An Unattractive Vampire

An Unattractive Vampire - Jim McDoniel

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A fun read, even though in the end I didn't find it the laugh-fest I had expected.

This is for all of us who like their vampire stories, but don't necessarily want to read about a sanitised, mainstream, “fangless” version of vampires, with glitter and beauty, but little punch otherwise. Yulric Bile is an old school vampire: ugly, fearing crosses and running water, with nothing in the way of glamour, yet also adept at dark magic and much more resilient than the “modern vampyrs” with their glitz and life of night-clubs. Of course, both the former and the latter at cliché. Of course, the story pokes fun at Twilight-like vampires... although, all things considered, I think it pokes even *more* fun at wannabe-Camarilla vampires. (Any “Vampire: the Masquerade” player will see where I'm going with this. All the more if they've played the first edition. Ah, those good old days when we thought emo!vampire was all the rage...)

There are ridiculous and sympathetic characters on both sides. Amanda, the sexy blonde who'd like nothing better than to be turned a vampire, but maybe not for such obvious reasons. The cast from the “Phantom” TV series, clearly a mirror of contemporary paranormal and urban fantasy stories, complete with forums and fangirls, convoluted romance and Face-Hell (and Heel-Face) turns. Simon, Amanda's little brother, too serious for a kid—also to enamored with weapons. Yulric, dangerous and ruthless yet also mesmerised by modern inventions like TV (and let's not talk about his first meeting a car).

Mostly this book was a light read perfect for moments when you do need something fun, something that shall make you smile. It has its own brand of a sense of humour, including Yulric's, who's not so unsympathetic.

On the other hand, some things were a bit too... all over the place? Not in the right places? Vermillion's involvment, for instance: I see where this is going, but it was strange to see so much of him, considering how he was involved. Or Simon: both cute and creepy in his own way, yet no real use was made of the whole “the eight-year-old reincarnation of his greatest foe“ hint from the blurb (it wasn't mentioned until late, it didn't bear much weight on his relationship with Yulric...). Or Catherine: good for her, but how did she go from 4-year coma-patient to sauntering about in a matter of a few days?

The writing was also jumpy in quite a few places, mixing points of views in a way that wasn't really omniscient POV, and so felt weird to read. The footnotes were funny in general; some could've been omitted, though, as those didn't bring anything to the fun factor.

So, funny in general, although in the end it didn't amuse me as much as I hoped it would have when I read the blurb. Still, this is the kind of book I'd recommend borrowing, at least.