Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: Vampyre Kisses

So I read a lot of horror and modern supernatural books. I like to talk about them here.  Not all of them are something I want to use in a game, most are just fun to read.  Here is one of the fun ones.  Might not be your taste, or it might.

Ok stop me if you have heard this one before. Human girl meets mysterious guy who later turns out to be a vampire! Girl has some vague destiny, vampire has eating disorder, things get in their way of true happiness…lost you yet? Well none of this applies to “Vampyre Kisses”.

Vampyre Kisses” is a new book from brand new author Elizabeth J. Kolodziej. Yes, Faith is a human girl with a destiny, but she is also a witch, the last of her kind. Trent is a vampire, but he is not your average brooding Baranbas, Angel or Edward. He has a destiny as well and if anything he is just anxious about it. Fate has thrown these two together and together they hold the fate of the supernatural creatures of Kolodziej’s world. Not related to anything, but I kept imagining Faith looking like Fiona Apple. Nothing in the text lead me to that, just the first woman that came to mind.

Yes. There are things in this book we have seen before, not just creatures but plots and circumstances. The difference here, and it’s the difference that makes the book worth getting, is that Kolodziej’s world is very rich and detailed (sometimes too detailed, but I’ll get to that). No Trent is not a Sparkler, he is a vampire, but he is cut from the modern cloth of vampires and more to the point he wants to be more. Faith could have been just another vapid little Gothamite doing 9-5 and partying, but she knows early on there is more going on than just that. In lesser hands these characters would have been annoying characters, or rather caricatures, but thankfully they get much more interesting as the tale weaves on. It is told from the point of view, alternately of both Faith and Trent. Kolodziej does a great job of giving us the proper voice for each character and it is rather easy to hear that voice in your head. There are complications galore including a romantic rival in the form of a werewolf.

A minor criticism, in the beginning of the tale Kolodziej has so much to tell us that she tends to over tell it. I see this as exactly what it is; she was very excited to tell her tale, had all these ideas and wanted to get them out on to the page as fast as she could. It did slow down as the story progressed and a good rhythm was established. Though every once in a while we are hit with a lot of information. While I am calling this a “minor criticism” it is also part of the book’s charm. The author has so much to say and has built up the myths of her world that she just seems excited to tell it all to us. That’s what future books are for.

The book does read like the first book of so many authors, so the pacing is odd at times and there are odd word choices here and there, but that is all something that will work out. Once the pace though is set and the story begins in earnest then you want to keep going and learning more. The book reminds me a bit of the first “Anita Blake” book.

The mythology of this book is well thought out and great care is given to it. Kolodziej is building a world here, not just a novel. I bet if you asked her she could tell you 10 generations of Faith’s ancestors, names and all. Even if she can’t, the book feels like she could.

Admittedly I am not the target audience for this sort of tale. I prefer my vampires darker, my witches more mysterious and werewolves as ravaging beasts. That all being said there is a good tale here and an interesting set of myths. This could very well be the start of a new series of modern supernatural novels that everyone will be talking about, and if not it is also an enjoyable read and in the end isn’t what we want? Kolodziej shares her world with us and we all enjoy it.

I am pleased to hear there is a second book coming. She has built up a lot mythology here and there is plenty for a lot of books.

1 comment:

The Happy Whisk said...

Information dumps, is what I call what you described. It happens to me when I'm writing my fiction sometimes and then I go back and remove it. Just keep what I need. I think it's fine for a first, even second draft but come publication, not so much.