Five years ago, the war
ended and Miami was given to the vampires. Five years ago, the US turned
its back on those trapped behind the Wall – and life in the vampire
kingdom has degenerated into a grisly struggle for survival.
naive and impulsive Selah Brown leaves Brooklyn to search for her
father in the dead heart of the vampire city, she discovers that nothing
is as it was explained to the American public—and her search is
subverted into a quest to expose the truth before the horrors of the
city can claim her.
Yet what hidden talent could one young woman possess that would allow her to stand a chance?
Vampire Miami by Phil Tucker is a little different, no matter what the title would lead readers to believe. Yes, it’s a novel with vampires, and those are fairly common, but it doesn’t take the standard ‘vampires live among us, but in secret’ trope and stake it to something. Instead, in this world, vampires and humans have clashed, and the government decided that the best way to come out ahead was to give them a city of their own. The unlucky winner was, as the title suggests, Miami.
Readers should be aware that this isn’t a self-contained story, and that there will be further installments in the series, so there may be some outcry when they get to the end, but only the good kind.
Tucker’s premise gives the audience a Miami, and indeed a world that is fundamentally changed, and even broken by what’s happened. Anybody who wants to side with the vampires can live ‘the good life,’ but if you want to stay human, survival is no easy feat.
The book's protagonist is Selah, who sets off to find her father after he goes missing, and really has no idea what she’s getting into. As far as plans go, she doesn’t have one, and so readers can enjoy her impulsive nature, the way that she has her world turned completely upside down, and the fact that sometimes doing something without thinking it through is exactly what’s needed to shake things up.
These aren’t vampires that woo girls by rescuing them, or give interviews. They’re vicious, tangled in power struggles, and no less petty than the humans they feed on. If the vampires of popular culture have been tamed, then Tucker’s undead are a reminder that it takes intelligence, and sometimes sheer dumb luck to come out ahead of the bloodsuckers.
Selah finds friends, some more loyal than others, and a few have agendas that will surprise her. Not only that, but she finds herself involved in the underground resistance movement. But despite how tough things are, the conclusion readers can draw is that vampires may have Miami, but humans haven’t stopped fighting the war, and the next book in the series promises more bloodthirsty adventures, and a whole new city to do battle in.