Tale of the Thunderbolt is the third installment in the VAMPIRE EARTH series. Each book has so far followed the story of David Valentine, post-apocalyptic warrior extraordinaire. In this third volume, Southern Command has sent David on a mission to bring back a secret weapon that lays hidden somewhere on the Haitian side of Hispaniola. David has been undercover for over a year in preparation for this mission, and has done things for the sake of humanity that he dares not speak of.
The David Valentine in Tale of the Thunderbolt is unfortunately a bit different from the one seen in previous novels. He seems more than slightly damaged from the things he’s been through in the past. I always enjoyed the fact that Valentine always did the right thing no matter what the consequences were. There was a charming purity to his ideals that made him a beacon of hope in such a hopeless world. That’s been a little worn away now. He’s definitely a more realistic and complex character due to the changes, but I still miss the old Valentine.
Those who enjoyed the earlier books in the VAMPIRE EARTH series will enjoy this one, too. My only complaint was Valentine’s slight attitude change, but ultimately it’s a very minor complaint. The story is still exciting and action-packed. There is a bit more descriptive sex in this one than there was in the previous two, but it’s not overdone. E. E. Knight’s ability to tell an action-filled story remains consistent, and he adds a few more interesting characters to his ever-growing stable.
I listened to Tale of the Thunderbolt on Audio CD published by Brilliance Audio. Once again it was read by Christian Rummel, who again gives an excellent performance and never ceases to amaze with his vocal abilities. Since the story ends on a cliff hanger, I am looking forward to the next installment in the VAMPIRE EARTH series. I want to keep listening to it on CD, but it won’t be released until next month (7/15/2010). It’s getting hard to resist buying the print version so I can have it sooner!
Vampire Earth — (2001-2014) Publisher: Welcome to David Valentine’s world. It is a world where conquered humans occupy a role somewhere between livestock and slaves. A world ruled by unearthly monsters of such dark intent and limitless hunger that they can only be called Vampires. Violently orphaned at the age of eleven, Valentine’s aimless life changes when he meets a group of men bearing arms against the vampiric invaders and their human allies. These men are Wolves: elite guerilla fighters engaged in an ongoing battle to win back the Earth. The Way of the Wolf is not an easy road to travel. Few men or women can master the disciplines involved, and those who do rarely survive for long. But for young David Valentine, compelled by the losses of his past and the dreams of his future, there can be no other choice. It is a choice that will lead him to adventures beyond his wildest imaginings… and to horrors worse than any he has ever faced.