American Vampire Vol. 4-7


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Title: American Vampire Vol. 4-7

Author: Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jordi Bernet, Dustin Nguyen, Matias Bergara, Dave McCaig

Publisher: Vertigo 2014, 2014, 2014, 2015

Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror

Pages: 208, 280, 144, 144

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel; Library; Popsugar – Library

AMERICAN VAMPIRE flashes back to two very distinct points in American history. The first tale comes from the early 1800’s with the “The Beast in the Cave” featuring art by the legendary Jordi Bernet (Torpedo, JONAH HEX). Learn about the original American Vampire, Skinner Sweet, and his involvement in the brutal Indian Wars, and an ancient evil hidden in the heart of the Old West. Plus, more about the man Skinner used to call his best friend – James Book! The second tale comes straight from 1950s America, where AMERICAN VAMPIRE is terrorizing the suburbs with hot rods, teenyboppers and fangs! “Death Race” focuses on ferocious new vampire hunter Travis Kidd – but what is his connection to Skinner Sweet? As the story comes to a violent end, a sworn enemy’s identity is finally revealed, and lots of blood is spilled!

Such a great volume! I really loved the story set in the 1950s, but even more the story that ending the volume “The Nocturnes.” That was one hell of a way to leave the readers on a cliffhanger. So good!

0-amvam_vol5Vol. 5 In the first story, series mainstays Skinner Sweet, Pearl and company return to Hollywood in the ’50s during the Red Scare. In a time where America was on the lookout for the next Communist threat, was the real danger something far more insidious? A major turning point in AMERICAN VAMPIRE lore begins here! In the second tale, familiar face and vampire hunter Felicia Book is “retired” from vampire hunting when she gets called back into action to track down and kill the most powerful vampire of all time. The hunt takes our heroes through post-war Europe, behind the Iron Curtain and into the heart of Russia to track this deadly enemy…

These two stories really moved the story and mythos forward. We get to meet an iconic vampire and learn more about what the various characters have been up to. Plus, we get some tantalizing hints at what’s to come. I can’t wait to see where this story leads.

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Vol. 6 You are cordially invited to a party–to die for! This volume of American Vampire collects eight amazing stories set in the world of American Vampire, with “lost tales,” new characters and old favorites. Also collected here is the stand alone tale of Fan-favorite character Travis Kidd–the vampire hunter who likes to “bite them back” in AMERICAN VAMPIRE: THE LONG ROAD TO HELL. 

This was a nice collection of side stories to compliment the larger tale. I really enjoyed the story featuring Travis Kidd. And we got a few more hints about the Grey Trader. I can’t wait for the big reveal in the next volume!

51WmtKIrYSL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Vol. 7 When we last saw Pearl in the 1950s, she had lost her love Henry in an attack on the vampire hunting organization, V.M.S., by a coven of Hollywood vampires that nearly wiped the organization off the face of the planet.  Devastated and alone, Pearl is determained to leave California and all its painful memories behind. When we meet Pearl again, it is in 1960s Kansas, an era fraught with fear of nuclear war, angry demonstrations, and vast social change.  What has changed in the years since the V.M.S. attack and where is Skinner Sweet?

Holy cow! That was one hell of a volume. I can’t believe everything that happened in the span of a few hundred pages. I’m stoked to see more from Pearl and Cal and the reappearance of Skinner. This was the most disturbing volume so far, but I mean that in a good way. It was fascinating to learn more about the big bad and its minions. Can’t wait until Volume 8.

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American Vampire Vol. 3

2616270-__kgrhqf__jke8f_npzzdbpk151dk4g__60_57Title: American Vampire Vol. 3

Author: Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Sean Murphy

Publisher: Vertigo 2012

Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Read Your Freebies

This volume of the critically-acclaimed AMERICAN VAMPIRE follows the star of AV Volumes 1 and 2, Pearl, and her husband Henry, as he is recruited by a mysterious group of vampire hunters, off to World War II Japan to find a new breed of blood sucker. But what does the notorious vampire Skinner Sweet have to do with it?

Ohhh… such a good volume! I loved seeing the conclusion of the Pearl vs Skinner storyline. And we get a potential new storyline. Plus a great chapter involving Felicia and Cash. I am so excited to continue reading this series.

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American Vampire Vol. 2

american-vampire-volume-2Title: American Vampire Vol. 2

Author: Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Mateus Santolouco

Publisher: Vertigo 2011

Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror

Pages: 160

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Read Your Freebies

It’s Las Vegas circa 1935, and Skinner Sweet and our gal Pearl are about to learn the hard way that the bloodsuckers in Hollywood were nothing compared to what awaits them in Sin City.

