“Jack Wendell’s Vampire Syndrome” (mass market paperback) just received a five-star review from Hollywood TV/Film producer Joel Eisenberg. 😀
After Reading “Jack Wendell’s Vampire Syndrome,” I Felt As Though I Had Never Read a Vampire Novel Before.
By Joel Eisenberg, Author of The Chronicles of Ara on October 17, 2015
Really, how many variations of the vampire theme can there possibly be? Surely, this genre is well-worn; what can possibly be done to rejuvenate it?
Welcome, “Jack Wendell’s Vampire Syndrome.” I promise, you have never read a vampire book like this one.
Let’s begin this way: Jack Wendell, a Special Olympics champion with Down Syndrome, is turned into a vampire (hence the Vampire Syndrome in the title). That enough? Then how’s this: Jack strives for acceptance within his new community and is immediately ordered to be killed. Read Daven’s synopsis on this site. It’s all there. He’s not joking about “space alien Pure vampires” either.
Somehow, Daven Anderson makes it all work. The story is metaphoric for sure, but man is this work compelling. There’s a good deal of tongue in cheek here but not once did I feel the author or his story pandered. This is a compelling work.
Jack Wendell is a character unique to modern fiction. Characters with Down Syndrome have been used frequently in media, see the television shows “Life Goes On” or “American Horror Story.” Autistic protagonists too have been used widely in literature over the past 25 years, but in lit circles fully drawn characters with Down Syndrome have been rare.
Here though is something different and I hope I express this as I mean to: Jack is ‘cool.’ Do I feel sorry for him as he runs from his death sentence? Of course. Am I curious about his budding friendship with Lilith, who will attempt to save him? Yes. But more than this, I lose track of any disabilities on the part of the main character, and root for him as I would for anyone. And then it comes back to me that I’m reading a tale about a boy – a vampire – with Down Syndrome and I’m compelled to credit the author all the more.
This is a special novel and certain to be a special series. Daven is clearly a unique author. He is also a special educator and knows this world well. Jack is a real person to me, in an extraordinary circumstance.
The conflicts inherent therein make for the best of fiction. This is one of my very favorite novels that I’ve read all year.
Kudos Mr. Anderson. A remarkable, fun work.