I am not a fan of the current trend in zombie stories. Most of them are poorly written and published in magazines that belong in an outhouse. Or they are printed by small press firms whose collected works belong in an outhouse. But Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines by D.L. Snell is an exception. I don’t know anything at all about the author, except that this is an exceptionally well-written novel. Yes, it’s gruesome, but the quality of the writing and obvious care that went into this story’s construction make it all worthwhile. Zombies have taken over and the vampires – that’s right, I said vampires – are using the remainder of humanity as livestock. You’ll meet Ann, a blood slave, and Shade, the vampire monarch, and Frost, Shade’s general. You see, the vampires are breeding lobotomized amputees. Yeah, it’s that weird, bloody as hell, and hard to stomach at times. But Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines may very well be the best zombie/vampire novel published in recent years. As I mentioned, the quality of the writing is what makes this all work. So ignore the incredibly ridiculous cover (black lettering on a dark red background reeks of grade school design) because the pages are filled with words that will draw you in to a very frightening world indeed. Creepy!