Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
Title: The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
How it was obtained: New at Barnes and Noble.
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 0 days.
Days spent reading it: 4 days.
Why I read it: I was drawn to the cover (I know, I know). But I was also interested in reading another book by Catherine Jinks that sounded interesting, but it was quite a bit longer. I figured I'd try out her writing to see if I liked it with the shorter book.
Brief review: The Reformed Vampire Support Group was a pleasant read. It was not the greatest book I ever read, but it was fairly original, told as a fun narrative, and full of great sarcasm and wit. I enjoyed reading it.
The story is a blend of comedy (filled with Vampires who don't drink human blood, instead they fang hamsters), mystery (a vampire is killed in the first few chapters, who killed him and why drives the story), and vampire lore (they DO sleep during the daylight hours, but they are not super-strong or particularly cool). I liked how it blended vampire lore and at the same time tried to make its own lore. Jinks wrote this book with some great twists on who vampires are and what they do.
There were a few parts of the story that bothered me. The storytelling gets interrupted by the fact that the vampires sleep during the day. At two points the vampire telling the story from a first person point of view has to shift to a narrative role to recount what happened during the day. I found these shifts awkward, and not as well written as the rest of the novel. Also, the first half chapter of the book is written from a 3rd person P.O.V. but then it shifts to a 1st person, I did not understand why Jinks did not just start from the 1st person. But these are minor flaws in what I thought was a great story. Worth reading if you want a quick, light read that makes fun of the vampire genre more than anything else. As a youth pastor, I also thought there were some great points made in the book about resisting temptation, walking according to the flesh, and overcoming with the help of strong community. But that was just my take on some of the themes in the book. Interesting to me, maybe not to other people.
All in all, The Reformed Vampire Support Group will deliver some chuckles, gives a fun story, and was worth reading. I'm sure a sequel will come out if this book is even slightly successful. There were plenty of fun characters to work with and their quirkiness is worth exploring in additional books. This is one book that didn't suck. (I couldn't help myself! I needed one great vampire pun).
Favorite quote: "If being a vampire were easy, there wouldn't have to be a Reformed Vampire Support Group." (there were a lot of funny passages and dialogue, but I could not find any of them that made sense alone when trying to make this review, so you get this little gem)
Stars: 4.5 out of 5.
Final Word: Fangtastic.