How does a vampire survive after his prey have been turned into zombies? Wendig kicks off his riproaring novel with this great premise. Coburn, a vampire for fifty years and trapped underground for the last two or so, 'awakes' into a NYC overrun by marauding 'rotters'. Seeking fresh human blood, he joins a rag-tag bunch of human survivors, lured by the promise of a steady supply of sustenance in a world gone to hell.
The style is smart, sardonic, and utterly hilarious. Coburn is a terrific creation, a nasty, self-absorbed bloodsucker who manages to be as cool as any Tarantino character even after he's been burned to a crisp by the morning sun. The action is relentless, horrifying, utterly mesmerising.
Best of all, though - and the acid test of every novel - is the story. Wendig tells a tale that grips from start to finish, with no digressions, no pointless meanderings, no wasted words. The last chapter had me almost in tears, big horror-loving softie that I am.
Chuck Wendig is a storyteller of the highest order, precisely because he's grasped that telling a story is the most important thing a writer can aspire to do.
Buy this. Read it. Then - oh my god - buy Blackbirds.