Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

I was surprised to enjoy Insatiable, Meg Cabot's newest adult fiction venture. The good kind of surprised, like a birthday party, not the bad kind of surprised like mass genocide. I have actually read several of her books and pretty much hated them all. I keep trying her writing because it feels like I might like it, but alas, I am not fond of typical chick lit. Insatiable, it turns out, is not typical chick lit.

The story starts with dead women have been found in New York. They are all of Eastern European descent. All the bodies have been drained of blood. Nobody can identify any of the women. These murders attract attention from the Prince of vampires and from the Palatine Guard, a group employed by the Vatican to destroy evil creatures. They both travel to the city to put a stop to the killing.

In the main story, Meena Harper is living a fairly average life (For a chick lit character). She writes for a soap opera called "Insatiable" and lives with her unemployed brother Jonathan and a chow-Pomeranian mix dog named Jack Bauer (After the "24" character). The ordinary girl has an extraordinary secret: she can see how people will die. She warns people of what she sees, but still considers the ability to be a curse. It doesn't make her very popular. Her high school nickname was the "You're Gonna Die" girl.

One night, she is walking Jack Bauer when she encounters a man. The man saves her from a savage bat attack. She cannot see his future. They meet again later at her neighbor's party. He turns out to be Lucien Antonescu, prince and professor. She falls for him and he falls for her, and they get together for some ooey-gooey good old-fashioned baby-making, except without the baby. Too bad that Lucien is the Prince of Darkness, the son of Vlad the Impaler and ruler of all vampires.

Meena, not a big fan of vampires in the first place, has recently become overloaded with bloodsuckers. She loses a promotion to her rival, the witchy Shoshona. Shoshona is proposing a vampire storyline to compete with the top-performing soap, "Lust." Meena doesn't just hate them because they cost her the head writer job. She considers vampires to be misogynistic. They tell women over and over how much they want to kill them and the women swoon because of all the restraint. Honestly, she has a point there. Finding out that her new boyfriend is a vampire is more than one person can take.

Fighting on the other side is Alaric Wulf. Alaric works for the Palatine Guard. He hates vampires because of what they did to his partner, Martin. Vampires ripped half his face off. He has also seen what vampires do to the people that they supposedly love, using them as living drink bars before moving on to someone with more blood and maybe coming back after the victims recover. Vampires use their hypnotic powers to make victims think that they are in love. Alaric thinks that is the true attraction between Meena and Lucien. It actually makes their romance a little creepy because you cannot be completely sure if it's two-sided love or just hypnotized victim lust and lustee.

It comes down to an all-out vampire war for the throne. Of course, I'm not going to give away the ending to the book. At least there's plenty of gore and violence to balance out the schmoopy love-making scenes. This was definitely a fun book to read, perfect for summer trips or the beach. There are traces of Twilight for grown-ups, but Twilight doesn't come close to this. Insatiable has vampires setting up private equity firms to seize control of the media and promote anti-aging products and services. Insatiable has a vampire hunter who loves luxury hotels and Betty and Veronica comic books. In my opinion, this makes Insatiable vastly superior to Twilight in every way imaginable.

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