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Amish Vampires in Space Paperback – January 14, 2014
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"Do we really need another Amish Vampires in Space book?"
-- Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show
"If you read no other book on this topic this year, make it this one!"
-- Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist
"Need I explain why a book sporting the title Amish Vampires In Space should, nay, must be read? What started as a joke title (and eventually spawned its own publishing imprint), evolved into a good story that is neither dismissive of the Amish nor glosses over the vampire mythology. And does this book really need any defense beyond its title?"
-- Coyle Neal, Patheos.com
"...despite the crazy title, this book is fast paced, evenly plotted, and well written. The characters were real and dramatic with very few clichés. And the overall clichés throughout the book were handled so gracefully that they really weren't as cheesy as one might believe. They became actual character details.
I really enjoyed this book. *shrugs* ...I'd recommend you give it a shot. I mean it. The book is worth the read!"
-- Lori Twichell, FictionAddict.com
"Imagine my surprise when I found myself reading an awesome SciFi story. Being of Amish decent myself, I'm drawn to stories about them, the author did justice to the way of life while offering up appropriate chills associated with vampires. A definite must read for tried and true SciFi lovers like me."
-- Jen Rattie, The Crafty Cauldron
"The plotting throughout this book was brilliant, as well as excellently paced. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, without being left on the hook for so long that I got bored and no longer cared. I didn't think that all these variables - Amish, Vampires, Space - could fit together so well. But they did."
-- Michelle Hawley, The Book Heist
"The blending of Amish, sci-fi, and supernatural shouldn't work, but it does. The fact that it's extremely well written is why. Recommended for sci-fi and fantasy fans, and Amish fiction readers who enjoy reading those genres (which I do)."
-- Kathleen Fuller, bestselling author of Amish fiction
"I wish I had written that book."
-- Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Kerry Nietz is a refugee of the software industry. He spent more than a decade of his life flipping bits, first as one of the principal developers of the database product FoxPro for the now mythical Fox Software, and then as one of Bill Gates's minions at Microsoft. He is a husband, a father, a technophile and a movie buff. Amish Vampires in Space is his fifth novel.
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Top customer reviews
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Before I get to the story, which I enjoyed immensely, I have a few comments about the presentation: I would never in a million years read a book with such a cynical title. And as for the old saying—never judge a book by its cover, well that has probably never been truer. I don’t enjoy vampire stories, either. No. The only reason I selected this story was because I’ve read two of Mr. Nietz’s previous novels and enjoyed them both. There is a reason behind both the title and the cover. It’s explained by the publisher at the beginning of the book, and if you’re interested, you can read about it in the Amazon sample.
So, to the story: as the title implies, there are three threads to this novel.
1. Amish—the story begins with the Amish community, and the author achieves a brilliant piece of world building in this section. I was sucked in and enthralled with the the characters and traditions on display.
2. Space. Yes, despite the title, this is a sci-fi novel, and the space ship (transporter) was fascinating—a second world successfully built by Mr. Nietz including the characters who ran the ship and a nicely nuanced love story to boot.
3. Vampires. Well, yes, but from a sci-fi perspective without the usual paranormal BS that annoys me like fingernail scratches on a chalkboard.
The threads were pulled together beautifully. The read was fast, the writing sharp and easy on the eye, the characters all worked and made sense. Tension was maintained right to the end. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but— I highly recommend Amish Vampires in Space .
Review originally written for Big Al's Books & Pals.
I also must admit that the subject being done in a realistic way was hard to imagine, though I took author Kerry Nietz's word for it, and that of others, that he had done just that.
I finally bought the book after I saw a lot of good reviews and praises for it, and started to read it. I must say that it was a really good read. The way that Nietz made the story believable, and even scientific to an extent, was truly impressive. This is a science fiction work that straddles the line between the hard and soft ends of that genre.
To describe the premise briefly, there is a planet called Alabaster in the far future, where Amish settlers from earth relocated. One family there had the responsibility of looking out for if the planet ever had difficulty with it's aging sun, to help evacuate the Amishers if that day ever came. It was a risk terra-forming a planet in such an old solar system (my guess, why they moved there to such an eventual problem world was never spelled out), and so someone had to be ready the day the planet's main star went nova. That responsibility, handed down over hundreds of years, fell to Jebediah Miller at the end of the star system's life.
One problem for Jeb, as he is called, is that his actions saving his people have lead to him being shunned for violating his people's rules, called the "Ordnung". Now, he and his pregnant wife are on the ship of Captain Seal Drake and his crew, when a less-than-scrupulous crewmember leads to an outbreak of a plague that could lead to their doo. Now, Jeb, Seal, and Seal's most trusted crewmembers in Darly and Singer must prevent an outbreak on the ship that could spread across the galaxy and literally destroy all life if unchecked.
Whew! High stakes, huh? Well, despite that, the situation is quite logical and scientific, at least if you assume certain less than realistic as of right now advances in medicine and science. It's like David Weber in that if the science is right, the them works. Unlike Star Trek and other works, however, the science actually has some validity to it.
The book has gotten a bad rap for having had the non-Amish Christian view be the one that "wins" the day, but that is really undeserved. Yes, Nietz's view of Christianity is the one that works, but in this situation, it arguably HAD to be the view that worked, as total pacifism would be suicidal to yourself and others.
Nevertheless, it wasn't the Amish view being at all denigrated. The Amish characters were never made to look bad, and in fact, the author seemed to go to great pains to portray them sympathetically, even when their ideas were not workable. The characters who were sympathetic to the Amish were good, and those that were bigoted against the Amish were portrayed negatively. Even when the Amish break some rules, it is out of the desire to protect others and not themselves. In other words, they stick to their guns as far as they can, are self-sacrificial, and so forth. They are the epitome of being treated fairly.
In fact, the Samuel, the Amish character who is the most resistant to change, Jeb, who has doubts, and Singer, whose Christian faith is like the author's and mine, are all realistically portrayed, and their interactions just feel authentic. While Singer is portrayed as the most theologically correct, all are treated with the utmost respect.
I wish the ending had been more epic, and not as quick, but again, this made sense. This was a researched science fiction tale, not a fantasy epic, so it acted like one. when the ending came, it was a big anti-climactic in a way, but one that made sense with the science and feel of the story. Even this one possible problem worked to the story's advantage.
Some of the plot threads are left unresolved. How will the Amishers handle resettling on their new world? What will Jeb and Sarah eventually choose about their way of life? Will Seal and Singer's possible relationship upgrade stick, or won't it. Will Seal find Christ, or won't he? Also, what about the shadowy group that started the banned research leading to so much horror?
We can draw our own conclusions, which is fun, but I would encourage Nietz to do follow-up books in that universe, as he has enough unanswered questions to justify it.
This was a real page-turner that encouraged me to think of how I view those I disagree with, taught me of the Amish, and had a terrific and actually realistic premise. I highly recommend this book.
I'm sure if I were Amish I would not appreciate the portrayal of my sect, but I think it's a fair springboard for comparing faith versus works salvation. I have no doubt the author put a lot of research into the Amish portrayal such that it's a reasonable representation of what they believe. Certainly the Amish are presented as God-loving, even if their code might seem somewhat misguided.
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