Will it make her want to buy a frock coat? Will it encourage her to sing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” at karaoke?
48. 99 Coffins
Sometimes when archaeological digs find dead people it’s a good thing. They can sort out how epic women truly were in Viking society or uncover yet more great injustices done to people intended to be forgotten. Or, you can find the Union vampire corps from the Civil War and much can go to shit. Guess it’s important that the dead stay dead in these situations.
Murderface knows how to fight vampires and keep the dead down, but, she is a queen in Pighalla, so, of course she knows stuff like that.
49. Vampire Zero
Who doesn’t want to visit scenic Centralia, Pennsylvania to find a vampire lair? Well, me, for one, I don’t think I could do anything but pass out and probably die there for several reasons. But it’s dangerous to healthy breathers too. Especially if you go underground. However, it is an excellent setting for any kind of confrontation or horror story because there’s no end to that fire. It will keep going and it will continue to be dangerous regardless of how many monologues about evil or the hunter becoming the hunted or even if someone just read all the side effects of asthma medications that you can’t take while also taking corticosteroids out loud…it will still be burning the earth out from underneath you. Just like fighting the vampires will take the interpersonal relationships out from underneath Laura Caxton. However, loneliness typically does not come with the side effect of a burning sensation. Thankfully.
Murderface did not know what it was like to be alone. She couldn’t even nap by a stuffed turtle without Pickles wanting to be near her.
51. 23 Hours
Woo! Prison! What a wonderful place to be if you are A. a cop and B. surrounded by halfdeads and stalked by a vampire, like Caxton. On paper, kidnapping and torturing someone seems wrong and even doing it because they killed their family to get vampire attention still isn’t quite right…so, Caxton goes to prison. And Malvern, the oldest and bestest of the vampires, comes too so she can make sure Caxton answers her ultimatum. It’s like the bottle episode of the series and it was really fun.
It was super hard to capture an individual picture of Murderface with my level of camera when she got the zoomies, so, this is her silently having fun.
3. 32 Fangs
The final confrontation. The whole enchilada would be the wrong idiom for this and yet, there I typed it. Anyway, what’s great about this ending as a reader is that Wellington made efforts to tie up loose ends AND provide way more backstory for the most formidable vampire he’s written. It makes for quite the set up, as does Laura’s past coming up against her current harder than hardened exterior from having to evade capture after that prison break. All in all, a fitting end to these five books of tales and a fitting end to one of the better vampire series for anyone not looking for romance or teen conversations.
When the vampire hunting is over, the napping begins. Murderface’s work here is done.