This dystopian horror novel goes all in on its blockbuster premise: alien vampires called the Drac have infiltrated Earth, inciting global war and subjecting humans to genetic experiments. Human soldiers, thinking they’re following legitimate orders, capture pregnant women and children for Drac use. Sandy Cox, six months pregnant, flees a refugee camp but is caught and taken to a vast underground facility near Atlanta, where her baby is prematurely extracted and transformed into a bloodthirsty human-Drac hybrid. Now Sandy must rely on enigmatic freedom fighter Phil and other unlikely allies to escape the Drac city before it’s destroyed by a saboteur, even as a dispute between alien factions erupts into open fighting.
Staccato prose, a choppy narrative, and visceral descriptions grant this dystopian thriller both urgency and a sense of chaos, which contribute to the story’s air of intrigue and confusion. With multiple plot lines weaving throughout the increasingly frenetic tale, which is told from frequently shifting perspectives, it can be hard to keep track of the numerous characters and threats. Alleva rarely dwells on backstory or worldbuilding, leaving much to be explained late in the story, if at all.
Sandy’s maternal instincts serve her well in her efforts to protect her newborn child, and she has a fair amount of internal complexity, but many other characters are opaque or underexplored. For instance, Phil is distilled down to his unique weapons and impressive combat skills, with very little said about his background or purpose. This series opener clearly has ambitious plans to set up a conflict among the Drac with Earth caught in the middle, touching upon tantalizing ideas such as vast underground cities, a manufactured world war, and weapons on the moon, but the focus is always on the immediate action at hand. The mix of violence, horror, and melodrama has a certain gonzo appeal.
Takeaway: This action-packed struggle for survival on a devastated Earth invaded by alien vampires will pull in readers looking for no-holds-barred adventure and cinematic flair.
Great for fans of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annhilation, L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth, John Ringo’s A Hymn Before Battle.
Production grades Cover: B- Design and typography: B+ Illustrations: - Editing: B Marketing copy: B
"This ambitious novel plays unashamedly in the pulp-SF sandbox . . . A conspiracy maven's dream, packed with gory alien-vampire action." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"An action packed no holds barred adventure with cinematic flair. Great for fans of Jeff Vandermeer's Annhilation, L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, and John Ringo's A Hymn Before Battle." ~ Booklife Reviews
"Forget what you know about vampires and prepare to get a new bite from the tastefully different rules in The Rose Vol. 1. Bringing a new twist to a well-known genre is usually a risk, but PD Alleva has found a brilliant way to make it work. The Rose Vol. 1 is a fantastic recommendation for fans of vampire, fast-paced action, heart-racing, and dark-themed novels." ~ Readers Favorite (Starred Review)
"Sandy - Phil - Cam - Ben - the Dracs - the greys - all of Alleva's characters are multi-faceted and unpredictable with infinite layers. If you like thrillers, sci-fi, or dystopian, you will meet your match in THE ROSE. Riveting." ~ Sherrie Hansen, Author of 'Night and Day'
"Sanos is perfectly horrible and you love to hate him. This book has invasions, abductions, blood, gore, telepathy and hope for mankind - with a twist and it's all that stuff that made this a really refreshing read. I can't wait for the next book!" ~ RM Garino, Author of 'The Gates of Golorath'
"Thought you knew everything there is to know about aliens, vampires, werewolves, hulks, people? Well think again because this book turns everything on its head in a sci-fi extravaganza of action and plot twists. Alleva serves up this story with style and an array of characters that you can't help but fall in love with. As the lines between the perceived 'good and evil' blur, the idea of the Rose is intriguing and I cannot wait to find out what happens in Vol. 2." ~L.L. Thomsen, Author of 'The Missing Shield'