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. Things do not work out as planned, and Valentine finds himself exiled from his homeland as a fugitive 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 fuh..?” 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. —Justin
You can also learn more about EE Knight’s books at the Fantasyliterature EE Knight page