Valentine's Resolve: A Novel of the Vampire Earth
by E.E. Knight
Review by Paul Haggerty
Roc Hardcover Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451461469
Date: 03 July 2007 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
David Valentine has been having a hard life. It's bad enough being born into a world where aliens have conquered the world and humans just hope not to be noticed by their new overlords. Because the new Masters of Earth only have two uses for humans. Guards against other Master's who might wish to expand their territories ... and food. For most of his adult life Valentine has been part of the resistance, who have actually managed to take and keep a free zone where normal humans can live in relative safety. But then, after being betrayed by his own forces, Valentine is forced into exile, a fugitive with a death warrant waiting back home.
It's been three years since Valentine was forced to go into exile. And while there hasn't been book published to chronicle this period of is life, it appears he hasn't been idle. The problem is that he's had to live totally underground: new name, fake past, no real friends. He can't live openly in "safe" Southern Command territory without being executed. He can't live openly in Kurian territory without being eaten. It's a hard life, but Valentine has been making do, keeping busy, and making a somewhat comfortable living as something of a nomad. But his past is about to catch up with him. There are still those that know he was railroaded and the the charges against him were totally without merit. So, being the true friends that they are, once they've found him, they send him on another nearly certain-death mission to find one of the lost Lightweavers (cousin's to the Kur that rule the planet, but dedicated to protecting humanity) and get some help for the beleaguered forces of Southern Command.
As always, Valentine takes the mission to save the human race, when in all honesty, he really ought be telling them where they can stick it. The problem is that he needs to travel from St. Louis to Seattle. And in the Kurian age, this poses a bit of a problem and a good chunk of the book details his travels, the people he meets, the people who try to kill him, etc, etc. Every book in this series introduces new creatures, technology, soon-to-be reoccurring characters, and territories to explore, and this one is chock full of new things to be integrated into what we've come to understand as the boundaries of this universe.
And even once he reaches his destination, people being who they are, it's hard to tell the heroes from the villains when the very people you're trying to help are the same people you'd just a soon drop in the deepest part of the bay with a hunk of the Space Needle tied around their necks. Because there's a war going on up in the Pacific Northwest and the rebels just might be as bad as the enemy they're trying to defeat. Valentine is going to need an exceptionally good plan (since he seems to be making enemies everywhere he turns), if he's going to manage to thread a fine line between the battling factions, find out where the Lightweavers are, complete his mission, and hopefully escape with his skin still intact.