Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: The Vampire Underground


Title: The Vampire Underground
Author: Brian Rowe

Book Summary:

“16-year-old Brin Skar hates everything to do with the supernatural, so the obsessive film geek isn't happy when she discovers that her junior year Film class at Grisly High is devoted to the horror genre.  She's even more disconcerted when she learns that six groups in the class will be writing and directing their very own horror movies.

Brin and five classmates travel to Bodie Ghost Town in California to shoot their creepy film, but they soon find themselves fighting a real terrifying threat when a clan of mean, bloodthirsty vampires emerge from beneath the surface and start attacking the group.  The teens, headed by Brin and the egotistical director Anaya Frost, have no help from the outside and become outnumbered by the vampires a hundred to one.

But when Brin meets Paul, a helpful and smoldering vampire outcast who's had enough of his shameful life, she realizes he might be the only key to her survival.

If I were told that my film class would be focusing exclusively on horror films, I would drop that class ASAP.  Brin isn’t thrilled about the subject matter either, but she decides to tough it out and maybe learn something new from the class.  When her teacher divides the class into groups to make short horror films, Brin decides to use the opportunity to try her hand at directing.  Too bad Anaya Frost wants to be the director, and the overconfident bully won’t take no for an answer.  The ensuing chaos lands the group in Bodie Ghost Town to shoot the film… and that’s when things start to get spooky.

Reading the premise, I am caught up in the idea Rowe weaves of a horror film shooting actually turning into a horror story.  It’s a fantastic idea, and it also brings with it the possibility of a new spin on the vampire story… you know, where they don’t all sparkle and look like Greek Gods.  The ideas portrayed in the summary are all very intriguing, and I really hope, when it all comes together, that it unfolds in a believable way.

The Vampire Underground truly works in a way I didn’t expect.  Rowe successfully meshed drama, vampires, a little bit of horror (not so much I had to put the book down), and romance in a tasteful way.  The story moved at a good pace, and I never got bored or felt like it was rushing.  I do think that the premise gives a little too much away because some of that information isn’t revealed until late in the book, but there are enough other surprises that kept my attention.

Brin is a very unique character.  Throughout The Vampire Underground I really see how she holds her ground and really pushes herself to become the best she can be.  It’s refreshing to see her tackle challenges and stand up for things she wants;.  She’s no shrinking violet, and I found that commendable.  Her relationship with her best friend, Ash, is totally platonic and very relatable.  We all have that one person whom we talk to everyday and would trust with our life.  For Brin, that person is Ash.  I won’t say too much, because I really want everyone to read the book for themselves, but Ash’s name has a back-story that should not be missed! 

One thing that I am not very happy with is the level of violence between the members of the film group.  Even before all the vampires are introduced, the students are constantly in each other’s faces and shouting.  I understand that they are high schoolers on a short leash, but COME ON, we aren’t that violent or volatile!  Everyone has people they don’t like, but this book takes it to a level that seems unrealistic and overdramatic. 

The horror aspect of this book is more gruesome than I expected, and it definitely has some OMGOSH moments.  Luckily, most of the book isn’t too scary or I wouldn’t have been able to finish it.  Overall, The Vampire Underground is entertaining and action packed, and some of the scenarios definitely set my heart racing!  Using the ghost town is a great way to include a creepy setting for the story and really adds to the realism of the plot.

            The Cover:
           
            Quite honestly, this cover does nothing for me.  The story is great and has a really serious feel to it that this cover just seems to mock.  I mean, it looks like a cartoon figure holding a banana.  Now, once I read the book and enlarged the image, I understand that it is indeed NOT a banana and the picture makes more sense.  But when I first see it, I think that this book is going to be a comedy or at least have comedic aspects.   It’s a cool cover, but one that I don’t feel is fitting to this book.

I give The Vampire Underground 4 out of 5 hearts: Great Book

2 comments:

  1. ...wait, that's NOT a banana she's holding? O_O Ooooh...oops -sheepish smile- Aside from the cover of course, this sounds like such an out of the ordinary read! The premise is rather unique, and I love the sound of such a tasteful mesh of elements in this book. and LOOOOL, I KNOW! Why do some authors have to portray teens in such a way that it seems like we're at war like gorillas everyday?! Not true! Anyway, I'm more of the squeamish type with gore, but your review makes this sound so fantastic I think I might just give this one a shot as well! Thanks for sharing! <333

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