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Amish Vampires In Space

With vampires taking over the cargo ship and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even older.
· October 2013 · for , ,

Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space.

The Amish world of Alabaster calls upon an ancient promise to escape destruction. Then end up on a cargo ship bound for the stars.

But they are not the only cargo on board. Some of it is alive…or used to be.

Now, with vampires taking over and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even older.

  1. Steve Taylor says:

    I loved this book. Yes the title is corny but the book is no such thing. It’s not satire or comedy of any kind. It really is a serious book that deals with three completely different cultures being thrown together on one ship. It is very entertaining and fun to read. A book written by Kerry Nietz should be good enough reason to give it a try.

  2. Nietz has once again penned a provocative, well-hewn plot with characters you truly care about facing extraordinary circumstances. It’s both smart and fun, but contains a few flaws that hold this good tale back from reaching its fullest potential.

    I must admit I’m biased in Nietz’s favor, being a major fan of his Dark Trench saga. His greatest strength lies in putting the “science” in “science fiction,” producing works that go beyond genre tropes to both entertain and inform. Yes, there’s some suspension of disbelief involved; it’s a novel, not a research paper. Nevertheless, I admired the length to which Nietz put obvious care in developing the story elements, vampire plague and all. The setting and characters were all fully realized, whether terrestrial or in space.

    This book is the first Nietz wrote in third person, which may explain its uneven style. Many times I felt the narrative straining to return to first person; there were times in my eBook copy that a lack of formatting made that change abruptly. While the author’s favored short, choppy sentence structure worked well for his earlier first person narratives as an extension of the narrator’s thoughts, they worked against him with multiple character view points to juggle. While the Amish and “Englisher” characters spoke differently, their internal voices sounded very much the same, sometimes in confusing ways.

    It’s no spoiler to reveal that Jebediah is shunned for his violation of the Amish’s rules against the use of technology. The story shines best with this quandary, as it explores both pros and cons for this way of life. But as the vampiric scourge spreads Alien-like through the ship, Jebediah and the other Amish characters face a true crisis of faith in regards to their pacifism. This argument is not as nuanced; in fact, the basic conflict becomes one of pragmatic realists who fight back versus well-meaning but delusional idealists who advocated against the use of force. While the premise that basic physical survival is an end unto itself is not out of place in such a story, I found it odd that the Christian characters (Amish or not) didn’t counter with the belief that death is not the end of life, or brought up the importance of martyrdom in the faith’s history.

    Despite these moments of weakness, the novel is captivating and addictive. I was hooked from the moment it began, and and the tension steadily ratcheted upward to create real terror. The influences of Ridley Scott and Michael Chriton are both felt, and characters continually surprised with hidden motivations and depth as the story progressed. Acts of valor and cowardice were evenly spread and heartfelt. My favorite character proved to be the unflappable ship’s doctor Darly, a tough woman who resisted all attempts (human and vampiric alike) to derail her work. There are some genuine twists I didn’t see coming, and a bold ending that didn’t tidily resolve all the conflicts introduced. I would be more than willing to further delve into this story’s multiple worlds should Nietz be so inclined to favor us with more.

What say you?