E.E. Knight’s Valentine’s Exile begins shortly after the events of Valentine’s Rising. David Valentine and his platoon of Razorbacks have just finished playing the key role in saving Southern Command from complete destruction. Valentine’s troops are mobilized to Dallas, a city currently held by the Kurians. When the Razorbacks save the day again, Valentine is promoted and is given three months leave. Unfortunately, Valentine hardly sets out before he discovers himself exiled from his homeland under suspicion of murder.
Valentine’s Exile is a standard addition to the Vampire Earth series. Like the rest of the series, it is a violent romp through a post-apocalyptic war zone of gooey vampires and enemy agents. The Vampire Earth series does many things extremely well. The cast is colorful and unique, and they almost always return for another adventure. The stories are just shallow enough to leave you wanting to read the next installment. However, there are some things they do very poorly, and Valentine’s Exile just happens to be one of the clearest examples of some things I don’t like about Vampire Earth.
Characters have a tendency to act out of character in order to move the plot along in a certain directions. E.E. Knight also likes to use courtroom drama to make major plot shifts in the overall story. So far there have been at least three courtroom battles that have generated major plot twists. In Vampire Earth, it seems you cannot change direction in a story without one an act of random homicidal violence or a trumped up criminal charge.
Despite a few “what the hell?” moments, I did enjoy Vampire’s Exile. Once again I listened to Knight’s story on Brilliance Audio CD. Christian Rummel is the voice talent, and he is, as always, superb. Some day, I will do a recorded interview with Rummel and make him do the entire piece in his Alessa Duvalier voice.
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.