Book Review: Raymond A. Villareal
A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
I couldn’t wait to read this book when it was released in Australia. I enjoy a good vampire story after growing up with The Lost Boys and Anne Rice; and more recently having read James Fahy’s The Phoebe Harkness series and the beautiful Gabriel Davenport series by Beverley Lee.
This book was wonderful because of its uniqueness, in that it documented from various perspectives the history of a virus that led to the recreation of humans into Gloamings (vampires). The novel opens with Dr Lauren Scott researching the virus and a possible cure, however it doesn’t take long before society’s elite are clambering to become recreated - giving them super strength, a 250 year lifespan and more power than they had before; however it also means they cannot be outside in daylight and they need to feed on human blood.
The novel is so much more than a fictional historical account of vampirism; it is a social commentary of political power, corruption, and celebrity. It will have you questioning morality and our obsession with celebrity, and reflect on the current political climate. Perhaps we are already amongst vampires.
Villareal’s satirical tone throughout is enjoyable, I loved his pop culture references - particularly the reference to Taylor Swift as the first celebrity Gloaming, reiterating just how easily we are swept up in celebrity culture. The book is a metaphor with everything wrong with society!
A unique read that I found really enjoyable and couldn’t wait to finish.