Review: “Adrift Two: Sundown,” K.R. Griffiths

Pros: Interesting group of characters; fascinating developments
Cons: There seems to be a big ol’ plot hole hanging out in the parlor
Rating: 4 out of 5

Please NOTE: I can’t describe the setup for book two without dropping spoilers from book one, so if you haven’t read book one first, you should wait to read this review.

In “Adrift”, we discover that there are nests of monsters referred to as vampires. Unlike the modern view of a vampire, these are clearly monsters and not humans. They have the horrifying ability to take over the mind of anyone who looks them in the face, and they use this ability to ‘have fun’ playing with their food. Note that this gets quite gruesome. Supposedly nothing can kill a vampire–but a panic attack prone newlywed, Dan, proves that vamps don’t have to be immortal. Unfortunately the three vamps on board the cruise ship Oceanus don’t return, which breaks the compact between vamps and certain humans, resulting in a vampire uprising. After all, the people on board the Oceanus were supposed to be a sacrifice to the vamps. In Adrift 2: Sundown, we’re chasing Herb and Dan from the previous book as they go to Herb Rennick’s family mansion–only to find that the vampires in the nearby nest are clearly quite well aware that humans managed to kill some of their kind, resulting in a global uprising. Herb and Dan join up with Mancini (from a compound in America), as well as Conny (police officer with a crowd-control-trained dog), among others. They’re fleeing across London trying to get away from the vamps who are attacking the entire city.

 

Dan is supposed to be some sort of special person called a “hermetic”, who can kill a vamp. For most of the book, the sole (and very handy) ability the hermetic has is his invulnerability to the vampires’ mind control tricks. Then he usually just used a cleaver like anyone else would. Dan does evince some abilities later in the book that make him more impressive. That said, there seems to be a big ol’ plot hole here. Sure, Dan can resist the mind control abilities, but he’s killing the vamps in a way that anyone who isn’t mind-controlled could. So why on earth don’t people use long-range weapons that don’t require looking into your killer’s eyes? Frag grenades. Rocket launchers. Dynamite. Assault rifles. Judging by the results of some character actions it would seem that vamps are immune to harm from large numbers of bullets being fired at them, which makes no sense coming from a creature that can be killed with a kitchen cleaver. The vamps are immune to fire, but plenty of attacks don’t rely on fire. Dan should not be the only person who can kill a vamp.

Mildly spoileriffic: at some point napalm is employed. This seems odd for a couple of reasons. One, wouldn’t a missile be easier? It’s hard to believe their first choice would be napalm. Two, you can’t tell me these special wealthy families watching over vampire nests for millennia haven’t made inroads into the government. In which case there should very much be someone there who can push them to use weaponry that will actually work.

I love the fact that vamps can’t even remotely pass as humans. No sparkles here. They’re all about appetite and playing with their food.

Dan’s role in things becomes much more interesting, but I’ll have to leave you to see that for yourself.

I still want to know what happens next, so book three, here I come.

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