Monday, 8 June 2009

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

From Amazon: Nina Harrison became a vampire in 1973, when she was fifteen. Since then, life's been one big drag - mostly because she spends all her time with a bunch of vampires, in a vampire therapy group. Then one of them gets staked by an anonymous vampire slayer, and things become even worse: while tracking down the culprit, Nina and her fellow vampires end up in the middle of an illegal werewolf-fighting racket, and find themselves the target of some genuine villains who'll stop at nothing to get their werewolf back.

This book is quirky, cool and unusual. It's an original new take on the vampire myth, and includes a whole host of funny, unconventional members of the undead.

Nina, joined by Sanford, Dave, Horace, Gladys and Bridget, all attend reformed vampires meetings, which are run by human priest Father Ramon. The meetings help them deal with vampire life, as well as any issues they had when they were human. I thought this was a brilliant idea, and I would have loved to have read more about the meetings. Can you imagine a self-help group for vampires? I couldn't, but I can now!

What I liked most about Reformed Vampires was the new vampire mythology introduced. These vampires experience fanging (biting), blooding (first taste of human blood), living off guinea pigs, appearing as dead during the day, and feeling ill. These are all new ideas that I haven't come across before, and I love it when authors mix up the normal vampire conventions. With so much vamp fiction out there, it's nice to have a change. Catherine Jinks also writes many vampire pop-culture references, and mentions my two favourite things: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stephenie Meyer. Believe me, she had my undivided attention as soon as I read those words!

Each character was well written and engaging, and I'd like to be friends with all of them. The humour included in the dialogue and narrative was fantastic, especially Nina's thoughts and first person account of events. I felt sorry for her at first, but as she gradually embraced her life as a vampire, so did I. Also, Bridget, an 82-year-old knitting vampire with bad hips, has one of the funniest character descriptions I've ever read. I'm still laughing about that one!

The plot is fast paced and memorable, and includes a staking, an impromptu road trip across Australia, run-ins with werewolf captors, a hot teenage werewolf, and a fanging or two. I'd highly recommend this book if you're a fan of vampires, or if you just want to read something a little bit different. It kept me up reading 'til about 4am, which is always a good sign!

12 comments:

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I love the sound of this. A knitting vampire and a hot teenage werewolf; what a mixture!

ZAC said...

It was a really good book =) I like this cover better than the US one.

Chicklish said...

Oh, it sounds brilliant! I think I'd love it. One day I'll get around to reading all these great books! Thank you for the review.

Jo said...

I love the sound of this book! It really sounds awesome! Great review, Jenny!

Andrea said...

This sounds so cool! It's now on my TBR list. Thanks.

Amelia said...

I wanted to read this but wasn't sure if I'd like it. Now, I know I will! I think I like this cover better than the one I saw too. Great review!

H said...

Nicely put! It's like a breath of fresh air on the stale vampire plot books.

karinlibrarian said...

I thought this one was okay. I definitely like your cover better than the one in the US.

Bookgeek said...

I had heard very mixed reviews about this so it's nice to hear one more on the positive side. And I so prefer your cover

Kate said...

This sounds like a geat read. I like that it sounds original :)

Jess said...

This sounds like a fun read -- definitely going on the TBR list.

new moms support group nyc said...

I simply love this, support groups are really great especially if you need help. Thanks.