SPOILER ALERT!

Scotland Should Sue

The Cries Of Vampira Saga Complete Collection - Sean H. Robertson

Vampires and werewolves. Once two of the scariest SOBs in folklore they've long since been reduced to emo boys and girls not wanting to turn sparkly or fluffy when they get stressed yet hope to find a nice human to cuddle with. In all honestly, I'd take all of that over the big steaming pile called 'The Cries of Vampira: The Horror of Gaad Grey, The Evil Alpha Werewolf- Vol. 1.' Read that title again, cuz it's a big ol' hint to the type of story you're gonna get.

In Dark Ages Scotland, King George Robertson- who's also a vampire- leads his vampire followers in an ages-old struggle against the hordes of Grey Wolves under the command of Gaal, their alpha. Queen Grace has borne the king triplets and he rides out with his brother and an escort only to be ambushed by Gaal and his forces, including Gaal's wife and their young son, Gaad. The Vampirian contingent is massacred, yet even as King George lies dying he manages to decapitate the wolf couple with one mighty blow, leaving Gaad to rule the wolves under the tutelage of their paternal god Loki, who's locked in celestial struggle with his nemesis, Great I AM (sic), father of the vampire race. Fast forward seventeen years to the day and in the wake of Loki's passing Gaad- now the Evil Alpha Werewolf- is ready to launch a massive assault against Vampira. But the plucky young trio of royal vampires Kristen, Kylie and Kolbe are such peaceniks they can't abide their assassin training even though it's in defense of the realm. So after a Royal Wedding and a quickie with her One True Love- who's a sheepherder- Crown Princess Kristen sneaks out of the castle in the hopes of personally negotiating a peace treaty with Gaad, who's been stringing along some rich bimbo for the money to perform werewolf rescues when he decides to...

Look, do you even want me to continue?

This thing reads like a middle-schooler's English class assignment. Author Sean Robertson claims it's a YA novel, but this is barely a baby step above the 'Dick and Jane' level. The dialog is so plastic you can see your reflection in it. Either it's the classic 'As you know, Bob' infodump where characters explain to each other everything they already know, or it's another over-the-top spiel on the wowiness of Vampira and its awesumly awesum Vampires who all strive for Truth, Justice and the Vampirian Way, or it's yet another diatribe about the eee-vils of the Grey Wolves, often from Gaad himself.

And speaking of that, what kind of bleeping vampires are these supposed to be? Other than they socialize at night nothing ever suggests that they're bloodsuckers other than we're constantly being told so. For crying out loud, these chumps drink wine and water along with eating fruit and wedding cake! And they drink snake blood! No, I'm not joking- snake blood and fruit. And cake (most likely Devil's Food). The sins of Stephanie Myer have come full circle.

Imagery, scenery- heck, worldbuilding- are laughably absent, along with any semblance of Scottish flavor in this mythic realm. Mario Hill has grass on it. The Grey Forest is evil. The River Tinnikka is made of water. The Valley of Erique is... over there somewhere. Got it? Good. Then after running dry on family and friends (see above) the author displays even more ineptitude by just tossing names in at random- Sheol. Dooley. Jolan Tims. Ling Soto. Zaire. Gomer (your joke here). And did I mention there's a god called 'Great I AM'?

There's no rationale or context for any of this stuff: how does no one notice the ruling family of Scotland are vampires? Or the thousands of other vamps tagging along? Or their secret homeland of Vampira, you know- where the royal family rules from... once they come out at night? Or the seventy thousand frakkin' werewolves they're at war with? And where are all the regular folks? And how 'bout the shortage of snakes? (lol) Magic is reduced to a plot device the author pulls out of his @$$: conspirators suddenly communicate with each other via 'Wind Stream'. A werewolf subdues two vampire assassins with her 'Echo Wave Howl'. Confused? Don't be- it's magic, so there. Keep it moving, people...

Characters constantly refer to each other by their full titles, and in case you forget the author always inserts them after every exchange- 'answered King George', 'wondered Prince Kolbe'- and I do mean always. Combined with the over/misuse of every adverb and dialog tag in creation- 'angrily yells, confidently stated, wickedly swears (sic), quickly explained, psychotically replies (sic)'- it all makes for conversations that flow like molasses in winter. They're like newbie actors who keep inserting their motivations into their lines.

This thing is bad- pathetically, hysterically, epically bad. It's the Eye of Argon for the new millennium. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but lord it ain't good. It's also mercifully short at eighty-two pages, though I don't understand why; if nothing else extra pages might have been used to flesh out the story. The only redeeming feature is that the author is donating a portion of the profits to a very worthy cause, which sort of helps explain all the glowing reviews. But the book still sucks golf balls through a flexi-straw; make a donation to the cause anyways unless you really just want some lulz.