When Vampires Attack by Matthew J. Gleason

When Vampires Attack is Matthew J. Gleason's debut novella and it will definitely leave an impact on you after you finish reading.

The main character is Glenna, a young woman whose life was just upended by her father's sudden transformation into a vampire, tells you her story in a conversational style that lulls you into complacency before attacking you with surprising plot points.

Life has not dealt Glenna the easiest hand. In her short life, she has already faced tragedy and has to deal with being neurodivergent and overweight in a society that isn't kind like it should be. Then one day, her father "goes leech" which is the term used to describe a sudden transformation into a vampire.

"Going leech" is the most interesting part of this book. In this world, vampirism is a gene and those who have it can turn at any moment without warning. There is no specific trigger or anything to predict it. As soon as they turn, the vampires engage in a brutal killing spree until they are either captured or killed. The turning scenes are the scariest part of When Vampires Attack, leaving the reader with some truly chilling images. The scene in Birthday chaos is especially scary.

Glenna is a sympathetic, well-developed character. If anything, she is too hard on herself and I often wanted to just stop her and give her a pep talk. This made me care about her more and I wanted her to find some happiness, especially with all the chaos she has to face.

Suddenly turning into a vampire is the most interesting part for me. In other vampire stories, someone else makes them into a vampire. This could happen at any time, to pretty much anyone. I would have liked to have seen more of the worldbuilding around this concept. Gleason does address this with their prison and other aspects, but I wanted to see more of this and the impact it has had on the world.

Overall, in When Vampires Attack, Gleason gives us a compelling world state, a sympathetic character, good representation, and a story full of surprises.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review


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