Editors: F. D. Gross
Genre: Horror, fantasy
Date of Publication: October 23, 2018
Series: Wolfgang #1
Publisher: Independently published
Wolfgang is a nobleman who spends his days and nights purging the countryside of the undead. But when he returns home after killing a nest of vampires, he discovers his wife dead, his town in ruins, and his son is missing. Desperate to find his son alive, he must fight a race against time, all the while killing the hoards of undead that are trying to keep him from his goal.
The book opens with a little preamble setting the stage for the story. It sort of reminds me of the sliding words on the screen of the beginning of Star Wars movies. I think this will be very useful in follow up books in the series, so that readers can be quickly reminded of what happened in the previous books, so the the author can jump right into the plotline in the first chapters.
This novel reads like a rocket-fast paced version of Dracula (minus the epistolary style). The story itself is quite different from Dracula, but the writing has a similar language and tone. The plot plunges forward from the very first pages, and things are explained just enough so that the reader can follow along for this wild ride. There are quite a few twists and turns in the plot, some which were predictable, and others were not.
Because of the fast pace of the story, there is not much opportunity for scenes that are crafted solely for the purpose of character development. However, every scene is carefully planned. F. D. Gross does an excellent job of giving us a clear understanding of who Wolfgang is, what his motivations are, and even showing some vulnerabilities. For instance, in the very beginning of the story, he has to kill an undead woman. He does so, because it’s his duty, but he wavers at the thought of killing her child, even though the little boy is no longer technically living. This tells us so much about not only the nature of the undead in this world, what the plot will be like for the story, but it also tells us bucketloads about the main character.
Side characters are a little less developed, and I would have liked to have had some more scenes with simple conversations between the characters, to get a better sense of who they are. Wolfgang’s wife dies very early on in the book, but we didn’t have much opportunity to grow attached to her. However, F. D. Gross does provide some flashbacks later in the book, which allow the reader to better understand how greatly Wolfgang loved his wife.
While the plot is fast-paced, every word is carefully selected and F. D. Gross crafts a well-developed and elaborate world. He even describes what the undead smell like – cloves and burnt leaves, in case you were wondering.
Overall, I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of fast-paced plots, effortless worldbuilding, and old-fashioned vampire killing.
*Thank you to the author for the ebook for review!*
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