In just a few short years, young police Chief Cash McCogan has watched his native city of Las Vegas go from cow-town to wild, glittering boomtown. And when the bodies of prominent businessmen start showing up drained of blood, Chief McCogan finds himself facing a threat much darker and deadlier than anything he could have imagined . . . and the only sure bet in town is that Skinner and Pearl are right in the thick of it.

I read the first volume and enjoyed it, but somehow just never picked up the next couple of volumes. I have really enjoyed the story so far. It’s very graphic, but I’m very hooked into the continuing adventures of Skinner and Pearl. I can’t wait to see how this evolves and the ongoing feud between the groups of vampires eventually ends.

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The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

strainTitle: The Strain (Strain #1)

Author: Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogen

Publisher: Harper 2009

Genre: Horror

Pages: 585

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; New Author; 52 Books — W21; Well Rounded Reader — Horror; Chunkster

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.

In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing . . .

So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city–a city that includes his wife and son–before it is too late.

Holy crap that was one crazy ride!  I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy horror adventure novels.  This one started out strong with a dead plane on the runaway and kept running toward the climatic battle against The Master.  It did not stop.  I loved all the atmosphere in the beginning.  I loved following Eph and Nora as they attempt to understand what “killed” an entire airplane full of people.  Even though the reader knows what is happening, I was still right there with them through the initial puzzling stages.  And then when everything hit the fan, the book really came into its own.  This is one terrifying ride.  I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Strain Trilogy

  • #1 The Strain
  • #2 The Fall
  • #3 Night Eternal

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Roaring Midnight by Colleen Gleason

roaringTitle: Roaring Midnight

Author: Colleen Gleason

Publisher: Avid Press 2013

Genre: Paranormal (Vampires)

Pages: 232

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Ebook; Women Authors; Well-Rounded Reader — Paranormal Romance; What’s in a Name — Reference to time

Macey Gardella is a typical young woman of the Roaring Twenties: she works a job, has her own flat, and loves to dance the Charleston. But when a mysterious man named Sebastian Vioget informs her she belongs to a family of vampire hunters, Macey is stunned and disbelieving.

Yet, strange and frightening things begin to happen, and when Macey comes face-to-face with one of the fanged creatures, she has no choice but to believe Sebastian. And when she learns his own soul depends on her willingness to carry forth the family legacy and hunt the undead, Macey capitulates and joins the fight.

As she begins to learn about her new life, Macey meets the handsome newspaper reporter known as Grady–who seems to know more about vampires than he should. When he begins to ask too many questions, she has to juggle her strong attraction to him with the need for secrecy.

I picked this up because of the strength of the first Gardella series.  I loved reading about Victoria, Max, and Sebastian’s adventures.  This volume doesn’t quite live up to the first ones, but I did enjoy reading it.  I loved the setting: 1920s Chicago.  The gangsters, the speakeasies, and the flappers all added a lovely atmosphere for the novel.  I loved the Sebastian and Wayren as they were great characters from the first series.  However, I an not completely sold on Macey and the other newcomers.  Macey is a bit too childish, at least in this first book.  I would like her have a bit more sense of the world.  I mean she lives in gangster era Chicago.  You would think she would know not to wander the streets alone after dark.  I am also not a huge fan of Chas and Grady.  They just seem to be very flat characters right now.  I hope that as the series progresses the character also grow and change.  Otherwise, I might just have to give this series up…

Gardella Vampire Chronicles:

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As Shadows Fade and Max Stops the Presses by Colleen Gleason

max stops the pressesTitle: As Shadows Fade (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #5); Max Stops the Presses (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #5.5)

Author: Colleen Gleason

Publisher: Signet Eclipse 2009; 2013

Genre: Vampires

Pages: 342; 30

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Paranormal — Angels; Monthly Key Word – Shade; Mount TBR; Seriously Series; Eclectic — Romantic Suspense; Ebook; Bingo — 2 2013 releases

How I Got It: I own it

Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to Earth. To defeat them, Victoria Gardella proposes an alliance between her slayers and Lilith’s vampires. But the vampire queen wants the former slayer Max Pesaro in return for her cooperation—a small price for the world, but a price Victoria is unwilling to pay…

An amazing conclusion to a great paranormal romance series.  I loved seeing where the story led.  And I’m super excited to find a happy ending, albeit one with a huge twist.  I can see the need for the twist, but holy crap it was a shocker.  My only complaint was that I wanted a bit more of an ending.  Thankfully, we Gleason made a short story to give the readers a bit more of a ending.

This is a short story (about 30 pages) that takes place after the end of As Shadows Fade, the fifth book in the Victoria Gardella Vampire Chronicles series.

