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REVIEW by Jena: The Vampire Underground (Grisly High #1) by Brian Rowe (@mrbrianrowe)

16-year-old Brin Skar hates everything to do with the supernatural, so the obsessive film geek isn’t happy when she discovers that her junior year Film class at Grisly High is devoted to the horror genre. She’s even more disconcerted when she learns that six groups in the class will be writing and directing their very own horror movies. Brin and five classmates travel to Bodie Ghost Town in California to shoot their creepy film, but they soon find themselves fighting a real terrifying threat when a clan of mean, bloodthirsty vampires emerge from beneath the surface and start attacking the group. The teens, headed by Brin and the egotistical director Anaya Frost, have no help from the outside and become outnumbered by the vampires a hundred to one. But when Brin meets Paul, a helpful and smoldering vampire outcast who’s had enough of his shameful life, she realizes he might be the only key to her survival.

I received The Vampire Underground as a review request from indie author Brian Rowe. I read the synopsis (which I don’t usually do) and was instantly hooked. The file sat in my Kindle for a few weeks while I waded my way through the never-ending TBR pile and I decided to bump it to the top of the list.

The opening chapter is the epitome of BAIT. One of the best and most old school horror openings I’ve read in a book. That one piece of story was enough to make me want to keep going.

The Vampire Underground wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I was expecting another modern urban fantasy with vampires that, despite the fact that they are cold killers when you really break it down, give you a reason making it impossible to not love them. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE VAMP FICTION. Obviously. I love the monsters that you cant help but have a soft spot for. (It’s my thing. Don’t judge me.) If that’s what you’re looking for, this is not your book. The Vampire Underground, is like a cross between traditional vampire fiction and grind house horror flicks. These vamps are straight up monsters. Even the book cover has an old grind house horror feel.

The main characters are kind of adorable in their own way. Brin and Ash are very Dawson’s Creek with their movie buffdom and teenage banter. Their friendship is very cute.

The only issue that I really had with this book is the age group seems to be very mixed. The interaction between Brin and Ash feels very Young Adult but the horror end of it is horror feeling enough that I don’t know if it would be appropriate for YA. Due to this, I don’t know who the book would be recommended for.

Overall, I am giving The Vampire Underground a solid 3 stars. Great story with a good cast. Solid writing but not mind blowing.

THE VAMPIRE UNDERGROUND

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