Orphans: Time is Running Out is a fast-paced thriller about vampires and their fight for survival in a world run by humans. Written by Ian Dewar, this story combines interesting historical facts about the cities it takes place in along with other elements in a typical thriller: action and fighting scenes, love interests, and a few sizzling sex scenes (though these scenes are very graphic, and may not be for everyone).
Dewar also puts an interesting twist on a vampire tale. In his story, vampires don’t want to draw human blood—if they can help it. Instead, they’ve developed a synthetic as a substitute, so they can live among humans and not attract unwanted attention. However, the vampire race is evolving, and not in a good way. More and more vampires are rejecting the synthetic, and many of them are dying prematurely. Those who reject the synthetic are driven by their instincts to kill humans. In order to avoid a war between the species, they must find another substitute for blood.
The storyline of Orphans is intriguing, and the plot is built for a series. Overall, I felt that the big picture was well thought out and creative, and this first book lays good groundwork for the next. There is a lot of action, and the story has a good pace. I also liked that it felt well researched, with historical tidbits sprinkled throughout.
And some of the characters, including the protagonist Jonathan Owen, are very sympathetic and memorable—though I did find it confusing with the character being referred to as Jonathan sometimes and Owen other times.
But I also had some issues with this ebook. It seemed there was too much going on in each chapter—multiple storylines jumping around with multiple characters’ POV made it difficult to follow along. A few times I forgot who the characters were because there were so many to keep track of. And sometimes I would have to read a few pages in before being told whose POV I was seeing.
There were also some minor formatting issues, which made my reading experience a little more difficult (and is why I think it’s important to do quality assurance on multiple devices, and to hire an ebook developer if an author doesn’t know how to make an ebook). First, all of the dialogue was in italics, which threw me off, and there were also a lot of exclamation marks. Exclamation marks may be more of a personal issue with me, but it seemed to take away from some of the scenes. Also, many of the sentences ended with question marks, which was confusing in some situations where it didn’t seem as if the characters were asking questions. Lastly, one section of the book was highlighted in yellow, and I’m not sure why. I’m all for experimenting, but the highlights didn’t seem relevant to the story at all.
Though it did take me some time to get through the story, I did enjoy reading it. Anyone looking for an original vampire thriller should consider reading Orphans.