• Raymond A. Villareal

A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising

3.5-4/5 STARS

  • Publication Date: June 2018

  • Publisher: Hachette Australia

  • RRP: $29.99

A virus that turns people into something somehow more than human quickly sweeps the world, upending society as we know it.

This panoramic thriller begins with one small mystery. The body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, walks out of the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult the local police, it's a bizarre medical mystery.

More bodies, dead of a mysterious disease that solidifies their blood, are brought to the morgue, and disappear. In a futile game of catch-up, the CDC, the FBI, and the US government must come to terms with what they're too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.

Impossibly strong, smart, poised, beautiful, and commanding, these vampires reject the term as derogatory, preferring the euphemistic "gloamings." They quickly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society: sports, entertainment, and business. Soon people are begging to be 're-created,' willing to accept the risk of death if their bodies can't handle the transformation. The stakes change yet again when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, decides to do what none of his kind has done before: run for political office.

This sweeping yet deeply intimate fictional oral history--told from the perspectives of several players on all sides of the titular vampire uprising--is a genre-bending, shocking, immersive and subversive debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.


I received a finished copy of this novel from the publisher Hachette in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

I’ll admit when I started this novel I found it fascinating but albeit quite hard to get into at the same time. Contradictory I know – however the multiple POV retellings was quite hard to grasp initially as well as the added addition of the intimate add ins of the protagonists personal lives. However, I did eventually come around to it and quite enjoyed the intimate details.

Another factor that I initially struggled with was the scientific lingo – the footnotes were a welcome addition as it did break down what the scientific lingo was about.

As mentioned above, A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is told through several POV accounts on both sides of the uprising. It is gritty and action packed – with conspiracy’s left right and centre you mistrust the Gloamings aka the Vampires from the very beginning all the way to the end.

The Gloamings are very pretentious; calling themselves Gloamings instead of Vampires is proof enough but they also believe themselves to be superior in every way. They are also quite secretive which makes it even harder to trust them and anything they do. They are a wolf in sheeps clothing and you do get to see the wolf come out to play several times.

One thing I was really not prepared for was how religious the novel was – I of course expected some form of discussion around religion but I was definitely not prepared for how much was included in this novel. It was one of the main themes and at times I did find it a little overbearing. However, it was fascinating to discover just how deep the Gloamings ties and manipulation ran.

The Gloamings were exclusive in who they chose to re-create – there wasn’t even a guarantee that you could successfully make the transition but still the rich and famous attempted it knowing the risk. Money is power in their world and it is shown extensively throughout this recount of events in their uprising. From the first Political candidate to the CDC shutting down the hunt for a cure – they are everywhere and it is evident throughout.

From politics to, Government, to law enforcement to the Pope, the Gloamings had begun their takeover and this novel covered some dark and beguiling paths – I believe there is much more to come in this tale and whilst I have not heard of a sequel I do hope there will be one. The ending became so thoroughly intriguing and I believe there is much more to this story.

I really did struggle to write this review – A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is such a unique story that trying to put into words what I thought of it is difficult. I feel as if this review is a jumble of thoughts, but then again the book is a jumble of retellings from multiple people on their own accounts of the uprising that it is hard to put them all into words. All I can say is go read this book and get carried away in the corruption and intrigue of the Gloamings and the humans at the epicentre of it all.

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