Written by: David Lenton
Vampires have not only overtaken humans as the dominant species, but have grown to the point where their population size far outstrips their ability to hunt for food. This is the issue at the core of The Fall of the Vampires, which pits the young vampire Vincent against his own species, in order to keep his younger sister alive.
Recognising that 100% of my reviews on this site so far have had a similar theme, I can’t help but make the argument that, despite the interest of the core concept, The Fall of the Vampires ultimately falls victim to the weakness of its writing.
In this case, the main problem with the novel is that it attempts to commit murder by a thousand repetitions. Character’s thoughts, resolutions, and actions are repeated ad nauseam, with nothing more than slight variation in the wording of sentences, to the point that I guesstimated that this 500+ page book could easily sit at under 300 pages with some judicious editing.
This is quite disappointing, exactly because The Fall of the Vampires does engage with some interesting themes; and it does so from a perspective that, if not quite unique, is at least rare enough that it presents its own point of interest. Caught between the humans that could kill him and his sister for their own protection, and his own people, who have been driven mad by their hunger, there’s a real sense that Vincent needs to grapple with some really tough questions in a short period of time.
In terms of providing material to write about, this is great! It’s just unfortunate that there’s so much rehashing of the same old themes throughout, resulting in largely predictable results for characters for who page upon page of thinking about the same issue are mistaken for character building.
I found myself wanting to like The Fall of the Vampires a lot more than I actually did, because, if you boil the book down to its foundations, it’s actually not half bad. There’s plenty of action, and the progression of the story makes sense. The characters are even kind of likeable, despite some really awkwardly handled dialogue. I’m even engaged enough with this core story that I want to read what comes next. I just…can’t deal with it if it’s written in the same style.
With this in mind, The Fall of the Vampires gets another A for effort, with a D- for execution.
Give it a try here.