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Monday, May 5, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Midnight: Century of the Vampires by Ami Blackwelder

Century of the Vampires

Book One

Ami Blackwelder

Genre: NA Paranormal Thriller
Publisher: Eloquent Enraptures Publishing
 Cover Artist: Ami Blackwelder
Graphic Artist: Angel Cusm

ASIN: B009Y5C69K
# of Pages: 43 on kindle, Word Count: 15,000

The world is no longer the way we remember. Few are even still alive to recall the days when midnight didn’t mean cowered away and hidden. Out of sight became our only way to survive since the Century Vampires. If you want to live, trust no one.

By 2125 the world had been overthrown by monsters dubbed Century Vampires. Some kind of mutation in the human genome gave rise to the first ones, or so the scientists suspected. Vamps spent the first one hundred years of their existence growing in number–some born, some turned–all deadly. They wreaked havoc for the past eighty-three years.

Vampires ruled the Earth now...

Century Vampires have only one rule: There are no rules.

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My Review: 

The story was so short that it's nearly an excerpt itself. I can see the potential for a captivating storyline, but there is just no substance to this first segment. It almost feels like we are reading the rough draft for this series. 
With that said, there are some interesting points. 
The vampires in this series are nothing like the vampires we've been reading about in the last decade, but they closer resemble the originals; blood thirsty monsters that rule the nights and sleep in caves like bats. You don't want to be caught out after dark. 
All the remaining human survivors are in hiding and spend their days scavenging for supplies. There is a small group of scientists that have developed a vampire repellant, and they help our two main characters out with supplies. The humans all seem to have the same back story, families were killed by vampires and they are the lone survivors. You can tell there is more to the story, as I believe something is up with Aura's strange 'flu' and the curious group of scientists, as well as the 'familiar' mature vampire.
I am interested in the story and will probably read the remaining series, as short as they are it shouldn't take too long.

Chapter 1

“Move your ass Mark!” Aura shouted from the mouth of the cave, where the rocks ended and the forest began–well, what was left of the forest after the constant brush-fires of a world gone awry.
“Just one more bomb. Those bastards are going to have a real awakening.” Mark slammed his last homemade explosive against the cave wall. Searching the walls with his vigilant eyes one last time, he took note of the wrinkled skin hanging from the ceiling.
Like bats, the human vampires hung with feet clinging to the crevices. Their decrepit arms criss-crossed their chests, rejuvenating themselves. Well, that was what the humans called it, but how did they stick to the cave ceilings? Some humans speculated that vampire blood secreted some kind of sap through the pores of their skin. Others figured it was just pure evil that held them there.
“Let’s go!” Aura shouted. Mark had a way of pushing himself to the edge. Aura wanted to make sure he didn’t fall over it.
“One minute!” Mark yelled, staring at the cave walls. Aura watched his dark copper-brown, wavy hair move like the tide over his face as he just stood there.
Standing on the border between the outside world and the dark cavern, Mark wanted nothing more than to watch those blood-thirsty beasts burst all over the damp walls. Here inside this cave before midnight they looked like the monsters they were, the creatures that sucked the life from his sister Laura, the vamps that decapitated his parents. Vampires didn’t appear beautiful until they turned and grew fangs at midnight. Then the deathly hallow their human bodies had become grew into something almost celestial and hypnotic-like, with unparalleled strength surging through their veins.
“We are running out of time! The vamps will be hunting soon!” Aura urged.
But Mark stood frozen, green eyes fixed on the bloodsuckers, his memory spinning. Aura dug her fingers and nails into his shoulders and spun him around to face her. “We’re going now!” Aura’s face filled with a hot red color, and after she shook him once he returned to her.
“I’m here, I’m going.” He lunged away from the cave and grabbed Aura’s palm in his. Racing across the fire beaten terrain, they had never moved faster. Wind hit their faces in a rush and their feet sunk into the soggy mud with each step forward.
Pop, Pop, Pop…Within seconds the cave imploded and went ablaze.
Bits of vamp flesh burned as it spattered across the barren forest. An arm limb nearly hit Mark in the head. The entire mission took nearly an hour to complete, the explosion just under a minute. The cave became rubble and debris shot everywhere.
“Won’t be seeing those bloodsuckers again.” Mark sounded proud, beads of sweat dripping down his cheeks.
“We still have to make it back to O-Tech-1.” O-Tech-1 was code name for the basement of the abandoned church in Manhattan.
Aura tightened her grip on Mark’s hand. “And you know a few of those mature vamps will be out hunting. Six to midnight is still not safe.” Aura emphasized that point often. Mark may not mind missions from dusk to dark. Most vamps still needed rejuvenation then, but Aura didn’t trust the dark. Vamp or no, the dark could be dangerous.
Besides she smelled the scent of something...someone following them for miles now. Someone familiar.

About the Author:  

Ami Blackwelder is a Paranormal and SciFi author. Her stories range from Tween & YA to Adult. Growing up in Florida, she graduated UCF and in 1997 received her BA in English and additional teaching credentials. Then she packed her bags and travelled overseas to teach in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. She has always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, her novels began when she was in Thailand in her thirties.

Having won the Best Fiction Award from the University of Central Florida (Yes, The Blair Witch Project University), her short fiction From Joy We Come, Unto Joy We Return was published in the on campus literary magazine: Cypress Dome and remains to this day in University libraries around the USA. Later, she achieved the semi-finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest and published a few poems in the Thailand’s Expat magazine, and an article in the Thailand’s People newspaper. Additionally, she has published poetry in the Korea’s AIM magazine, the American Poetic Monthly magazine and Twisted Dreams Magazine.

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