* Spoiler alert *
Weber's not on top form with this one.
As a reader of David Weber since I picked up "On Basilisk Station" at the bookstall in York Railway Station a long, long time ago, I have to say I was disappointed with this one.
Somehow, the outwardly interesting idea of combining alien invasion with rescue of the human race by supernatural forces on our world just doesn't work for me. Canon rules regarding vampirism clearly establish the convention that humanity is preyed upon by vampires, for whom we are a readily available food source just as cattle and poultry are to most of us. I can't be happy with the cosy idea that really, they're our friends, just don't stare at their teeth. I prefer a much older view of the vampire, i.e. one in which an accommodation can be reached with the more intelligent among them, but they will always be a source of risk to the human race. Kim Newman's novel "Anno Dracula" (Simon and Schuster 1992) takes this view.
The book would work better as a straightforward "freedom fighters sort out the invaders" sci-fi novel and for most of its 381 pages, that's how it reads. Unfortunately, as a long-standing sci-fi reader, much of it seemed unoriginal and simply not imaginative enough to give that pleasant feeling of "I enjoyed that" when I'd finished the last page. Purely a personal reaction of course, but I'm raising my spirits with the thought that there's a new Safehold novel on its way.
Despite how I feel about "Out of the Dark", it is the first I've felt lukewarm about, so I hope it's a one-off.