Ace, Jul 26 2011, $7.99
America has become an archipelago of isolated islands of human sanctuaries unsafe to leave because roaming most of the sea to shining sea landscape is supernatural beasts. The central government-sort of remains in charge mostly through proxies; Shredders hunt the monsters who own much of the country.
In the Badlands, Gabriel the vampire arrives at a refuge camp of human desert survivors as Stamp and his vile gang threatens these trapped rats. PTSD sufferer Mariah Lyander trusts no one except her companion Chaplain the Intel Dog. Though it goes against human nature to allow a stranger sanctuary, she reluctantly lets Gabriel dying at her door stay in her shelter to heal. Her kind act irks her raging neighbors who accuse her of violating the First Commandment of thou shall offer no sustenance to strangers. Meanwhile he conceals his vampiric nature and his attraction to his host, but steadfastly protects her from the rats who assault her refuge. He does not know that a fanatical diligent Shredder seeks out vampires in the Badlands.
The Bloodlands is a super first act as Christine Cody establishes her bleak world in which humans are cramped like prisoners in a small oasis. For instance Mariah rarely leaves her abode using cameras to see what is happening just outside her door; that is how she first saw Gabriel. Readers will understand why agoraphobia is common as the outside is lethal. With a nod the Frankenstein, Ms. Cody will have her fans reconsidering just who the monster is in this dark bloody future.