Inappropriately Titled V Wars Offers Few V's and No WAR To Speak Of
Apr 8, 2014
I’ve read a book by Jonathan Maberry. I don’t remember being all that thrilled with it, but I certainly enjoyed it enough to stick the name in my brain with a tickler in case I came across anything else he’d penned whilst browsing my local bookstore. As I’m usually fascinated with monster stories, I came across the anthology of his – V-WARS – with some delight. I picked it up … and, after only reading about a third of it, I’m done with it.
Sadly, V-WARS is the worst kind of fiction available in the marketplace today: it has to advertise itself as something that it isn’t in order to woo readers, much less buyers. It advertises prominently on the front, “they are hunting us,” and – by “they” – I would assume they’re talking about vampires. After all, that’s the subject matter of the book. Flip it over and, on the back, you’re told, “They are already here. They hide among us. They hunt us. They feed on us. They are us.”
With a name like V-WARS, you’d think that this was going to be some big epic or, at the very least, have some “wars” in it. However, let me assure you that, by page 150, there was no war. There were no hints of war. In fact, there’s nothing even remotely resembling a war in here.
What there is is a loosely connected series of short stories cobbled together around the theme that vampires can culturally be anything these writers want them to be. They can be daywalkers. Some can burn in the sun. Some are just like you and me, except for the fact that they require blood in their diet to survive. Honestly, I reached a point wondering what the publisher (IDW) thought they were doing: Maberry contributes basically a novella and what looks to be maybe another short story or two to this thing … but when your go-to-roster includes stinkburger chef Keith R.A. Decandido in the line-up it’s pretty clear you’re reaching for mediocrity more so than greatness.
But – again, for the record – there’s no war in here … at least not in the first 150 pages, so I’m tossing this one into the heap and chalking up one more lesson learned: never judge a book by its name … or its cover.