From one missing body, through a viral epidemic, to a new world order - this is an epic and addictive debut from an exciting new voice.
'In a landscape littered with works on the undead, A People's History of the Vampire Uprising is a welcome addition. It is an accomplished book' - Weekend Australian
'The vampire novel we deserve right now' - Washington Post
A Boston Globe, New York Post and USA Today Summer Reading Pick
'I caught my breath, even from across the room. All I wanted to do was look into her eyes. It was as if she knew the reason I was there and that I was looking for her.'
The body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town walks out of the morgue. To the CDC investigator called in to consult the local police, it's a bizarre medical mystery.
More bodies, dead of a mysterious disease that solidifies their blood, begin disappearing from morgues nearby. In a futile game of catch-up, the CDC, the FBI and the US government realise that it's already too late to stop it: the vampire epidemic will sweep first the United States, and then the world.
Impossibly strong, smart, beautiful, and commanding, these creatures refuse to be called 'vampires', they prefer 'gloamings'. They quickly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society: physically graceful at sports, endlessly enthralling on TV and incredibly intelligent at business - soon people are begging to be 're-created', willing to risk death if their bodies can't handle the transformation.
But just as the world begins to adjust, the stakes change yet again when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, decides to do what none of his kind has done before: run for political office.
This sweeping yet deeply intimate fictional oral history - told from the perspective of several players on all sides of the vampire uprising - is a genre-bending, shocking, immersive and subversive debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.
'solid supernatural thriller' - Publishers Weekly
'a spectacularly creepy ecosphere, not to mention some genuinely horrifying frights... The start of a vampire epic and a strong contender in the genus of apocalypse fantasy.' Kirkus Review
'relentlessly clever' - Washington Post
Raymond Villareal's sense of fun is palpable as he plays with legal thrillers, good-old dogged police work, international intrigue, hard science, dirty politics, and, yes, classic heart-stopping horror. Somewhere, Dracula himself is sitting up late into the day enjoying the hell out of this. - John Griesemer, author of Signal & Noise
Reminiscent of World WarZ, Villareal provides a clever and socially insightful account of a potential vampire outbreak. - Canberra Weekly
...ambitious, wildly inventive, and really quite chilling. - The AU review
A wide-angle, wild, and weird exploration of politics, pop culture, and a diseased America. This tale of misguided hero worship and encroaching terror may be the perfect analogy for our own strange times. - Thomas Mullen, author of Darktown
People's History of the Vampire Uprising is that rarest of rare creatures, an absolutely unique work of the writer's art that, while drawing on several distinct streams of narrative style, emerges from all of those rivers without any parallels. The book becomes, among other gonzo things, a political parable for these lunatic times, a horror story, a trip down some of the darkest corridors of the ancient world, and, finally, an oddly epiphanic take on what it means, exactly, to be human. - Carsten Stroud, author of Niceville
Told in the jumbled, frenetic urgency of a discarded case file, this is the history of both a social movement and a vector for disease. Mr. Villareal's vampires are not the ones we find most comforting. They are not seductive or beautiful or tormented anti-heroes. No, they are more terrifying than anything like that, an infection that will spread throughout our body politic, our institutions, our history, and ourselves. - Paul Park, author of The White Tyger and All Those Vanished Engines
A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is the first novel by American attorney and author Raymond A Villareal. CDC research physician Dr Lauren Scott is called to Nogales, an Arizona border town, to examine a body showing unusual signs, but when she arrives at the morgue, the body has vanished. A second body which she does examine also goes missing, and witnesses have a strange tale to tell. Lauren has just encountered the first case of what she later terms Nogales organic blood illness virus (NOBI). When that missing body is identified as Liza Sole, investigators follow a trail to her eventual, if short-lived capture. While in custody, Liza displays remarkable physical signs, and her blood sample is puzzling. In fact, plenty of strange things surround this case, but other victims found drained of all blood, with apparent bite marks on the neck seem to indicate something thought to be the stuff of horror fiction. The survivors of the NOBI virus, who prefer to call themselves Gloamings, are endowed with desirable physical attributes: strength, speed, beauty, Intellect and apparent longevity, leading to their success in many fields. Others soon clamour to be re-created, despite the high risk of death during the process, and the fatal effects of sunlight thereafter. And from where these re-created people will obtain the fresh blood that they need to survive is a question that ought not to just be ignored. When politicians of various stripes (congressmen, senators, cardinals) decide to re-create as Gloamings, it really gets interesting. How do you conduct an election campaign if you can’t emerge during the day? What does it mean for the Church if the Pope lives for a few centuries? This People’s History covers about four years and does not just detail the arrival of vampires into modern society but also examines how we react to a new variant of our human species; how accommodating (or not) we are to the different needs of a section of the population, against the current “enlightened” background of tolerance, acceptance and equality. Do goodwill and charity overcome discrimination and xenophobia? As well as straight narratives, Villareal uses a variety of other means to convey his tale: media articles (newspapers, gossip magazines, law journals, theological review), interview transcripts, email, blog, obituary, testimonials and even three appendices. Through these, Villareal examines, from different perspectives, the ramifications (practical, legal, economic and political) of such a massive and unforeseen change in society. While Villareal’s legal background is particularly apparent in some parts, the narratives don’t lack action and excitement, and if things don’t end with a bang, that makes it seem all the more realistic. This is not your average vampire tale: it’s interesting, utterly plausible and definitely thought-provoking. An impressive debut novel. This unbiased review from an Uncorrected Proof copy received from Hachette Australia.