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on 24 November 2011
The vampire novel has never been more popular, which should be good news for fans of the genre, but sadly most of the current examples are written for an entirely different audience.

This, thankfully, is different.

It's set in a near future World where the extreme religious right rule America & the vampires rule Las Vegas in a bizarre deal in which the Government feed them all their convicted criminals... or to be more accurate pretty much anyone they disapprove of.

It's the story of a man, guilty of the most minor crime, who is dumped in Las Vegas (now called Necropolis) along with several other convicts & his battle to survive for the sake of the son he left behind.

Robert S. Wilson's take on vampires is a well thought out variation on the norm & I don't want to give much more away for fear of spoilers.

Suffice to say that this book only frustrated me in one particular & that was the fact that I have to wait for book 2 to find out what happens next. Believe me when I say amazon will have my money on the day I find out book 2 is available.
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on 6 October 2011
I haven't read a vampire book in forever.... my normal read being of the zombie variety. But this book has reignited my love for them.
From the very first chapter this book had me intrigued, an Empire that controlled vampires and used them strike fear into the hearts of it's deciples. Boy was i wrong.
The story takes you much deeper into a tangled web of one man's struggle to survive, a vampire's struggle to keep hold of his stature and the twisted reign of an emperor.
I was hooked from the first to the last word and am eagerly waiting the next book. Congratulations Robert an excellent book.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 9 January 2012
As you may know already I'm bored to death of zombies, they were never my favourite classic monster, and they haven't really suffered in the same way as my favourite monster The Vampire. If I were a man prone to weeping, the treatment of my beloved creatures of the night would have me sobbing in the corner. Luckily I'm made of stronger stuff. So every time I pick up a new Vampire novel, I get a little bit worried.

I've had Shining in Crimson in my book pile for what seems like an eternity, the combination of a new author tackling my boys always sent a trickle of fear down my spine. And you know what I wish I had picked up this book as soon as I had got it. RSW has created a a refreshing take on the vampire and the vampire novel. A world ruled by a mental Religious Empire, that uses the vampires to strike fear into the hearts of it citizens is a work of genius. This arrangement has worked in the past, but the Vampires are not happy with this arrangement any more, they want to rule the world. Caught up in the middle of this on coming war is Hank Evans, sentenced to be fed on by the vampires for the smallest of crimes. Hank will battle with every ounce of his being to escape and save his son.

This is a well written, and hugely entertaining novel, that manages to discuss moral and religious arguments without ever becoming preachy or sounding like a soapbox for RSW. My only criticism of the book is the opening chapters could have done with being edited down, as it did take a little while for the book to grab me. But stick with it folks this book is worth it

You'll not find some glistening torsos and smouldering eyes in this book. What you will find is a brilliantly thought out society of Vampires. The book does not deal with black and white issues, the humans as the good guys, and the vampires as the monsters. You'll find good guys and monsters on both sides of the war.
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on 8 March 2012
Now to start off with i am not normally a fan of vampire stuff in general,but i must say,Roberts amazing writing ability with this book kept me gripped from page one.
Set in Las Vegas but not known by that name now,it goes by the name Necropolis,it is a city of vampires waiting for thier prey to arrive. It is a place where all the bad guys crooks criminals etc are sent to finish thier time on the earth as food for the vampires.
In this adventure meet Hank who has a son Toby,who is the only thing he has in this life he has left. Hank has been sent to Necropolis but must try in every way he can to escape the horrors that lurk there to get his son back.
A brilliantly written story. The first i have read of Roberts and i would highly urge anyone to read this even if they dont like vampires,it will grip you hard. A great book well written and can not wait for a sequal if there is going to be one.
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on 1 April 2012
Shining in Crimson reminded me the most of Brian Keene's The Rising, where we are introduced to a post-apocalyptic world in detail that features one the classic monsters having undergone a make-over and a powerful core thread to the narrative of one man trying to reunite with his son.

The America shown here is a frightening one as it does not seem to be so much a work of fiction with the current stirrings amongst the ranks of the GOP and their extremist and divisive announcements. I greatly enjoyed some of the black humour in this respect i.e. the vampires' necropolis is Sin City, Las Vegas, and the next such city they might have sacrificed to them is New Orleans - two places I can well believe the GOP wanting an excuse to get rid of.

The main protagonist Hank is a sympathetic everyman driven by his love for his son, this informs a number of the difficult and unpleasant decisions he is forced to take and you never stop feeling for him. Wilson has done a great job at engaging the reader with this character.

Also, the vampires, both as individuals and as a culture, are well-realised and distinctive from previous portrayals of these creatures of the night - and I don't just mean the more recent paranormal romance creations, their underground society stands alongside that developed by Brian Lumley, for example, in how well its rituals, rivalries and rules are realised here. Expect to become as involved with the vampires as you will be with the human characters.

