I really liked Relic by the same author, so I thought it was worth giving another one of his books a punt. A random stab on Amazon brings up a Call To Arms, a story (number one in a trilogy, I think) about a galactic war between two cultures.
One alliance (the Amplitur) seeks to unite every being in the universe in the undertaking of one great Purpose.
The other alliance (the Weave) would rather not.
And so, the battle rages on for centuries, with both sides recruiting civilisations, but neither side really gaining advantage. The problem is deceptively simple: each side believes heart and soul in their cause, but each side has evolved beyond the savagery, the desire for violence, the selfishness, the innate sense of superiority they need to win the war.
Then on a routine scouting mission, the Weave encounter a creature from a race who may have the destructive qualities that can turn the tide of the war.
The creature’s name is Will, a frustrated music composer from New Orleans.
There’s no getting around it: there are an awful lot of vampire books out there, especially ones that are aimed at a younger audience (though I’m not entirely sure this one is). So in my view, it takes an enormous amount of chutzpah to crank out another one. I mean, can The Radleys possibly offer anything new?
Okay, so what have we got? The Radleys are your fairly typical family living the suburban village dream. The parents are sick of each other and their teenage children are sick of their parents. On top of this, there’s the added complication that the parents, Peter and Helen, are “abstaining” vampires hiding out in rural England. This less-than-idyllic life comes to an abrupt end when their daughter Clara comes of age and accidentally kills a boy from her school.
Well, I’ve seen it, and to be honest, I’m not really sure what all the bad-mouthing was about. I thought it was great! Okay, so it’s not the Avengers: Endgame, but it was still entertaining, surprisingly deep, and the plot managed to hold itself together.
And of course, it had that secret sauce that Marvel Studios likes to stir into everything it does: the movie didn’t take itself as seriously as some of the people who reviewed it.