13 Bullets: A Book Series Review

David Wellington, a contemporary American horror author, is perhaps best known for his zombie-centric novels in the Monster Trilogy. Besides that he has also written two werewolf novels and a fantastic series of vampire books that I will discuss and recommend to you below.

Wellington’s vampire series contains four books (with a fifth on the way) about a Pennsylvania state trooper named Laura Caxton who gets caught up in the struggle against a centuries-old vampire. Caxton is a middle-ground hero, a lesbian police officer who knows the difference between right and wrong but not a superhero-like figure that isn’t relatable to audiences. She is written as an everyday-woman who does the right thing because she has to.

Special Deputy James Arkeley is the novel’s other main hero. An older man who is considered the world’s leading expert on vampires, he recruits Laura to his cause when they discover that, contrary to popular belief, vampires are not completely extinct. Arkeley is gruff but likeable and provides a good balance to Laura Caxton’s sometimes unsure of herself attitude.

The best part of these books is the vampires. They do not romance humans, they do not fit into society, and they certainly don’t sparkle. They are deformed creatures that resemble monsters more than humans and posses super speed, strength, and healing skills that make them nearly impossible to kill. There are also half-deads, or dead bodies resurrected by the vampires to do their bidding the haunt our heroes.

If you’re already convinced that you want to read this series, stop now for a completely spoiler-free experience and go get the first book, 13 Bullets. If not, read on to receive a very short summary of each published book, but beware, there may be some accidental spoilers ahead.

13 Bullets (2006 online and 2007 in print)

13 Bullets follows State Trooper Laura Caxton and US Marshall James Arkeley in a secretive fight against the creatures of the night. Mentor and mentee take on 13 of the most powerful creatures they’ve ever come across and are the only ones prepared to destroy the creatures that no one believes still exist.

99 Coffins (2007)

99 Coffins finds Laura and James once again squaring off against the vampires…but this time there are 100 of them buried under the battlefield of Gettysburg. Recruiting all the help they can get, they prepare for a battle that they are not likely to survive.

Vampire Zero (2008)

In Vampire Zero Laura must fight the most dangerous foe she has ever come up against, and she must do it alone, without the help of her trusted friend and mentor James Arkeley.

23 Hours (2009)

After losing everything in her fight against the vampires, Laura Caxton must make one last stand, even though she’s locked up in maximum security prison.

32 Fangs: A Final Vampire Tale (set to be released April 24, 2012)

In 32 Fangs Laura Caxton finally goes up her nemesis and the root of all of the evil from the entire series, elderly vampire Justinia Malvern. The final battle will begin and end in this last installment of David Wellington’s vampire series.