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Valentine's Exile: A Novel of the Vampire Earth [Hardcover]

E E Knight


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Dallas, March, the fiftieth year of the Kurian Order: Four square miles of concrete and structural steel smoke and pop and sputter as the city dies from the stranglehold of a siege. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does he do it? 12 Mar 2006
By Gary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought for sure that there would be no way for Knight to write a followup to Valentine's Rising that could compare with that book. That's what I get for thinking.

Not that I don't think that he's up to the task, it is just that I've found that most serial writers get locked into a predictable formula and/or get mired in minutia and backstory. And with him writing yet another original series as well (Age of Fire), I wasn't going to be disappointed if Valentine's Exile was of lesser quality than Valentine's Rising - I knew it would still be a great read.

Well, consider me overjoyed! Knight has succeeded in creating another absolutely wonderful story in the Vampire Earth setting. The story is thoroughly involved, challenging, and enthralling. I found it extremely difficult to put down as Knight gives the reader a continuously moving plot that keeps the reader guessing and entertained. He has a talent matched by few wherein he delivers enough description to give the reader a detailed image of the setting without detracting from or interrupting the pace of the storyline. His setting, though fantastic, is filled with characters and events that you can visualize without suspending logic or belief. His heroes are wonderfully drawn and complex without the need or want to make them unbelievable superheroes.

Valentine's Exile opens with David taking part in a major offensive against the Kur. The battle is long and costly, with his good friend Post being severely wounded. As a reward for their duty, David and company are given an undesired leave. David decides to use this time in search of Post's wife as a personal favor to him. Accompanied by Duvalier and Ahn-Kha, Valentine travels from one edge of the Midwest to the other discovering intrigue, betrayal, conspiracy, and slimy politics (is there any other kind?). I was pleasantly surprised every step of the way.

The story is gritty, produces a lot of emotion, and is completely entertaining. I rate it as Valentine's Rising's equal (my personal favorite of the series and one of my favorite books of all time).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forced to Wander! 27 Mar 2009
By Maximiliano F Yofre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Valentine's Exile" is the fifth volume of the Vampire Earth series; I strongly recommend reading the preceding volumes or at least "Tale of the Thunderbolt" and "Valentine's Rising" before reading this one.
E. E. Knight (b. 1965) has developed a thrilling saga, where the writer mixes different genres fluently: sci-fi, fantasy, terror, military & thriller giving way to vibrant & gripping tales.
This is the first book in the saga in which the author repeats some themes as military trial and search of an abducted woman in Kurian Zone.

The whole series is placed in post-apocalyptic scenery where an alien race, the Kur, has subdued all Earth powers installing a reign of terror & servitude over humankind.
Some human enclaves still resist and confront Kurian Order. They are backwater regions that stubbornly fight to remain free.
These free communes are aided by other ancient aliens the Lifeweavers that train humans and develop latent potentialities within them creating Wolves, Cats and Bears to fight the Kurian Reapers with some chances to succeed. Wolves work in packs with military organization similar to commandos. Cats are loners that work behind enemy lines as spies, saboteurs or assassins. Bears are dangerous berserks able to kill Kurians almost singlehanded and operate in small teams.

The main character is David Valentine. He has been a Wolf (see "Way of the Wolf") afterwards a trainee Cat (see "Choice of the Cat") and an autonomous Cat fulfilling his own mission (see "Tale of the Thunderbolt"). His last mission has been to create havoc behind Kurian lines and lead the resistance in a fateful siege (see "Valentine's Rising").
At the start of the book he and his Razors are participating in the last push to recover Dallas from Kurian hands.
After some fighting while he is visiting an old relationship he is summoned (one more time) to a trial.
Subsequently, after some issues that I won't disclose, he is again in KZ looking for the abducted wife of a friend.

The author explores in depth the feelings and emotions of Valentine forced to act ruthlessly and cruelly. How can he reconcile this with his natural humanitarian self? Is he justified? The reader will decide, Valentine can't and his conscience tortures him relentlessly.

Another interesting issue of this series is that Valentine is not immune to his hazardous life, he bore scars all over his body and one of his legs gives him permanently trouble. This adds to flesh a real person and not a stainless iron hero.

This is a book that may be enjoyed by sci-fi, fantasy and action adepts as well as general public too.
Only one caution (applicable to the whole series): some scenes are really truculent, be warned.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 23 Jun 2006
By P. D Huang - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Valentine's Exile continues to follow the travels and tribulations of David Valentine and his fight against the Kurians on Vampire Earth.

This book is complete with action and suspense from cover to cover and in my opinion, the best of the series.

Past books in the series have disappointed me because of Knight's storyline with large scale battles and troop movements. You seemed to lose the personality of Valentine and his comrades especially in the "Tale of the Thunderbolt" and the last 1/5 of Valentine's Rising.

This book emphasizes Knight's strengths. Valentine and friends in a covert mission into the heart of the enemy's territory. It reflects what I loved about the series in the "Way of the Wolf" and the "Choice of the Cat" but even better.

The writing is crisp and the reading is very fast. The twists are pretty surprising and Knight leaves a serious cliffhanger that leads to all sorts of plot-lines. Phenomenal.

All in all, his best of the series, and well deserving of the hardcover book.

I will continue to buy this series as it is only getting better.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improvement needed 14 Jun 2007
By Shea John Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I would have given this 3.5 stars, if I could. I chose 4 over 3 because the series as a whole is worth (I think) at least 4 stars.

General Feeling: Worth reading but unsatisfying in some ways.

I agree with what some of other dissapointed reviewers say, though I actually think the ending was good,it woke me up a bit.

There are a couple of continuity errors and (disagreeing with what someone above said) some plot recipes that reduce the quality of this novel, and the general overall story did not seem to make many advances.

First of all David seems to have lost some of his "Wolf" or "Cat" powers. Specifically the super speed, there were quite some occasions to use it, but he never did (for example in the competition with the worm riders).

The plot recipe (formula) I am referring to is the one where our hero is somehow brought into a "tribal" situation where he has to learn the customs of the new tribe and through his valorous actions becomes a valued member of that tribe. David already did with the Jamaicans, and now with the Worm riders. This formula gets old fast.

I am a fan of Knight but I really felt that not as much happened in this book as in the previous ones.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again 5 Jun 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am getting to where I really hate this author... because I know when the next book comes out I will not be able to put it down until I finish it. GREAT SERIES AND A GREAT BOOK. This one really pulls together a lot of loose threads and answers questions. I am still wanting to see more details on each of the hunters specialties. What a twist at the end. I really hope the member lost comes back in the next book though. So Mr Knight if you are reading this, PLEASE!!!!
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