Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Vampires are majorly in at the moment. It's easy to see the appeal of the vampire lifestyle. Vampires are strong, fast, occasionally sparkly, and they stay young forever. Popular cultural has been romanticizing the vampire from Dracula to Stephenie Meyer. The Reformed Vampire Support Group presents a far different breed of vampire.

They are reformed, like in Twilight, so they don't drink from humans and instead breed guinea pigs for blood. Unfortunately, they are incredibly sickly and have a tendency towards nausea. Vampires need a supplement every day with blood or they will eventually pass out. They cannot go out in the sun and in fact actually black out when day breaks. They try to function as best as possible without drawing attention to themselves for fear that the public will turn against them. These limitations lead to some boring vampires.

The book is narrated by Nina, who was turned when she was 15. She spends her time writing a series of novels featuring vampire Zadia Bloodstone. Zadia is the ideal vampire in that she actually does things. Most vampires around her actually never do anything but take up space. Therefore, Nina equates vampire with useless and demonstrates almost a self hatred in her view of vampires.

The catalyst of the story occurs when one of the vampires is found as a pile of ashes with a stake through his heart and a silver bullet lodged in the wall. The bullet leads them on a hunt for the killer and to encounters with a werewolf fighting ring. Without giving away any more, The Reformed Vampire Support Group was a refreshing change from the typical vampire book. It also accomplished something seemingly impossible in that it is actually a believable vampire story.

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