Posted on December 11, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
A World Torn Asunder is the first book in the Vampire Apocalypse series by Derek Gunn. Secretly vampires have existed alongside humanity for generations, hunting and killing from the shadows. A series of events, including a fuel shortage, allows the vampires to step out of the dark corners of modern society and forcibly take over vast areas of the world. They and their minions slaughter any humans that resist and build caged cities for the rest.
This book focuses on the efforts of a small group of resistance fighters that hope to stage a last-ditch attack on the local vampire lord and rescue some of the citizens trapped behind the walls of the city. They face a number of threats, including the minions of the vampires, called Thralls, who have superior weapons and some supernatural abilities.
Gunn writes a face-paced and action-packed adventure. This is one of the better post-apocalyptic novels I’ve read and the characters are well developed over the course of the story. Many cool characters do not survive, but even in death they add quite a bit of detail to the setting. Gunn’s descriptions of broken down technology, a society on the brink of collapse and the uncaring monsters who simply want to feast on the “cattle” bring the reader into the action from the very first chapter.
While this is a fun read, there are certainly a few hiccups along the way.
Just about every vampire story (and most zombie tales as well) has the character who gets bitten and the rest a completely unaware of the change taking place among them. At an inopportune moment the new monster attacks from within the heroes stronghold…A World Torn Asunder is no exception.
A couple of character seem to have a bit of plot immunity, surviving battles and wounds which decimate the rest of the heroes with ease. I can forgive this a bit, every action-adventure needs a larger than life hero. This isn’t a documentary, survival horror is full of this kind of heroic fortitude.
The final battle in the book is full of savage brutality on both sides, human and vampire. The Thralls that make up the first wave of attacks are over-confident and that plays into the cunning traps the heroes have laid out for them. Of course, once the vampires show up our heroes have just about run out of tricks. Things get brutal and the violence claimed more than one of my favorite characters along the way.
A World Torn Asunder is a great survival horror tale. At times it feels more like a zombie story, but these vampires are far more deadly than a horde of rotting undead.
A new book in the series was recently released.
Review by Matt M McElroy