Shining In Crimson by Robert S Wilson

“Set in a dystopian, religiously-demented American Empire, the city of Las Vegas is no longer a city of sin. Now called Necropolis, it is a city that eats sin. The vampires of Necropolis wait patiently for the Empire’s weekly drop off of guilty Penitents; sinners and criminals full of fresh blood.

Hank Evans is one of those Penitents and he would gladly let the vampires take every drop of his blood if it weren’t for one detail: Toby. Toby is Hank’s only son. Now, Hank must do whatever it takes to escape the city of the dead and save his son from an Empire as bloodthirsty as the vampires it uses to keep its people in line.”

As you may know already I’m bored to death of zombies, they were never my favourite classic monster, and they haven’t really suffered in the same way as my favourite monster The Vampire. If I were a man prone to weeping, the treatment of my beloved creatures of the night would have me sobbing in the corner.  Luckily I’m made of stronger stuff.  So every time I pick up a new Vampire novel, I get a little bit worried.   

I’ve had Shining in Crimson in my book pile for what seems like an eternity, the combination of a new author tackling my boys always  sent a trickle of fear down my spine.  And you know what I wish I had picked up this book as soon as I had got it.  RSW has created a a refreshing take on the vampire and the vampire novel.  A world ruled by a mental Religious  Empire, that uses the vampires to strike fear into the hearts of it citizens is a work of genius.  This arrangement has worked in the past, but the Vampires are not happy with this arrangement any more, they want to rule the world.  Caught up in the middle of this on coming war is Hank Evans, sentenced to be fed on by the vampires for the smallest of crimes.  Hank will battle with every ounce of his being to escape and save his son.  

This is a well written, and hugely entertaining novel, that manages to discuss moral and religious arguments without ever becoming preachy or sounding like a soapbox for RSW.  My only criticism  of the book is the opening chapters could have done with being edited down, as it did take a little while for the book to grab me.  But stick with it folks this book is worth it 

You’ll not find some glistening torsos and smouldering eyes in this book.  What you will find is a  brilliantly thought out society of Vampires.  The book does not deal with black and white issues, the humans as the good guys, and the vampires as the monsters.  You’ll find good guys and monsters on both sides of the war.  


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