Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Rise of One’ by Dixon Reuel organised by Storytellers on Tour, which is the first in the Blood Brute series. I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE). There is also a chance to win a copy for yourself at the bottom of the post!
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review, all views are my own.’*
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“We have to be very careful, as those who age so slowly, not to fight upon past battlefields. In that, and maybe only in that, are we superior. To hold a grudge for a human lifespan, that is one thing. To hold a grudge throughout the whole of our lives, that would be an unlivable, untenable existence. So, we do not fight on past battlefields. We air our grievances as plainly as possible. We found, after centuries, we could live no other way.”
— Salter, The Chronicler
As zombies roamed, the earth went quiet. It is as if every critter knew that the only way to stay safe was to lay silent.
Rise and his coven were running out of fresh blood to feed on. With only one human – albeit pampered beyond belief – at their disposal, there wasn’t enough food to go around. He must find other human survivors if they want to avoid succumbing to the blackness of oblivion.
When the human survivors he rescued were infiltrated by Warwolves, an ancient order of vampire hunters, Rise soon realizes the danger he brought upon his kind. With the full intent to survive, Rise must purge all threats to his vampire race.
The world, although decimated, is ripe for rule. If he wished to set history on a new path, he must triumph — starting with the rise of one individual.
Will Rise triumph?
Will he fall victim to the brain-dead that abound?
Or will the Warwolves succeed in finally ridding the earth of his kind?
Find out for yourself in “Rise of One”.
***** ***** *****
Just this weekend our D&D group were asked whether we wanted to keep one of the early storylines of a plague-like sleeping sickness going because of everything that is going on in the world at the moment. Opinion was mixed because sometimes you just don’t want fantasy to mirror real life.
Rise of One runs into that same question from the beginning, with the dedication reading ‘This book is dedicated to 2020. What a year’ and you can’t help but see the parallels between 2020/21 and what is happening in the world that Reuel has created. Now, I fall very firmly in the camp that doesn’t mind when fiction reflects reality even at the moment (although if we’re in lockdown much longer that might change), and there were enough differences – I mean its vampires and zombies – to allow myself to be lost in the story. However, that might not be the case for everyone, and as much as I ended up enjoying this book, it is very much one that might depend on what you are in the mood to read.
This is for the most part a slower-paced book. That isn’t to say that it didn’t have moments of action, but the core focus of this book was family and the dynamic and conflict that comes from being in that unit and facing the situation they’re in. Rise of One is a great read for anyone who loves the idea of found family, especially one with a twist, because that is exactly what we have here, and Reuel has done a great job of bringing together a cast of strong, individual characters and merging them into a family unit that works well together. It also emphasizes the conflict when it arises, and it does – because they all have their own feelings, their own motivations and fears, and that drives their reactions and interactions, and it also invests us in that same conflict.
For all that it is advertised as Vampires and Zombies, it does lean a lot more heavily towards the former because of this focus on the family/characters, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means that it does highlight a few questions that the book left me with. First, just general questions about Rise and the others, who don’t seem to know much about their own history, and the fact that they’re not your normal run of the mill vampires leaves you wanting to know more (however, this book one so there is still time). There is an almost worrying acceptance of their vampiric nature by people that have only just met them, and I can understand that in the framing of a world in a zombie apocalypse, sometimes you would just accept the strangeness, but it felt a little too easy? And might have been a way to expand that family conflict into the broader sense.
The action and the twists when they came were well-written and gripping, and I feel that the book could have done with a few more of both to break up some of the longer, slower parts. Although I have to say the plot twists that were used were fantastic, and I didn’t see them coming, which are the best kind of twists, and did an excellent job of hooking me back into the story when I started to wander. However, at the same time, there was a lot of exposition and info dumps, which can work, but here felt a little too heavy-handed, perhaps because of the slower pace. Don’t get me wrong, I loved learning more about this world and the characters, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of its delivery.
Overall, though, I did really enjoy Rise of One. It had a fascinating premise and executed in ways that I wasn’t quite expecting but enjoyed. I’m also someone who loves found family, and anything that plays on the traditional idea of vampires and twists it well. The characters were fantastic, believable and you couldn’t help but become embroiled in their story, and the twists and action, kept me needing to find out what happened next, and the ending has me hooked and needing the next book to find out what happens next.
About the Author:
Irish award-winning poet, Eve Power writes as Dixon Reuel and is the author of the Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal series, Blood Brute.
Dixon lives in Dublin, Ireland and holds a First in History & Early Irish Studies and another First in Creative Writing. She is a lifelong nerd and devoted hobbyist of cosplay, video games, and other surely worthwhile pursuits.Dixon cannot stand monkeys or phone calls, and to receive a phone call from King Kong would definitely be her greatest fear.
Prize: Rise of One by Dixon Reuel – One (1) of five (5) ebooks –
Starts: January 31st, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: February 7th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.