Saturday, December 24, 2016

Book Review: The Human-Undead War Dark Intentions by Jonathan Edward Ondrashek

In 2041, vampires are discovered and humanity is thrust into a blood-soaked battle for supremacy.

Seven years later, the Human-Undead War rages on. Brian Koltz, the lead scientist and negotiator for the Undead Relations Committee, believes he holds the solution to peaceful cohabitation. However, he is unable to recreate the platelet mushroom due to its mysterious origin and government disapproval of using a human body as its engine.

When Brian is kidnapped and introduced to the Undead Patriarch, Barnaby, the seemingly caring vampire makes offers Brian can't refuse if he wishes to achieve his vision of peaceful coexistence. Reluctant yet hopeful, Brian agrees to the offers and befriends the misunderstood Undead leader.

But as the war takes on new heights and Barnaby's dark intentions become exposed, can Brian find it in himself to forsake peace and undo a sinister plot before the world is plunged into darkness forever?

Blogger's note: Moderate spoilers below.

The cover is good but doesn't quite catch my eye too much. I do like that it's somewhat mysterious what the monster is and the color balance works fine. But at the same time, he is in a typical monster pose and the background isn't that striking. Overall it works, but it isn't really that unique.

There is a great deal to like at the start of The Human-Undead War. A man (John Ashmore) who is struggling with marital problems goes on a diving adventure with his friends and ends up in a mysterious cave with strange creatures. He manages to kill one of them, which inadvertently starts the human-undead war. From there, the book splits into two different stories-the scientist Brian's point of view and the overall war between humans and vampires (good news if you like a high-paced action plot). There are also some great character actions with Barnaby and John as well, who survives to become a pawn to Barnaby.

Unfortunately I do have a few issues as the book went along, and a great deal of that centers around the main character, Brian. In order to explain this fully I am going to have to reveal a few things in the first half, so spoiler warning!

A few chapters in Brian is captured by Barnaby, a vampire lord who offers him immortality in order to continue his research towards a mushroom-based food that would sustain vampire life. Brian agrees to this. I don't have a problem with this as his background is adequately explained to justify this decision. However, what I don't understand is most of Brian's choices afterwards. For whatever reason, Brian trusts Barnaby a great deal despite there being a war between vampires and humans. Soon afterwards he is attacked by three seemingly rogue vampires. He decides not to tell Barnaby (who made it very clear that Brian was under his protection) about the attack because...the plot needs him not to, I guess. Then a few chapters later, he decides to leave and have a chat with his old human friends, who are literally killing vampires at the same time. At this point I went wait, what? Why does Brian think his human friends wouldn't kill him? And why does Barnaby let him leave his Kingdom? Physically he was away at this point, but he didn't have any safeguards to prevent Brian from leaving? And why don't the rogue vampires try to prevent him from leaving? There are a few moments like this which are scattered throughout the book which might have been explained with more internal dialogue. This is the first book in the series so hopefully character motivations will be better in the next.

FINAL GRADE: 3 out of 5. Interesting ideas and premise, and a great read if you're a fan of action in a supernatural war setting. However, there are a few frustrating times when characters do something when it feels like logic suggests they would want to do something else. I would have also liked to see more things for Brian's female companion and love interest Ruby to do as well, as a lot of her scenes seem to be in the background.

The Human-Undead War Dark Intentions can be found here.

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