Overall, I would recommend Shining in Crimson to fans of Brian Keene, lovers of dystopian horror and anyone who would like to see the great undead with their fangs full-grown once more.
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on 28 January 2012
Shining in Crimson has two kinds of vampires - the natural vampires (the ancients) who are just what vampires were meant to be - lean, mean, blood-sucking machines - and human vampires, who are the members of the Vampire Federation, trying to preserve their little corner of the former USA in agreement with the Empire.

The way this story is told is interesting - the history of the vampires and the humans is told via a series of flashbacks during the book which gives a feeling of history and provides the backgrounds of the characters gradually. Flashbacks can be difficult to write and meld into a story, but in Shining in Crimson it is done seamlessly and doesn't detract from the current day story.

I did feel that in a few places the action either wasn't fast enough or was too fast which resulted in me being a little confused as to who was siding with who and where characters were and what they were up to at certain points in the book.

Overall, Shining in Crimson has some great elements and is a well-written book. As a writer, Mr. Wilson sells a good story and builds solid characters, which are key elements in any good book.
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on 23 February 2012
Vampires, Dystopia, Megalomania - welcome to the glorious Empire, where sinners are dumped in Necropolis and fed on by the creatures of the night.

For Hank, separated from his son Toby and exiled to a certain death, what follows is a journey into, and out of redemption. He lives and dies as a new cross-breed, and must make sacrifices to keep his son safe.

For Simon, former Mediator, the end comes quickly - but then discovers he is more than he was before, and the Head of the Vampire Council, Ishan, takes him in as a Brother.

For Peter, and one time lover Rachel - a time for revenge and to usurp Ishan's supremacy. An ageless conflict borne of hunger for power and for blood.

With plenty of action, bags of tension and a dark and sinister take on hagiocracy, Shining in Crimson is a wild ride through a diseased future. I impatiently await a second book in the series!
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on 27 June 2014
Set in an undated near future, this novel successfully merges a political thriller with classic horror tropes. Wilson’s vampires and his dystopian United States of America are each more than sufficient to sustain a plot, making the combination of the two a treat for fans of multi-layered plots.

Following a revolution, the United States is ruled by a radical Christian sect, lead by an Emperor who claims to be the Messiah. Only one city is free of his rule: Necropolis, city of vampires. Cited in the ruins of Las Vegas the former city of sin is now the place sinners are sent to die for their crimes. When Hank Evans is sentenced to be a vampire’s meal, he resolves not only to escape Necropolis, but to reclaim his son from the fanatics who stole him. But in a new world where only monsters prosper, the only way to survive might be to become one.

Wilson’s portrayal of an America where fundamentalists have taken power and entered into a deal with the undead is assured: despite the apparent vast differences between his world and this one, he avoids the need for long sections of exposition.

Beginning with the very personal experience of Hank being thrown into a city of vampires as night falls, and only after pulling back into more political scenes, Wilson captures the reader’s empathy before they have cause to question the larger picture.

When the larger picture does come, it is similarly well paced. Escalating threats are balanced with increased access to the actions of major players, taking the reader from the average citizen’s understanding that the country is run for God and there is a deal with vampires to a more nuanced vision of why the world is as it is.

Wilson’s conception of vampires as forming two strata of physically superlative but simple creatures and weaker but more complex post-humans provides an interesting take on vampire legends: both in terms of reconciling some varied myths and as a theocracy to rival the US Empire.

The writing style was invasive in places: Wilson often uses an informal American English dialect (for example “drug” rather than “dragged”) which might be distracting to some readers. However, this is a relatively minor issue.

The characterisation is, unsurprisingly, also solid. Hank’s initial advantages are counterbalanced by realistic flaws, and his victories are balanced by real sacrifices. While his actions and endurance are extreme, they are eminently reasonable in the context of a person attempting to rescue their child.

The supporting characters are varied. There are conflicting groups within both the vampires and the Empire, making each side not monsters but complex individuals surviving or exploiting the struggle.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I recommend it to readers seeking a solid twist on the vampire myth.
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on 6 December 2013
I was told about this book by another author whose books i love, and on his recommendation (J R Rain), I downloaded it and have no regrets. Loved the story so much, I've also read the second book in the series. My only niggle is when is the next book coming out???
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on 16 September 2014
Another interesting take on vampires, without sparkly gushiness and giving them back their bite and the mystique that they should have. The characters, human and vampire, are well rounded, and each have their failings, but are never anything less than fascinating.Looking forward to the next book with great anticipation.
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