Dec 13, 2008: The opening chapters of 13 Bullets are a visceral, gory thrill ride. It’s rare that I get an adrenalin rush from a book, but it honestly had my blood pumping, and I’m not being hyperbolic.
I am not a big fan of vampire stories beyond Dracula. I think they’re a waste of a writer’s time, because it’s been done, re-done, and over-done. I think good writer’s should use their energy creating new stories, instead of building on the bones of old foundations and trying to make it "new." You know what I mean, making vampires genetic mutations, like in the movie "Underworld," or extra-dimensional alien/demons like in Buffy. That’s not being "creative," that’s filing off serial numbers and trying to make an old idea pass as something your own.
But David Wellington doesn’t need to impress me with his imagination by creating a whole new type of story. He writes this one so well that I don’t mind at all that it features vampires. The action is so fast-paced and well-described, that I don’t really care about anything else. I can’t look away.
I’m giving an initial rating of four stars, because the opening chapters thrilled me. I intend to come back and read the whole thing. If it’s as good as I hope it is, it will be a four and a half star story. I might want to give it five, but like I said, I hate vampire stories after Dracula. That very small "hate" means part of me is always going to wonder what Wellington could do if he sat down and tried something entirely original. I need to save a five star rating for the day he does that.
Because, everything in these first few chapters indicates he’s capable of greatness.
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