A truly promising idea that just falls flat on its fangs, breaking them off and taking away any bite that might have been. That’s how I would describe “Vampires” by John Steakley.

It didn’t take long for Steakley to put the stake right through the heart of this unfocused misadventure into the nightlife of battling the undead. Some strong characters are introduced, but soon become redundant, corny clichés of cheesiness and adolescent bravado, taking them to the point where I didn’t care about them. There are points when the book becomes exciting, then hits the dust like daylight is rising and it has to get into its coffin before it burns. The entire novel is laboriously written and downright boring is the backstory given to the vampire and his helper. Too quick and rushed is the part given to the head vampire. Out of nowhere is where the character who ends up being the big hero comes from–and without much of a tale to tell. I have to wonder if Steakley has ever read a book before in his life.

But, even if all that were forgivable (which it really isn’t), the writing is atrocious. It’s like this novel was penned by a 6th grader for his English class and never revised or edited and handed in nearly illegible. Numerous spelling and grammatical errors are splattered across this novel. Run-on sentences and repetitious wording tie a noose around its throat; and, all the incorrectly written dialogue, the overuse of the word “and” in the place of a comma, and the constant use of “…” make reading this book feel like you are having your blood sucked right out of your veins.

I give this one a big sundown, as it rose as pale as a vampire and sucked the very will to read out of me. I tried garlic, holy water, and even took the book out into the sunlight to see if it would blaze up, but it didn’t. So, as it stood, my OCPD would not allow me to trash this hideous unholy creation and move on to something that might at least appear to be written by someone with a competent grasp of the English language.

This is probably the worst novel I have ever read. There is some stiff competition in that category, but this is by far the most poorly written book I’ve ran eyes across. It is so bad, in fact, that it actually makes the abomination that was the film adaptation look good by comparison.

0.25 out of 5.


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