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13 BULLETS

13 Bullets

By Sebs, member

Jan 22, 2009:  . . . is the number of bullets held in the magazine of the glock 23, which is issued to FBI agents on graduation from academy (unless they want a 22).

13 Bullets is also the book that David Wellington feels is his best work. It’s a vampire action/horror novel. Mr. Wellington claims to be reacting to the Anne Rice vampire archetype wherein the vampires are smooth characters in lace collars, and intensely sexual beings. This is the current norm in the genre, but certainly not in Wellington’s novel.

Wellington’s vampires are hunters – more like sharks than gentlemen. Like many vampires they look as though they were carved from marble, but unlike most, they have rows upon rows of sharp teeth. They don’t puncture veins to get at blood, they rip off arms.

Like most good books, however, the vampires and the morbid atmosphere are secondary to the character relationships. I find the reason hard to pinpoint, but Wellington’s novel reminds me of Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. (which, by the way, have the most consistently hokey, over-manipulated photo covers. sigh).

I think it is largely the protagonists of the series – both are sort of cops, but not. Both are fixated on getting the monsters, but simultaneously afraid of their own inner monster. They aren’t the same person – not by a long shot – but they fill a very similar role. They’re the same archetype, if you will.

Wellington might cringe at the comparison, since Anita Blake is the kind of vampire hunter who he is reacting to – one who, as the series goes on, is seduced by the monsters she was (and often still is) fighting. But it is actually this fact that provided the clincher for me in terms of character similarity. Anita Blake is horribly frightened that she might be as much of a monster as those she is constantly fighting, largely (though not entirely) because of her continually increasing involvement in the "monster world." Although the cause of the feeling is different for Wellington’s Laura Caxton, she too becomes frightened of her own perceived lack of humanity. Ironically, this precise worry helps humanize these leading ladies.

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