Just when I thought vampires were no longer scary, Samhain Publishing and author Jonathan Janz decide to prove me wrong! That’s right…you heard me. Janz’s latest novel, DUST DEVILS, reignites the terror-fueled horror sub-genre that for many decades held readers and movie-goers in the grip of fear. Thanks to TWILIGHT and other titles that turned undead bloodsuckers into wimps, I thought this was a dying subject matter (no pun intended). But authors like Janz are here to show us that vampires should be feared and for good reason!
If you are not familiar with DUST DEVILS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Samhain Publishing:
Beware when the vampires come to town.
When traveling actors recruited his wife for a plum role, Cody Wilson had no idea they would murder her. Twelve-year-old Willet Black was just as devastated the night the fiends slaughtered everyone he loved. Now Cody and Willet are bent on revenge, but neither of them suspects what they’re really up against.
For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. Even if word of their atrocities were to spread, it would take an army to oppose them. But it is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico, and there is no help for Cody and Willet. The two must battle the vampires—alone—or die trying.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t looking forward to reading this book. I am a big fan of Janz after reading and reviewing SAVAGE SPECIES (click here to read that review) a few months ago, however the subject matter of DUST DEVILS simply didn’t enthrall me. This was in part due to the reason I listed above: vampires just didn’t scare me anymore. But after reading Janz’s take on the undead, I’m a believer once again…these bloodsuckers are worthy of our fear!
DUST DEVILS is written well and flows with the same rabid pace as SAVAGE SPECIES. However, this book is not as relentless; in a sense, it has a more humanistic element to it, which in turn helps to portray the vampires as even more wicked. Unlike the completely foreign creatures in SPECIES, Janz’s vamps have a bit of humanity in them (even if it is the cruel side of humanity), and it is this trait that allows the reader to relate to them better.
Don’t get me wrong: SAVAGE SPECIES is one of the best horror novels I read in 2013. But the ability to connect more with the antagonists in DUST DEVILS gave me a completely different concept of terror. This showcases Janz’s talent as a master storyteller, and it also gives us a glimpse at how diverse his ideas can be.
DUST DEVILS is another definite win for me, and I highly suggest giving it a look next week when it hits store shelves. But don’t bother carrying around a wooden stake; it won’t help you with these monsters. The book will be available in a variety of formats.