Appalachian Overthrow the tenth novel in E.E. Knight’s VAMPIRE EARTH series, is about Ahn-Kha. not David Valentine. I wanted to get that out upfront because if you have been following this series for a long time, which I have, then reading this book is interesting because of who it’s about and not because of the way it advances the storyline.
Ahn-Kha is a grog. That’s like saying that he’s an amphibian or a mammal because the diversity between the different species is enormous. As a “Golden One,” he is highly intelligent, very wise and has the physical dimensions of a Star Wars Wookie. Basically he’s huge, strong and super smart. Humans are lucky that the Kurians didn’t do a good job of linking his race to their war or we would have been in even worse trouble.
After David and Ahn-Kha are separated during a raid, Ahn-Kha is taken prisoner by the local Kurian enforcers. I have to give Knight credit for continually pointing out that humans at times really sink to the lowest possible level we can get away with and thrive. After being sold back and forth between different groups of Kurian supporters, Ahn-Kha lands in the West Virginia coal country. He plays dumb to avoid too much attention now that he is fairly certain he will heal from the wounds he took while on the raid with Valentine.
After a time of being a bodyguard to a local member of the ruling family, during which he gets to witness some really depraved individuals, Ahn-Kha is moved to the mines. The worst of the mines as it turns out. Number Four is the mine where all the troublemakers, rebels and dissidents are basically sent to work until they die. In this pit of misery there is a flower that has bloomed in the dark. Aym, Amiable Fise, is a sweet, funny young woman who has vision problems and would normally be a prime target to be “harvested” by the Kurians. Her place in the mine has helped her to hide, and the kind spirit and improved meals that she offers the miners makes the hell they live in bearable. For Ahn-Kha she becomes a reminder that there are still good people worth caring for, fighting for and maybe even dying for.
Appalachian Overthrow was not my favorite book in the VAMPIRE EARTH series. I like Ahn-Kha and he is a great supporting character in the series, but I didn’t necessarily need a whole book about him. Reading this was like taking a break from the real story to fill in some of the details about things that were alluded to in other books, but never really fully described. I have always liked this series and some of the books have been wonderful. This was just good. It was enough to keep my appetite for the series fresh, but not enough to truly satisfy.