And this is the story that helped me find a bit of closure for the characters.  Plus, it was a cute little short story to follow up.  Love it!

Gardella Vampire Chronicles:

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American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Stephen King

american vampireTitle: American Vampire

Author: Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Stephen King

Publisher: Vertigo 2010

Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror

Pages: 200

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

How I Got It: Library Loan

This volume follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King. Snyder’s story is set in 1920’s LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European Vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King’s story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original American Vampire– a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before with rattlesnake fangs and powered by the sun.

This was a refreshing change from the sparkly vampires.  Here we get classic horror.  Vampires with a vicious streak.  Vampires consumed with blood.  Vampires would transform into something truly grotesque.  I was riveted from the opening page.  Snyder and King’s stories blend seamlessly together to create a unique tale of the first American Vampire.  I loved seeing Skinner and Pearl evolve into something new and compare them to the old style European vampires.  Vampire clan wars are too much fun!  I am really wanting to get back to the library to snap up the next volume.

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The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard

Title: The New Deadwardians

Author: Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard

Publisher: Vertigo 2012

Genre: Graphic Novel; Horror

Pages: 176

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Zombies; TBR Pile

How I Got It: Library Loan

In post-Victorian England, nearly everyone of the upper classes has voluntarily become a vampire in order to escape the lower classes who are all zombies. Into this simmering cauldron is thrust Chief Inspector George Suttle, a lonely detective who’s got the slowest beat in London: investigating murders in a world where everyone is already dead! When the body of a young aristocrat washes up on the banks of the Thames, Suttle’s quest for the truth will take him from the darkest sewers to the gleaming halls of power, and reveal the rotten heart at the center of this strange world.

Oh my!  I grabbed this on a whim and I have been rewarded with an amazing little comic.  I love the idea of vamlpirism as a “cure” to a zombie apocalypse.  But this one has the added twist of class warfare and a secret bigger than everyone.  I loved the twists and turns of the story; not sure where it was all leading until the end.  And we are treated to some very interesting characters.  Loved Suttle and Sapphire was a real treat.  Definitely an interesting read for an afternoon.

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When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason

Title: When Twilight Burns (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #4)

Author: Colleen Gleason

Publisher: Signet Eclipse 2008

Genre: Vampires

Pages: 346

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Seriously Series; Dusty Bookshelf; 52 Books – W32

How I Got It: I own it

After narrowly escaping Rome with her mortality, vampire hunter Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacey returns to London—where not even sunrise can stop a vampire’s carnage. Not only is Victoria unable to detect the vampire with her heightened senses, but she’s being framed as the prime suspect behind the killings.

Meanwhile, the legacy of a vampire’s touch has left his blood boiling in her veins and forces her to fight evil on two fronts—against the new breed of undead threatening London and the darkness within herself….

Holy crap!  Finally!  This volume moved the characters forward so much.  I’ve been waiting for some of the developments in this book.  I am still in love with Victoria.  She’s such a great heroine.  She has her faults, but all of those make her a real person.  And Sebastian and Max are such amazing male characters, but so different.  I can’t make up my mind as to which I like better. Plus, we get some great scenes with Lilith.  I can’t wait to read the next volume, but I have it scheduled September.

Gardella Vampire Chronicles:

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The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason

Title: The Bleeding Dusk (Gardella Vampire Chronicles #3)

Author: Colleen Gleason

Publisher: Signet Eclipse 2008

Genre: Vampires

Pages: 346

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Paranormal – Demon; Women Authors; Mount TBR; Seriously Series

How I Got It: I own it

As Rome prepares for its Carnivale, vampire hunter Lady Victoria Gardella is in no mood for festivities. But her personal grief must be set aside for there is a sinister plot underway. In yet another play for power, vampires have formed an unholy alliance with the demon Akvan in order to gain access to an ancient alchemist’s secrets. As their combined bloodthirsty army ravages the city streets, Victoria races to solve the age-old mystery – if she fails, the world is lost for ever.

Another exciting volume of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles.  I like this series way too much.  It’s got everything I want: interesting characters, action, romance, vampires.  I was scared of where Victoria would go after the death of Aunt Eustacia, but I was very happy about the direction of the series.  Plus, we get a ton of new revelations between other characters.  And we get heart pounding action and romance scenes.  Ready to jump into the next one.

Gardella Vampire Chronicles:

  • #1 The Rest Falls Away
  • #1.5 Victoria Gardella
  • #2 Rises the Night
  • #3 The Bleeding Dusk
  • #4 When Twilight Burns
  • #5 As Shadows Fade
  • #5.1 Max Stops the Presses
  • #6 Roaring Midnight
  • #7 Raging Dawn
  • #8 Roaring Shadows

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