A review of A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

Reviewed by Carl Delprat

A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising
By Raymond A. Villareal
Hachette Australia
418pages, May 29, 2018, ISBN: 9780733639708, RRP$2

It’s not every day I get hold of a novel that blows my socks right off. A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising has all the hallmarks of a super-story, something really big, along the lines of The Da Vinci Code mystery thriller. Right now, 20th Century Fox is looking into the movie rights. This first novel by Raymond A. Villareal sits right on the cutting edge of today’s mind set where narcissism is the new black. At first I took the plot for a parody on current fashionable trends. The analogies are certainly consistent with contemporary inclinations.

We now all live in alternate universes alongside ice addicts, alienated Goths, self-mutilated exhibitionists, fundamentalist chosen ones, wild political tribes, feral egotists, tree huggers, gun waving patriots, and uber-conservatives. So why should a new influx of the Gloamings make the slightest difference? A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is a very professional presentation and much like a TV documentary. You get to meet Dr Lauren Scott who works for the Centre of Disease Prevention, a possible nod to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Next stop is at an Arizona boarder town where Dr Scott meets and teams up with a Dr Hector Gomez and from that point there they start uncovering a series of blood drained bodies.The first full-time vampire named Lisa Sole makes her appearance; she is immensely strong, possesses superhuman abilities and easily escapes from custody. Another new character emerges. A lone wolf Jesuit Priest named Father Riley who is computer savvy and comes with direct Vatican connections. Raymond A. Villareal is certainly keeping all his options wide open. Further on into this book we meet the Catholic clergy Gloamings, Senator Gloamings and a very powerful lobbying group for promoting Gloaming activity and community acceptance. So… what are these Gloamings?

The Gloamings are not unlike a number of people you already have been acquainted with. First of all, they posses a proud image of themselves and relationships between humans and Gloamings don’t succeed. Their personality leans towards a narcissistic personality disorder or having psychopathic tendencies. They have had a re-creation experience that altered certain biological processes within their brain. Gloamings share certain traits: high IQ, contempt of others, cruelty to others, amoral, secretive, grandiose, and an authoritarian attitude. Gloamings age slowly, expected live span is over 200 years and they also have exceptional physical strength.

There is never a dull moment throughout Villareal’s novel. I’m not generally the type of reader who’s into vampires, but this novel is on a completely different foundation. Villareal’s detailed portrayals will be very familiar to readers. His gloamings are out there now – they are those celebrities and political leaders that we worship and imitate. This is a book with wide-reaching appeal, which is going to be very very big.  You heard it here first.

About the reviewer: Carl Delprat is a prolific storyteller. His home is the Australian coastal city of Newcastle, New South Wales. Find his books at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CarlDelprat