Real Vampires Don't Sparkle

Real Vampires Don't Sparkle - Amy Fecteau (I got this book from NetGalley, in exchange for a honest review.)

There are good ideas in this novel, but I think it's in need of serious editing and cutting for the story to become more interesting. While there was some humour in it, and a few dialogue lines that made me smile, things tended to go on for too long in between plot points, without necessarily providing information and/or character growth. It made me feel like the story was dragging on, and in turn, I had a hard time pushing myself to read it.

The characters have their interesting sides, and some dialogues had a nice dynamics—what can I say, I like a dose of healthy snark. On the other hand, too often they behaved like drama queens, with a lot of pouting, glaring and other behaviours I'd associate to teenage girls rather than to grown-up men, especially when those are supposed to have lived for centuries and be all badass otherwise. Matheus struck me as childish most of the time, and only in the very last part did he seem to partly grow out of this. I expected Quin to be less patient with his antics, and show him things the hard way, instead of letting him pout and whine, with the occasional outburst. (Same with Alistair, who in my opinion should have been old enough to get over it.) Not to mention that Quin kept too much to himself, which led to Matheus not understanding, demanding answers, being denied them, throwing a tantrum, then dropping the matter—only to run after Quin when the latter went out to do something dangerous.

As for the plot itself, it's quite hard to define. It was partly too full (the hunters, Zeb's book, Milo's role, Bianca, the 'real bad guys'...), and yet at the same time went too slowly, being glazed over in favour of what I might called "filling up". Also, in the end, several things remained to be solved. Was there a traitor? Why did Quin claim Matheus, what prompted him to turn him instead of just murdering him? Perhaps this story would have fared better if divided between two books, and with less bantering in between turning points. For instance, Matheus discovering the world of vampires, going on his first hunts, being confronted to Grigori and the others, and to the hunters, would've made a complete story in itself. The way things were, I found those aspects weren't explored enough, and left too much room instead to those behaviours I mentioned above—which sure didn't fit well with what the title had led me to expect.

It looks like this is the first volume, and another one will follow, hopefully bringing answers. However, I'm still convinced it would've fared better with more editing, even if this meant going with two books instead of the one. The war mentioned in the last third would really deserve its own story, set apart from the rest—or be made the main plot from the beginning, without all the interruptions in between.